Immediate health consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
1-page key messages
Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) has been performed in various forms for millennia and involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. In this systematic review we addressed harm occurring during the cutting or alteration modification process and the short-term period.
We included 56 observational studies that documented immediate complications. There were 14 studies in which two or more groups of girls and women with different types of FGM/C were compared with regards to the occurrence of one or more acute complications. There are three main findings:
- The most common immediate FGM/C complications were: pain, excessive bleeding, swelling, problems with wound healing, urine retention.
- The girls and women undergoing FGM/C often suffered more than one immediate complication.
- There were few differences in risk of immediate complications among different types of FGM/C, but there might be a greater risk of immediate complications for women with FGM/C type III (infibulation) compared to types I-II.
There was evidence of under-reporting of complications. However, the findings show that the FGM/C procedure unequivocally causes immediate, and typically several, health complications during the FGM/C procedure and the short-term period. Each of the most common complications occurred in more than one of every ten girls and women who undergo FGM/C. The participants in these studies had FGM/C types I through IV, thus immediate complications such as bleeding and swelling occur in setting with all forms of FGM/C. Even FGM/C type I and type IV 'nick', the forms of FGM/C with least anatomical extent, presented immediate complications. The results document that multiple immediate and quite serious complications can result from FGM/C. These results should be viewed in light of long-term complications, such as obstetric and gynecological problems, and protection of human rights.
>1-page key messages
3-page executive summary
Obstetric consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
(Rapport fra Kunnskapssenteret nr 06 - 2013)
Factors promoting and hindering the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
(Rapport fra Kunnskapssenteret nr 23 - 2010)
Psychological, social and sexual consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C): a systematic review of quantitative studies
(Rapport fra Kunnskapssenteret nr 13 - 2010)
Effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting
(Rapport fra Kunnskapssenteret nr 25 - 2009)