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Obstetric Fistula

Obstetric Fistula Causes

Causes for the development of obstetric fistula are sexual abuse and rape, especially within conflict or post-conflict areas, other surgical trauma, gynecological cancers or other related radiotherapy treatment and, perhaps the most important, limited or no access to obstetrical care or emergency services.

Obstetric Fistula Definition

Obstetric fistula or vaginal fistula is a severe medical condition in which a fistula (hole) develops between the rectum and vagina or between the bladder and vagina after severe or failed childbirth, when adequate medical care is not available.

Obstetric Fistula Diagnosis

The most important test is microscopic examination of a saline and potassium hydroxide preparation. This will diagnose more cases of trichomoniasis and candidiasis.

Obstetric Fistula Symptoms and Signs

The resulting disorders typically include incontinence, severe infections and ulcerations of the vaginal tract, and often paralysis caused by nerve damage. Sufferers from this disorder are usually also subject to severe social stigma due to odor, perceptions of not being clean, a false assumption of venereal disease and, in some cases, the inability to have children.

Obstetric Fistula Treatment

Treatment is available through reconstructive surgery. This surgery for uncomplicated cases has a 90% success rate, and success rates for more complicated cases are estimated to be 60% successful. Some women are not considered for this surgery, but can seek out alternative treatment called a urostomy and a bag for the collection of urine is worn on a daily basis.

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