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Socio-Demographic and Obstetric Profile of Women Who Presented for Obstetric Fistula Repair in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria

Author(s): Abah Matthias Gabriel, Lengmang Sunday Jenner, Inyang-Etoh Emmanuel Columba, Abah Iniobong

Introduction: Obstetric trauma is the commonest cause of vesicovaginal fistula in the tropics. The socio-demographic characteristics of afflicted women and obstetric factors associated with it are highly variable and related to the society.

Method: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study, targeting the socio-demographic and obstetric details of women who presented with obstetric fistula for a free outreach surgical repair in Benue state, Nigeria.

Results: Eighty-two women were involved in the study: 55 (67.1%) of the women had stillbirth in the affected pregnancy, while 27 (32.9%) delivered live infants. The majority (41.5%) had carried the condition for 3years or more before presenting for repair, whereas 34.1% of them presented within 1year. The mean age of patients was 32.06 +/- 6.8 years: 75.6% of the women remain married at the time of the study while 70.7% had no formal education. Most (58.5%) of the patients were multiparous, unbooked (52.4%) with 62.1% of them developing the fistula following their fourth deliveries. The majority (65.9%) of the women who presented with obstetric fistula for repair had the delivery associated with the fistula in Private clinics, 69.5% being vaginal. The mean duration of labour in the pregnancy in which the fistula developed among the patients was 16.5 + 11.9 hours.

Discussion/Conclusions: Obstetric vesicovaginal fistula continues to afflict women, occurring in older, illiterate multiparous women who may have failed to utilize available maternity services in their environment. There is the need to encourage women to utilize maternal health services and an improvement in emergency obstetric care.

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