Background: Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) has been performed in various forms for millennia and involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. In this systematic review we addressed harm occurring during the cutting or alteration modifi cation process and the short-term period. • We included 56 observational studies that documented immediate complications. There were 14 studies in which two or more groups of girls and women with different types of FGM/C were compared with regards to the occurrence of one or more acute complications. There are three main fi ndings: • The most common immediate FGM/C complications were pain, excessive bleeding, swelling, problems with wound healing, urine retention. • The girls and women undergoing FGM/C often suffered more than one immediate complication. • There were few differences in risk of immediate complications among different types of FGM/C, but there might be a greater risk of immediate complications for women with FGM/C type III (infi bulation) compared to types I-II. • There was evidence of underreporting of complications. However, the fi ndings show that the FGM/C procedure unequivocally causes immediate, and typically several, health complications during the FGM/C procedure and the short-term period. Each of the most common complications occurred in more than one of every ten girls and women who undergo FGM/C. The participants in these studies had FGM/C types I through IV, thus immediate complications such as bleeding and swelling occur in setting with all forms of FGM/C. Even FGM/C type I and type IV ’nick’, the forms of FGM/C with least anatomical extent, presented immediate complications. The results document that multiple immediate and quite serious complications can result from FGM/C. These results should be viewed in light of long-term complications, such as obstetric and gynecological problems, and protection of human rights. More info →
The traditional practice of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) covers a range of procedures (clitoridectomy, excision, infi bulation, and other) performed on the genitals of females of different ages. This systematic review aimed to summarize empirical quantitative research describing the gynecological consequences of FGM/C on girls and women. We included 136 primary studies, 42 of which compared groups of women who had been subjected to FGM/C with women who had no or different types of genital alterations. The main finding is that FGM/C has harmful consequences for a woman’s gynecological health. We found that: • Women with FGM/C seem to be more likely than women without FGM/C to experience urinary tract infection, bacterial vaginosis, and pain during intercourse. • There seems to be a trend for women with FGM/C to be more likely than women without FGM/C to experience: burning/painful urination, problems with menstruation, vaginal discharge and vaginal itching. • There seems to be no clear trend for either a greater or lower risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among women who have undergone FGM/C. • There were insuffi cient data for us to conclude whether the risk of other gynecological complications (tissue damage, vaginal adhesions and obstructions, cysts, infertility) is different among women with FGM/C compared to women without FGM/C, and whether various FGM/C types differentially affect the risk of other gynecological complications (except regarding urinary tract infection). This systematic review found that sufficient evidence exist to concludethat women who have undergone FGM/C suffer a greater risk of gynecological complications than women who have not undergone the procedure. There were no indications of gynecological benefi ts of FGM/C. Rather, there is a real chance of under-reporting of many of the health issues covered in this systematic review. More info →
Background: Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a traditional practice that involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. This systematic review aimed to fi ll a gap in synthesized evidence of the obstetric sequelae of FGM/C. We included 44 primary studies, 28 of which compared groups of women with FGM/C to women with no or different types of genital modifi cations. More info →
Report from Kunnskapssenteret (Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services) No 13–2010 Systematic review Background: In November 2008, the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS) commissioned the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services (NOKC) to conduct a systematic review about the consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). The review would answer the question: What are the psychological, social and sexual consequences of FGM/C? More info →
Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a traditional practice that involves "the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons." The current WHO classification describes four types of FGM/C: Type I, clitoridectomy, involves partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce. Type II, excision, involves partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora. Type III, infibulation, involves narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris. Type IV, other, involves all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping, and cauterization. More info →
Meaning-making of female genital cutting: children’s perception and acquired knowledge of the ritual.
Abstract: How do girls who have undergone female genital cutting understand the ritual? This study provides an analysis of the learning process and knowledge acquired in their meaning-making process. Eighteen participants were interviewed in qualitative indepth interviews. Women in Norway, mostly with Somali or Gambian backgrounds, were asked about their experiences of circumcision. Two different strategies were used to prepare girls for circumcision, ie, one involving giving some information and the other keeping the ritual a secret. Findings indicate that these two approaches affected the girls' meaning-making differently, but both strategies seemed to lead to the same educational outcome. The learning process is carefully monitored and regulated but is brought to a halt, stopping short of critical reflexive thinking. The knowledge tends to be deeply internalized, embodied, and morally embraced. The meaning-making process is discussed by analyzing the use of metaphors and narratives. Given that the educational outcome is characterized by limited knowledge without critical reflection, behavior change programs to end female genital cutting should identify and implement educational stimuli that are likely to promote critical reflexive thinking. More info →
Abstract- The process of paradigmatic attitudinal change has been analyzed by the use of multimethods and multileveled internalization theories. Forty-six informants (a network of activists and a group of Gambian women) have described their change of attitude to female genital cutting. This study shows that internalizing a packet of information as adults, that contradicts an old schema of knowledge internalized as children, can be experienced as epistemologically very painful. Activists in Norway who have changed their attitude to FGC have got information from different educational institutions, from seminars and conferences, from work as interpreters in hospitals, and from discussions among families and friends. Information can be received, listened to and subsequently discarded. In order to design FGC-abandonment campaigns, the importance of the internalization process in order for the individual to make an attitudinal change must be understood. More info →