Female Genital Mutilation

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Female-Genital-Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a medical procedure that involves removal (partial or total) of the external female genitalia or causing other injuries to the female genital organ for non-medical reasons. Despite the health hazard the procedure poses for girls and women, FGM is concentrated in Africa and West Asia where more than 130 million girls and women have undergone the procedure in 29 countries. It is also prevalent in some Asian countries. The practice has its roots in several social, cultural and religious conventions. It is carried out on girls between infancy and the age of 15. FGM has been recognised as a violation of human rights of girls and women internationally.

Types

• Clitoridectomy: Partial or total removal of the clitoris

• Excision: Removal of the clitoris and the labia minora

• Infibulation: Narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a covering seal by repositioning the inner/outer labia

• Other: piercing, incising, scraping and cauterising the genital area

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Complications

SHORT TERM

• Immediate complications of FGM include severe pain, shock, haemorrhage, excessive blood loss, tetanus or bacterial infection, urine retention, open sores in the genital region and injury to nearby genital tissue

LONG TERM

• Urinary tract and bladder infections

• Cysts and infections

• Infertility or increased risk of childbirth complications and newborn deaths

• Need for later surgeries to undo the sealing that narrows the vaginal opening for allowing sexual intercourse/ childbirth

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