WHGI Publications & Resources

Social and economic consequences of obstetric fistula: Life changed forever?

Publication Year: 2007
Objectives: To summarize the social, economic, emotional, and psychological consequences incurred by women with obstetric fistula; present the results of a meta-analysis for 2 major consequences, divorce/separation and perinatal loss; and report on improvements in health and self-esteem and on the possibility of social reintegration following successful fistula repair.

Methods: We conducted a review of the literature published between 1985 and 2005 on fistula in developing countries. We then performed a meta-analysis for 2 of the major consequences of having a fistula, divorce/separation and perinatal child loss.

Results: Studies suggest that surgical treatment usually closes the fistula and improves the physical and mental health of affected women.

Conclusion: With additional social support and counseling, women may be able to successfully reintegrate socially following fistula repair.


Link to File: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0020729207003633