Female Genital Mutilation FGM

fmg female genital mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation FGM

The arrest of Detroit female physician who was performing female genital mutilation fgm has increased awareness of this procedure that has occurred right here in the United States,

According to  The United States  Department of Justice,

“A Detroit Emergency Room physician was charged by complaint for performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on minor females.”

“According to the complaint, some of the minor victims allegedly traveled interstate to have Nagarwala perform the procedure. The complaint alleges that Nagarwala performed FGM on girls who were approximately 6 to 8 years old. This is believed to be the first case brought under 18 U.S.C. 116, which criminalizes FGM.”

“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls. It is also a serious federal felony in the United States,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch.”

What is female genital mutilation fgm?

According to The World Health Organization,

“Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”

How common is female genital mutilation fgm?

According to the the WHO,

“More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated

The World Health Organization’s statement on female genital mutilation,

“FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.”

Female genital mutilation fgm Information

There is no medical benefit of female genital mutilation fgm.

Female genital mutilation  fgm is mostly commonly performed on young girls between infancy and age 15.

Female genital mutilation fgm is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

WHO strongly urges health professionals not to perform such female genital mutilation fgm.

Why is female genital mutilation performed?

According to the World health Organization

“Where FGM is a social convention (social norm), the social pressure to conform to what others do and have been doing, as well as the need to be accepted socially and the fear of being rejected by the community, are strong motivations to perpetuate the practice. In some communities, FGM is almost universally performed and unquestioned.”

How is female genital mutilation fgm performed?

female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation fgm is performed in a number of different ways. Some of the procedures include,

Partial or total removal of the clitoris.

Partial or total removal of the clitoris along with labia minora and labia majora.

Narrowing  of the vaginal opening

To the left is a normal vagina wth the parts identified (Photo credit Wikimedia Commons)

Click to see image of a vagina after  female genital mutilation fmg.

 

Complications of female genital mutilation fgm include

Bleeding from the procedure

Infections from the procedure which can lead to death

Scar tissue and keloid development. Keloids are an overgrowth of scar tissue that causes the scar to raise, they can be painful.

Scarring of the vagina can reduce the drainage of menstrual blood and normal vaginal secretions leading to increased infections.

Pain

Problems urinating

Difficulty with childbirth

Female genital mutilation fgm and childbirth

An article published in BMC InternationaL Health Human Rights  Journal found that,

“European and North American studies of health care professionals’ knowledge, perception and management of birth for women who have experienced FGC have found significant gaps in knowledge and clinical practice related to the delicate and complex nature of care required]. Unfamiliarity, subtle discomfort and lack of guidelines or uptake of the latter may induce serious mismanagement of infibulation during delivery associated with the risk of psychological harm]. In addition, unnecessary caesarean sections have been reported among women from practicing countries due to the lack of familiarity and overall discomfort of Canadian health care professionals with the practice of infibulation”

Reducing female genital mutilation

The World health Organization believes that education can help eradicate female genital mutation.

Questions about the  Detroit female genital mutilation case

Most children are required to have a wellness visit once a year, the schools require them.

I ask myself why wasn’t this picked up sooner.

Who was (were) the pediatrician/family practitioner (s) who were performing the exams?

Were they aware of what was going on and chose to look the other way?

Were they too uncomfortable performing genital exams on minors?

Do most of you reading this post believe that speaking about genitals are taboo in our society?

My daughter is not particularly fond of wellness visits, she is extremely private and even at a young age of 5 she knew that it was odd that someone was looking at her vagina. The pediatrician explained the importance of an exam and reassured her.

Some parents reluctant to have their children examined?  There are many reasons for this and it can become a tense situation.

Do you have any thoughts on female genital mutilation?

I know that this topic is outside my usual health and fitness post but it is important and I wanted to do my part in bring awareness to procedures being performed right here in the United States.

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About Sharon T McLaughlin MD FACS 232 Articles
I am a physician who is interested in providing health information and health tips so that we may live healthy lives.

10 Comments

  1. Thank you for providing clarity on what female genital mutilation really involves. So very sad the atrocities that women suffer around the world still today. Even more frightening to learn that it has happened here in the US. I do understand that people do practice their traditions when they come here I just always assume the worst would be left behind due to the laws. However, secrets always hide and protect the most horrible acts.

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