UNICEF has just released a report which shows that about 200 million women and girls globally are living with mutilated vagina otherwise called Female Genital Mutilation. Only 30 countries are involved.
According to the report, about half of the circumcised women and girls live in Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia.
Circumcision is carried out between the age of 3 months and 49 years.
Complications of the procedure which is mostly done in ill-equipped and un-hygienic environment include bleeding, infection, vaginal scarring, vaginal stenosis and obstructed labour and death.
In communities where female circumcision is practiced, it is seen as part of their culture and practitioners of the act believe those with contrary views are wrong. The belief is that if the clitoris is not excised, the woman will have insatiable appetite for sex.
Female circumcision (Female Genital Mutilation) involves the cutting off of the clitoris of the vagina, the clitoris is the most erotic part of a woman.
The procedure has been outlawed in many countries.
Bleeding is a common complication of circumcision whether female or male especially if done by traditional practitioners. These people are not trained to stop bleeding by surgical methods of sewing or tying bleeding blood vessels; they mainly apply pressure and herbs or rely on the body mechanism to stop the bleeding, this ability is dependent on several factors and varies from person to person. Bleeding could therefore be severe with the known consequences.
Most female circumcisions are not done in hospital setting, they are done in un-hygienic facilities devoid of appropriate equipment and medical consumables. The instruments are un-sterilised; the same applies to the medical consumables. Furthermore, those circumcised are not given antibiotics to prevent infection nor tutored on some post –operation activities to reduce infection.
Therefore, infection is quite common.
Female genital mutilation can involve excising some part of the vulva (minora and majora) and of course the clitoris. This could leave a bad scar on healing, if there was infection, the scar could be worse.
Apart from the cosmetic appearance, the scar could cause the vaginal opening to be narrow and inelastic.
Poor healing of circumcision especially due to severe infection can lead to scar formation as stated above which is in-elastic and so cannot expand if the need arises like during childbirth and sexual intercourse. This narrowing of the vaginal opening is called vaginal stenosis. Sex which is supposed to pleasurable becomes very painful.
A woman with vaginal stenosis could have obstructed labour which could lead to Caesarian section. With vaginal stenosis, the vaginal opening cannot expand and as such the baby cannot come out in-spite of adequate uterine contraction and pushing by the woman.
The psychological trauma caused by the pain felt during circumcision runs deep; some women never recover and do not want anyone to go down there as they believe every activity there is painful; consequently any finger apart from theirs cannot go there.
Sex to them is painful and would not want to experience it even when there is no basis for that.
Death can result from female genital mutilation (female circumcision) due to severe bleeding, severe infection and ruptured uterus; the last can occur several years later.