Who develops it?

The short answer is: the poorest and most marginalized women and girls, especially those who live fare from health care services and those who cannot access or afford them- the same group most at risk of dying in childbirth.

While any woman can develop fistula, young women, adolescent or pre-adolescent girls whose bodies are not fully developed for childbearing are particularly vulnerable, which is why ending child marriage can help in the fight to end fistula. Multiple pregnancy, a baby’s breach position, malnutrition, small stature and poor health conditions also can contribute to obstructed labor.

An estimated five hundred thousand women and girls in more than 55 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Arab States and Latin America and the Caribbean are estimated to be living with fistula, with approximately 50,000 new case every year.

An estimated 500,000 women and girls in the developing world live with obstetric fistula today