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FGM 101

HACEY / StopCut Project / FGM 101

Health Dangers of FGM

Excessive bleeding

During the painful process of female genital mutilation, certain sensitive genital tissues or clitorial artery are cut resulting in excessive bleeding which can lead to death.

Recurrent urinary tract infection

These traditional circumcisers make use of unsterilized cutting instruments during FGM. These blades are used repeatedly for other girls and women which may cause infections and viruses to spread.

Painful sexual intercourse/difficult labour

As a result of the cutting of certain sensitive genital tissues, FGM can lead to sexual insensitivity. Victims also experience severe pain during sexual intercourse. FGM affects labour leading to high mortality rate and putting the lives of the mothers and babies in danger.

What is Female Genital Mutilation?

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the altering or total removal of the female genitalia in babies, girls or women. This procedure is typically conducted by circumcisers with limited training using a blade. More often than not, female children are cut before the age of five. Although generally, FGM can be done anytime from birth to puberty.

Nigeria is one of the four countries that account for 66% of the global FGM burden, with more than 20 million Nigerian women and girls have undergone FGM. This accounts for 10% of the global rate. Considering this, there’s a need to demystify believes, policies and cultural practices that strengthen FGM.

Types of FGM

Type I (Clitoridectormy)

Type I or Clitoridectormy involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small part of the female genital that is extremely sensitive to touch and is responsible for sexual pleasure when stimulated). In other cases, it is the removal of only the prepuce (the foreskin surrounding the clitoris). This practice results in extreme pain, damaging the woman’s sexual sensitivity and can lead to infection.

Type II (Excision)

Type II, otherwise known as Excision consists of the partial or total removal of the clitoris or the labia minora (the inner lips that surround the vagina). This is done with or without the cutting out of the labia majora (outer folds of the vulva).

Type III (Infibulation)

The Type III Female Genital Mutilation is also called Infibulation. This is the most severe form of FGM. This procedure has to do with the narrowing of the vaginal orifice (the narrowest portion of the vaginal canal). After which a covering seal is created. To form this seal, the labia minora or labia minora are cut and repositioned, leaving a small opening for the passage of urine and menstrual blood. The covering of the vaginal opening is done with or without removal of the clitoral prepuce.

In most cases, infibulation must be opened through sexual intercourse or surgery. Also, this process affects women during childbirth as cutting is required to give birth which can lead to further complications, harming both the mother and baby.

Type IV

This includes all other harmful procedures to the genitalia of women for non-medical purposes, such as pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.

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