HISTORY

Obstetric fistula has likely been around as long as women have been having babies. The earliest record that we have is an Egyptian mummy, Queen Henheit, who was found to have had an obstetric fistula back in 2050 BC. 

Art and Picture Collection,  The New York Public Library . (1907).  Outer coffin of Touiyou.

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1907). Outer coffin of Touiyou.

Dr. J. Marion Sims, although controversial for his performing surgeries on African American Slaves, was able to develop a surgical procedure to treat obstetric fistula which was the precursor to what is used today to cure patients.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection,  The New York Public Library . (1883-11-16).  The late Dr. J. Marion Sims (from a photograph by Sarony.)

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. (1883-11-16). The late Dr. J. Marion Sims (from a photograph by Sarony.)

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division,  The New York Public Library . (1915).  Windsor plantation; [View of African American women working in the cotton field.]

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. (1915). Windsor plantation; [View of African American women working in the cotton field.]

Until the advent of Caesarian Section surgery, there were many women in the United States with Obstetric fistula. There was even a fistula hospital in New York City, however, after the development of  Caesarian Sections this hospital was torn down and is now the site of the Waldorf Astoria.

Photographer unknown, please forgive our lack of acknowledgement.

Photographer unknown, please forgive our lack of acknowledgement.