Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a non-medical practice conducted on a woman or child to modify or harm the genitalia. It usually entails the partial or complete elimination of the vulva. Moreover, FGM is a violation of the basic human rights of women and children.


There are four types of FGM. These include:

Type 1: This is the partly or wholly elimination of the clitoral glans or the clitoral hood.

Type 2:This is the partial or complete removal of the clitoral glans and labia minora, with or without the removal of the labia majora.

Type 3: This is the constriction of the vaginal entrance caused by the formation of a covering seal, also referred to as infibulation. The seal is made by cutting and relocating the labia majora or labia minora, either with or without excision of the clitoral hood and glans.

Type 4: This encompasses any non-medical operations that cause injury to the female genitalia, such as puncturing, penetrating, lacerating, scraping, and cauterizing the vaginal region.

Why Is It Practiced?

FGM is a highly ingrained norm in society in many nations where it is practiced because numerous societies believe genital mutilation will secure a woman’s future wedding or family honor. Also, some people equate it with religious views, although no scriptural passages prescribe it.

Does Female Genital Mutilation Offer Any Health Benefit?

FGM provides no medical advantages and hurts women and children in a range of methods. It entails the removal and damage of natural and healthy female genital tissues, as well as interfering with the natural activities of female bodies. Generally, the dangers of FGM rise with intensity and are connected with an elevated risk of health.

Immediate problems can include the following:

  • extreme discomfort
  • hemorrhage
  • enlargement of genital tissue
  • sickness
  • Infections such as tetanus
  • urinary issues
  • death.

Long-term consequences may include:

  • urinary complications and  difficulties with the cervix 
  • menstruation issues
  • wound tissues and keloid formation
  • sexual difficulties 
  • higher chance of labor difficulties and neonatal fatalities
  • psychological issues 

Subsequently, procedures may be required: for instance, closing or constriction of the vaginal opening may need the procedure of cutting open the closed vagina to enable sexual activity and deliveries. When vaginal tissue is patched numerous times, especially after pregnancy, the woman is subjected to multiple closed and open operations, raising both instant and long-term complications.

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