Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation Chapter 5: Clinical Issues

Female genital mutilation, especially in its more extensive forms, is permanently scarring both physically and mentally. Its impacts are lifelong and often severe.

Sometimes FGM is fatal. Its victims do not always become ‘survivors’ in any sense of the word.

Some girls or women who undergo mutilation die in the immediate and short-term aftermath of the abuse, and later on more will die as a result of difficulties in childbirth or because of long-term conditions including fistula. Babies born to women with FGM are also at risk and sometimes die because of the obstetric complications it can cause.

The United Nations, the World Health Organization and many other international and professional bodies1 are unanimous in asserting there is no positive benefit to FGM. They insist unequivocally that it must never be promoted or conducted as a medical procedure – which happens for instance in Kenya, Indonesia, Egypt and Malaysia, and which routinely puts the lives and well-being of those who undergo it at risk.

TOPICS CONSIDERED in Chapter 5 of the book Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation:

Health impacts of FGM   Discuss

Morbidity and mortality arising from FGM    Discuss

Re-infibulation    Discuss

‘Medicalisation’ of FGM    Discuss

Medical care and other provision    Discuss

Remediation of FGM    Discuss

Mandatory reporting    Discuss

Evidence and examination    Discuss

Psychological and psychiatric issues    Discuss

The preventative approach    Discuss

Consent, cosmetic genital surgery and gender reassignment    Discuss

* Any other issues concerning clinical aspects of FGM?    Discuss

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