The MASIC Foundation supports women who have suffered serious injuries during childbirth - known as 3rd and 4th degree tears or OASI (Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury). OASI is a leading cause of bowel incontinence in women and can have a devastating impact on quality of life - affecting a woman’s long-term health, relationships, quality of life, and employment.
In addition to bowel incontinence, women with OASI often experience other symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction long-term such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, nerve damage and impaired sexual function.
Many women with OASI will also experience mental health issues such as postnatal depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, difficulties in bonding with their babies, and the fear of having another child.
Despite these serious impacts, few people seem to know about problems following severe perineal trauma. The reasons can include:
Women who have sustained these injuries often suffer in silence due to societal stigma and shame. This results in social isolation and a delay in support and treatment.