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Absence and reliance: Liberian women's experience of vaginal fistula
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6163-9690
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare. (Söderback M, Wilhelmsson E, Häggström-Nordin E.)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2722-5544
2012 (English)In: African Journal of midwifery and women's health, ISSN 1759-7374, Vol. 6, no 1, 28-34 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Childbirth entails considerable risk in developing countries. A prolonged labour process can cause the woman sustained injuries and lead to the death of the unborn child. Many women in Africa suffer from vaginal fistulas, causing a constant leakage of urine and/or faeces. The aim of this study was to explore and describe women's experiences of living with fistulas and how the condition affects their daily life. An ethnographic-inspired design involving observation, group- and individual conversations, was carried out at a gynaecological ward at a rural hospital in Liberia with 14 women. The reflexive analysis during fieldwork revealed two main themes in the women's experiences: absence and reliance. The results demonstrate that the women felt a loss of control over a perceived traumatic birth, loss of the dead child, loss of status as a woman and wife and loss of social fellowship. They also felt a loss of self-confidence. In contrast, the women relied on their belief and trust in God to help them with the difficult situation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 6, no 1, 28-34 p.
Keyword [en]
Labor Complications, Vaginal Fistula, Urinary Incontinence, Liberia
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Care Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-21874OAI: diva2:655216
Available from: 2013-10-10 Created: 2013-10-10 Last updated: 2016-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Söderbäck, MajaHäggström-Nordin, Elisabet
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