Back to Health A to Z. Female genital mutilation FGM is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there's no medical reason for this to be done. It's also known as female circumcision or cutting, and by other terms, such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others.
When Saffiatu Sillah was growing up in the west African nation of Sierra Leone, her clitoris was cut off in a ritual circumcision. She was left with scar tissue that caused pain during sex and agony during childbirth. After her second child was born, Sillah, a pharmacist then living in Philadelphia, searched for medical help.
Saffiatu Sillah, whose circumcision caused her to endure agonizing pain during the births of her children, Mijan Kamara, foreground, and Jaria Kamara, asked a surgeon to help her. Credit Credit. By Pam Belluck.
Female genital mutilations is a widespread practice in the 4th most populous nation in the world. Here's why. Unicef says million women and girls living today have undergone female genital mutilation.
Camila Domonoske. A federal judge in Michigan has dropped most of the charges against a Detroit doctor accused of female genital mutilation, concluding that Congress "overstepped its bounds" when it passed a law banning the practice. That law violates the Constitution and is unenforceable, the judge concluded, because in general, criminal law is left to the states — and female genital mutilation should be no exception.
Although some consider it a human rights infringement, others view it as an integral part of cultures in which it remained unchallenged for centuries. There are significant medical sequelae and public health ramifications of female circumcision; therefore most U. However, although there is ample media and political attention to this volatile issue, there is a relative dearth of practical, clinical information available to providers who care for circumcised women and their families.
Clitoridectomy and infibulation, commonly known as female circumcision, are practices found in many African cultures. The reasons for their development are not known. They are deeply embedded, however, in cultures where they occur because they affect the very definition of what it is to be female.
According to the World Health Organization WHOFGM includes all procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice has no health benefits for girls and women, says the WHO, adding it can cause long-term physical and psychological harm. There is no clinical evidence to show that it has negative health impacts or causes any kind of psychological trauma.