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What is the husband stitch?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

Many women in Massachusetts have been unwitting victims of female genital mutilation. A medical procedure nicknamed the “husband stitch” is sometimes performed on women post-childbirth without their consent.

Most women don’t know it happened to them

Since the 1950s, obstetricians have sometimes sewn an extra stitch while repairing vaginal tears and episiotomies after childbirth. The purpose of the extra stitch is to tighten the woman’s vagina and increase sexual pleasure for her male partner. Most women are not asked for their consent before the extra stitch is sewn, and there can be adverse side effects of the husband stitch.

Sewing the husband stitch is medical malpractice

The husband stitch is not an accepted medical procedure, and performing this procedure on a woman without her permission is considered medical negligence. Some of the adverse side effects of the husband stitch include:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Longer recovery time after birth
  • Painful sex
  • Swelling
  • Infections

No one knows how common it is

While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that women are still undergoing this procedure, there have been no scientific studies on the prevalence of it. Episiotomy and tearing are common during vaginal births, but no one knows how often obstetricians use an extra stitch during the repair.

You may have been a victim

If you have experienced chronic vaginal pain since giving birth, your obstetrician may have performed the husband stitch without your knowledge. You could be entitled to compensation for your increased medical expenses as well as your pain and suffering. You may want to gather your medical records from the hospital stay in question as well as records from subsequent obstetrics appointments.