International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation 2023 is 6 February. At least 200 million girls and women may experience long-term complications from FGM.
Female Genital Mutilation
What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?
How common is FGM?
Long Term Complications
In Female Genital Mutilation: No Health Benefits, Only Harm, dated 31 January 2023, the WHO elaborate on:
- Urinary problems (painful urination, urinary tract infections);
- Vaginal problems (discharge, itching, bacterial vaginosis and other infections);
- Menstrual problems (painful menstruations, difficulty in passing menstrual blood, etc.);
- Scar tissue and keloid;
- Sexual problems (pain during intercourse, decreased satisfaction, etc.);
- Increased risk of childbirth complications (difficult delivery, excessive bleeding, caesarean section, need to resuscitate the baby, etc.) and newborn deaths;
- Need for later surgeries: for example, the sealing or narrowing of the vaginal opening (type 3) may lead to the practice of cutting open the sealed vagina later to allow for sexual intercourse and childbirth (deinfibulation). Sometimes genital tissue is stitched again several times, including after childbirth, hence the woman goes through repeated opening and closing procedures, further increasing both immediate and long-term risks; and
- Psychological problems (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, low self-esteem, etc)”.
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