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Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation is estimated to effect a staggering 66, 000 women living within the UK and that a further 20, 000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk to it. However it can be said that the true extent of the crime is unknown due to the ‘hidden nature’ of it.

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

Sometimes being referred to as female circumcision is any procedure in which intentionally alters or causes injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure causes unnecessary physical, mental and emotional harm to young girls and is now highlighted as a form of child abuse.   
How is it allowed to happen?

To go un-noticed girls may be taken out of the UK to their countries of origin so that FGM can be carried out there. It often happens during the summer holidays so that there is time to ‘heal’ before they return to school in the autumn. However there is growing concerns that some procedures are being performed within the UK.

(Photo courtesy of Gallery Hip)

Who performs the procedures?

The procedure is normally performed by an untrained woman who has no connection to the medical profession. It can be executed with knifes, blades, glass shards, scalpels and scissors and there is normally no anaesthetics and antiseptics used, with girls frequently having to forcibly restrained.
What are the types of FGM?

  1. Clitoridectomy – This is the removal of part or all of the clitoris
  2. Excision – This is the removing of part or all of the clitoris and the inner labia (these are the lips that surround the vagina), it can also be with or without the removal of the labia majora (larger outer lips)
  3. Infibulation – This is the procedure by which the vaginal opening is narrowed through the creation of a seal. This is formed by cutting and repositioning the labia.
  4. Other harmful procedures – Any other harm or injury caused to the female genitals, this can include pricking, piercing and burning the area.
    What are the effects of FGM?

(Photo courtesy of Florals and Pearl Print Journal)

There is no health benefits associated with FGM and the procedure interferes with the natural functioning’s of the girls/ woman’s body. The effects range from immediate to long term on to the psychological and mental health problems it ignites.

  1. Immediate effects – These include such things as severe pains, shock, bleeding, the inability to urinate and damage to other organs that are nearby such as the bowel. With it also sometimes causing death.
  2. Long term effects –These can include things like, abnormal periods, chronic vaginal and pelvic infections, kidney troubles with the potential for kidney failure, complications during pregnancy’s and high rates of new-born deaths and the need for later surgery to allow for intercourse and child birth where during childbirth flashbacks can occur.
  3. Psychological and mental health problems – It is seen as an extremely traumatic experience from accounts taken from victims of FGM. The victims report feelings of betrayal by their parents, along with regret and anger.

What is the legal situation?

FGM is very much illegal within the UK, as well as it being illegal for the arrangement of a child to be taken out of the country for FGM to take place. If offenders are caught they face a large fine and a possible jail term of up to 14 years.

If you have been affected by anything within this article or have any questions surrounding the subject then do not hesitate to get into contact with us here at CHYPS  Plus. Alternatively you can seek advice from your school nurse or any other  medical profession.

(Photo courtesy of New Design Group)

Related Questions

  • Age: 14
    Gender: Female

    Question:

    ive got a blood test in a couple of weeks and im scared coz I've been told they inject into ur vein, could you tell me what they really do because im dreading it :/

    Answer:

    A blood test is a very routine test, and the person doing it will be very proficient. A very thin needle is inserted into a vein, usually in the bend of your arm where veins are prominent, and a small amount of blood is taken out.  It can be uncomfortable but not really painful; the thought of it is worse than the reality. 

    It is possible to have some numbing cream put on beforehand. This takes about 20-40 minutes to work, so sometimes it is better to get it over with quickly than get even more anxious while waiting for the cream to work!

  • Age: 14
    Gender: Female

    Question:

    ive had a bladder problem for over half of my life, and its got worse. ive just managed to get some medication for it, would i be on them for long?

    Answer:

    As you have had this condition for most of your life you probably have a specialist or your doctor who sees you regularly. If this is the case its probably best to speak with them as they will have good picture of the history. Having said that we would be very happy to talk through your condition and treatment and help clarify any questions or concerns you may have. Naturally we would need more information which would best shared in a private consultation. If you are local please drop in to one of our clinics or if you are further away give us a call and we can talk on the phone.

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