Home News VVF not caused by early marriage – Gynaecologist

VVF not caused by early marriage – Gynaecologist

by Muhammad Sani

By Asma’u Ahmad

A Consultant Gynaecologist at College of Medicine, Lagos State University (LASU), has debunked the myths that Vesicovaginal Fistula is caused by teenage pregnancy and early motherhood.

Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, Dr. Fatima Akinlusi said such cases were also prevalent among women in their 30s and above, adding that most of the traditional birth attendants patronised by women cannot recognise the signs and symptoms of poor progress in labour hence resulted VVF.

She said: “VVF is prevalent in Nigeria especially the Northern part of the country, not just because of early marriage, but because many of the women lacked access to standard health facilities.

“Quite a number of women who suffer from VVF are, as a result of not visiting the hospitals for their antenatal care where they can be properly managed, treated and giving birth with the help of skilled birth attendants.”

According to her, many of these women seek medical care in uncertified places due to their individual beliefs, ignorance and financial constraints.

Dr. Akinlusi said that many of the victims, however, continued to live with the condition for a long period of time without the knowledge that it could be cured through surgery.

She called on the three tiers of government to improve the healthcare system that would enable women to get access to antenatal care and skilled birth attendants.

“There is also the need to sensitise our rural women on the importance of hospital delivery and the causes, prevention and available treatment of the condition,” she said.

She described VVF as a major cause of unnecessary and avoidable suffering in women, saying the condition was preventable, if people would adhere to the best practices and medical advice.

The gynaecologist said vaginal fistula is an abnormal opening of the tract that connects the vagina to the bladder that allows the continuous involuntary discharge of the urine into the vaginal vault.

“It is caused mostly by complications during childbirth, like prolonged and obstructed labour, and it happens mostly where women have no access to quality healthcare.

“After days of pushing, a baby does not fit to pass through the birth canal; therefore severe vaginal, bladder, or rectal damage occurs leading to fistulas,” she explained.

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