23 July 2019

'I didn't feel like a woman anymore', fistula survivor tells of agony of living with the condition

Welcoming a new baby into the world can bring a lot of joy for mothers – but what if the birth process brings pain, and shame, instead?

Audrey has been living with this condition for 4 years. She is a fistula survivor – a fistula is a serious injury caused by prolonged childbirth. It leaves a hole between the woman’s vagina and rectum or bladder, causing incontinence. Two million women across the world live with fistula.

As a result of the condition, Audrey says she didn’t feel like a woman anymore.

Image credit: BBC News


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Incontinence Expert

Dr Prenevin Govender completed his MBChB at the University of Cape Town in 2001. He obtained his Fellowship of the College of Urologists in 2009 and graduated with distinction for a Masters in Medicine from the University of Cape Town in 2010. His special interests include laparoscopic, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence surgery. He consults full-time at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont.

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