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home What Is Fistula? Childbirth Injury Facts

Childbirth Injury Facts

Uganda

10 years — average time a woman with fistula suffers without treatment 6

Burkina Faso

31.7% of the population uses contraceptives 9

Worldwide

65% of women with fistula are victims of forced marriage 3

Worldwide

830 women die every day from pregnancy or childbirth related causes 4

Worldwide

99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries 7

Worldwide

Approximately 16 million girls aged 15 to 19 years and 2.5 million girls under 16 years give birth each year in developing regions 2

Burkina Faso

The average age of first birth among women is 19.4 years old 9

Worldwide

Can women with fistula still have children?
For women who get fistula in their first pregnancy, 70% end up with no living children. After a successful fistula repair surgery, a woman may still give birth, although c-sections are recommended to prevent re-opening the fistula.

Worldwide

Do women with fistula need multiple surgeries?
Depends on difficulty level. 40% of patients treated at DFC have had 2 or more prior, unsuccessful surgeries elsewhere.

Kenya

Kenya is the 10th most dangerous country for a woman to give birth 12

Worldwide

How many women and girls suffer from fistula?
Approximately 2 million. 1

Worldwide

How successful is fistula surgery?
The majority of fistula closures are successful. About 15% continue to leak due to problems with the bladder and urethra. Many women and girls who suffer fistula have other related injuries including nerve damage, partial paralysis and traumatic pelvic conditions that require ongoing physical therapy.

Niger

Just 11% of women over 15 years old are literate 5

Kenya

Most maternal deaths are related to obstetric complications and unsafe abortions 11

Niger

Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world. The average Nigerien woman has 7 children. 5

Ethiopia

On average, girls receive 8 years of education 10

Worldwide

Only 1 in 50 women have access to fistula treatment 8

Ethiopia

There are 0.1 physicians per 1,000 people 10

Uganda

There are just 0.5 hospital beds per 1,000 people 13

Worldwide

Can a fistula heal on its own?
No. A fistula can only be repaired through surgery.