Antenatal birth preparedness and complication readiness among women who have undergone female genital mutilation in North Eastern Kenya in 2015
Background: Female genital mutilation (FGM) causes a wide range of obstetric complications with associated poor pregnancy outcomes. Antenatal care (ANC) provides an ideal opportunity for birth preparedness and complication readiness in women with FGM.
Objective of the study: To assess birth preparedness and complication readiness following antenatal care visits among women who have undergone female genital mutilation in North Eastern Kenya.
Study design: Descriptive cross sectional
Study Setting: Garissa Level 5 Hospital, Kenya (GL5H)
Study Participants: 311 postnatal mothers who had received antenatal care
Results: The prevalence of FGM was found to be 85%. 80% mothers attended 2 or more antenatal visits and started at least by 14 weeks gestation. Of these, only 4% (11/263) were asked about type of FGM they had undergone, while only 6% (15/263) were examined for FGM status during their antenatal visits. On birth complications associated to FGM, only 11% (29/263) were informed about bleeding, episiotomy and perineal tears, 9% (24/263) were informed about poor neonatal outcomes, 10% (26/263) were informed about need to deliver in an emergency obstetric care (EmOC) facility. Of the 85% who had undergone FGM, 7% (19/263) were informed about de-infibulation and 5% (13/263) about re-infibulation. Only 7% (18/263) were informed about reduction in dyspareunia, reduction in dysmenorrhoea and increase in urine passage after delivery.
Conclusion: Antenatal care, which offers an opportunity for prevention of obstetric complications and better pregnancy outcomes among women who have undergone female genital mutilation, is underutilized.