Two painful and often debilitating conditions that continue to plague women of developing countries post childbirth are uterine prolapse and obstetric fistula. You can read additional information about these conditions below.
Many of the risk factors to such conditions are early pregnancy, poor child spacing practices, improper delivery techniques, unsupervised births, prolonged labour, and resuming heavy work too soon after childbirth. All of which are commonplace in developing countries.
Women with these conditions can suffer from incontinence, irritation and pain, abcesses, and difficulty or prevention from future pregnancies. In developing countries, this can lead to social isolation, abuse and abandonment.
Once identified, women suffering from these conditions can be treated and assisted to a full recovery and alleviated of the physical and emotional burdens that once debilitated them.
Open Heart International is currently implementing projects in Nepal for women suffering uterine prolapse and obstetric fistula.
Recent population-based estimates by the World Health Organisation reveal that in Nepal one in every ten women of reproductive age is suffering from uterine prolapse.
The average cost to provide surgery and dramatically improve the quality of one woman's life is $300.
Uterine Prolapse is a downward displacement of the uterus from its normal location inside the pelvis. It ranges from first to third degree in severity, where in the most extreme cases, the uterus extends outside of the body.
Normally held in place by a number of muscles and ligaments, the uterus slips from position when these ligaments and muscles become so weak they can no longer support the uterus.
Obstetric Fistula is a hole in the birth canal, a disorder that is directly linked to one of the major causes of maternal mortaliy, obstructed labour.
The fistula normally develops during prolonged labour when casarean section cannot be accessed. During the prolonged birth, the unborn child will press against the birth canal, reducing blood flow and causing disintegration of the tissue.