Medical Effects of Female Genital Mutilation
From the Interview:
“Some of the short term effects of Female Genital Mutilation are:
-Pain from surgery
-Psychological damage to the young lady who has received this surgery.
Long term psychological damage can leave the young lady feeling like she is not normal.
Medically speaking, I don’t believe FGM provides any medical benefits. It doesn’t reduce infections, it doesn’t cure anything, it just creates complications, and short and long term pain. I can’t think of any benefits, medically.
Socially, it may have some benefits to the women, if they have to live in that culture, but only in that culture that advocates it. But once they leave that neighborhood, or that area
and move to a more westernized society, there is really no benefit that I can personally see from having female genital mutilation.
In my practice I have seen a few women who have had FGM. The most common that I’ve seen are the Type 1, or in simple English, it’s the removal of the clitoral hood or the clitoris itself.
But I don’t see the advanced ones where they have sewn the vagina completely shut. So here in America, specifically California, we see a few of them but not many, like we see in areas like Cairo, Egypt, where I have a friend whose practice is 100% made up of repairing female genital mutilation. His every day work consists of repairing fgm, so there are that many cases in Egypt and Northern Africa.
If FGM is being done in the United States, it’s being done covertly, in a private office, coded differently. For example, it will be coded as vaginal repair or vaginal surgery. But in United States, it’s not well known, there are probably some being done, but it’s not well documented. No one will document it or report it, because it’s pretty much illegal.
For women who have undergone FGM, they can approach it in a couple of ways.
First, Get it repaired, medically, surgically. So find the best pelvic surgeon that you can find, whether it’s a gynecological oncologist, a urogynecologist, or even a plastic surgeon
who specializes, perhaps in sex changes. Those are the types of surgeons you would want to search out.
Secondly, perhaps just as important, they should get counseling or some kind of help in dealing with the situations that may arise, so there is not guilt involved or not issues with interpersonal relationships with a partner going forward.
So you have to hit it both ways, you can’t just fix it physically, you have to fix the mind and how it will affect personal relationships.