Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Different but normal : stories of women who have grown up with cloacal anomalies
Author: Baker, Emily
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 3965
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2004
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study investigates the experience of growing up with the condition known as cloacal anomalies, a diagnosis given, usually at birth, if the rectum, vagina and urethra are fused into a single common channel. The main medical concerns for women with cloacal anomalies are bowel function, urinary function, sexual function and fertility. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse transcripts of interviews with each of six young women with cloacal anomalies and yielded seven main themes common to their accounts, which were distinct from the medical concerns described above. Participants were keen to be seen as normal and able to live normal lives which included sexual relationships, personal autonomy and participation in leisure activities. However, they also acknowledged that in order to achieve this they have to adapt to the restrictions imposed by the condition and so see themselves as "living a normal life, differently". The second theme alluded to was coping with uncertainty, as this was a core element in the experience of growing up with cloacal anomalies, both in terms of long-term outcome and short-term complications and restrictions. Developing a definition and understanding of the condition, negotiating the medical system, accommodating cloacal anomalies day-to-day, managing disclosure and being accepted were also themes that emerged from the accounts of the participants. An important issue raised by the research was that participants preferred older, more reliable methods of continence management that worked without complications to less visible and more technologically advanced solutions that did not. However, they felt unable to voice dissatisfaction with the solutions offered and experienced difficulties in communicating openly with medical professionals. Clinical implications of the research and applicability to areas outside of this specific condition are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available