When Pregnancy Harms: Obstetric Fistula

Publication Date: 2012
Author: UNFPA
Publisher: UNFPA

Obstetric fistula is a preventable and in most cases, treatable childbirth injury that leaves women incontinent, ashamed and often isolated from their communities. It occurs when a woman or girl suffers prolonged, obstructed labour without timely access to an emergency Caesarean section. A debilitating condition that has left—and continues to leave—hundreds of thousands of women suffering in solitude and shame, obstetric fistula is undeniably one of the most telling examples of inequitable access to maternal health care and, until recently, one of the most hidden and neglected conditions. 

Related content

News
Girls and women who undergo FGM face a range of serious health risks – from potentially fatal bleeding to childbirth complications to long-term psychological problems.
News
Anenatal checkups provided by mobile clinics are saving lives of mothers and babies among displaced people in Myanmar.
News
Up to 1,400 pregnant women, 500 of whom are expected to deliver in the next three months, are among the displaced by the fighting.

Pages