About The MASIC Foundation

About us

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: 

  • Many women prefer to keep symptoms a secret from their partners and children
  • Suffering OASI can lead women to feel they have suffered a loss of dignity
  • Seeking help is difficult and embarrassing and many GPs are unaware the problem exists
  • Health professionals are reluctant to discuss the long-term effects due to fear of frightening pregnant women
  • Lack of multi-disciplinary care within the NHS to support the complex needs of severe perineal injury

 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.

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