The role of delayed childbearing in the prevention of obstetric fistulas

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Abstract

Objective: To examine the role of delayed childbearing in the prevention of obstetric fistulas (OFs). Methods: Data on 4798 deliveries in Niger (1995-1998), 3552 in Nigeria (1996-1999), and 6789 in Tanzania (1991-1996) were analyzed with logistic regression models. Results: Young maternal age and primiparous status were identified as correlates of prolonged/obstructed labor. The annual incidence of OFs in Nigeria was found to be 2.11 per 1000 births, with 9817 cases developing each year, 28% in women and girls younger than 20 years. The predicted proportion of women experiencing prolonged/obstructed labor would be reduced by 11.2% in Niger, 11.4% in Nigeria, and 13.1% in Tanzania if the risks associated with young maternal age at first delivery and primiparity were eliminated. Conclusions: Community programs to educate young, newly married women about delaying childbearing until they reach physical maturity should be implemented in countries with a high incidence of OFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S98-S107
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume99
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

Keywords

  • Maternal age
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Obstetric fistula
  • Obstructed labor
  • Primiparity
  • Prolonged labor
  • Stillbirth
  • Tanzania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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