What is FGM?

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FGM stands for female genital mutilation, which people also refer to as female circumcision. This procedure involves the alteration of the genital organ of a female without any medical purpose. Generally, FGM is performed for religious and cultural reasons within certain types of communities. It is regarded as an essential part of raising and preparing a girl for adulthood and marriage. Some people also believe that it is an effective way of decreasing the libido of a woman and discouraging premarital sex.

Female genital mutilation is a common practice in certain regions of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. This procedure is usually performed on infants and young girls who have not yet reached the puberty stage (infancy-15 years old). Traditionally, FGM is conducted by someone without any proper medical training or tools. It is performed with the use of scissors, knives, razor blades, or even with the use of glass pieces. No antiseptics and anaesthetics are used and some girls are restrained.

The first type of FGM is called clitoridectomy, which involves the partial or complete removal of the clitoris. The second type called excision involves the partial or complete removal of the clitoris and inner labia. In this type of FGM, the labia majora may or may not be removed. The third one which is known as infibulation, refers to the type that narrows the opening of the vagina through the repositioning of the labia. There are also other dangerous procedures by which FGM is performed, including piercing, burning, scraping, and prickling of the genital area.

FGM does not have any health benefits, in fact, this procedure may even interfere with the normal functioning of a woman’s body. Some of the immediate effects of this procedure include bleeding, extreme pain, infections (e.g., gangrene and tetanus), shock, problems with urination, and even death. In the long run, women who have undergone FGM may experience pain during sexual intercourse, irregular periods, infertility, urine infections, kidney problems, chronic infection in the vagina and pelvis, cysts, complications during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as psychological effects such as depression and anxiety.

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