Female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision is a procedure in which female genital organs are cut or injured for no medical reason in certain African, Asian or Middle Eastern countries for traditional, cultural or religious reasons.
It is usually carried out before puberty starts.It involves partial or total removal of external genital organs or other types of damage performed on female external genitelia.
It is against the law in most European countries and it is a form of child abuse.
It is illegal to perform Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in must European countries because it can cause many short term and long term health problems. Since most of FGM cases are performed in aseptic conditions by people who have no medical education, it can lead to life threatening infections or bleeding.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is carried out for trditional, cultural or religous reasons in some countries. It has no health benefits, in contrast it is a hazardous procedure for infants and girls leading to severe health problems related to sexual life, child bearing and mental health.
All the reasons why Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is performed are based on gender unequality. Here are several reasons why FGM is performed:
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is carried out in several African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries. It may also be performed in immigrant communities living in Europe, North America and New Zealand. Therefore it is a universal health problem.
There are 4 types of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):
There are certain health risks related to FGM procedures. These can be summarised into four categories:
Patients may have constant pain after Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). It is also common to see infections and bleeding after FGM because most procedures are performed in unhealthy aseptic conditions by people who received no medical training. These problems can even be fatal such as serious infections or unstoppable bleeding.
Sex can be very painful after Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). It also affects the women very negatively so that she may lose her desire for sex. Clitoris is an important organ for female sexual pleasure and its total removal may lead to lack of pleasure during sex.
This is a treatable condition, sensual labial tissue flaps may be used to reconstruct clitoral tissue. Pschological counselling should be offered to all women who experienced FGM to restore their sexual function.
Repeated infections after Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) may lead to infertility in some patients. FGM may also lead to problems during labour and childbirth. Treatment may be necessary for some patients to be able to get pregnant or to give vaginal birth. They should ideally be treated before pregnancy if infibulation was performed to open tha vaginal orifice.
There re no health benefits of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In contrast it has many hazardous effects on a woman’s health and some of these effects may be irreversible. FGM is a form of sexual violence and it is against human rights.
Therefore there are non-profit foundations around the world trying to educate people for the elimination of FGM.
WHO has developed a global strategy against FGM medicalisation with partner organisations and continues to support countries in its implementation.
There are surgical methods to restore the clitoris and external female genital organs harmed by FGM. These procedures are:
Woman should be offered psychotherapy and sexual therapy to improve their sexual or orgasmic functioning after Female Genital Mutilation. Although clitoral reconstruction by surgery may allow many women to become clitoral orgasmic, it should be noted that clitoris is not the only organ responsible for female orgasm and counselling may improve women’s sexual function.
A woman can give birth after treatment for Female Genital Mutilation. However the risk of several complications will beincreased such as: