Female Mutilation

Female circumcision comprises of four major procedures that entail mutilation of the external part of the female genitalia either partially or completely. Moreover, female circumcision may cause injury to some parts of the body, and hence, its objectives have not been known to hold any medical significance. Clitoridectomy is one of the most common female mutilation procedures, and it entails cutting of the clitoris or the skin covering the clitoris better known to as the prepuce. According to the World Health Organization (2012), clitoridectomy is commonly practiced in most African countries, particularly in the north-eastern, eastern, and western regions. In addition, clitoridectomy is a common female mutilation procedure in some Asian communities and the Arab world. Moreover, migrants from these regions who are living elsewhere in the world tend to carry on with the practice. In most cases, clitoridectomy is targeted at girls aged 15 and below, and in some cases, particularly in Africa, adult women are also affected. 

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On the other hand, studies indicate that clitoridectomy does not have any health benefits. This implies that there are many complications associated with clitoridectomy. According to Leeming et al. (2009), women who have undergone clitoridectomy are more vulnerable to many obstetric and gynecologic complications compared to those who have never been circumcised. Here, it is important to note that circumcised women are exposed to many obstetric complications such as difficulties during birth, episiotomies, perineal tears, and severe hemorrhages. However, more immediate complications of clitoridectomy may include damage to the external parts of the female genitalia such as the urethral meatus, perineum, rectum, and Bartholin’s glands.

Moreover, women who have undergone clitoridectomy may experience severe hemorrhages, shock, infections to the external female genitalia, urine retention, and fever. Other long-term complications may include vulvar abscesses, difficult menstruation, lack of orgasm, and urinary tract infections. On the other hand, studies indicate that clitoridectomy serves many cultural purposes, which may include controlling sexual desire, the rite of passage from childhood to early adulthood, and limiting sexual pleasure in young women (Leeming et al., 2009). However, it should be known that clitoridectomy has no health benefits, but many health complications, and hence, it should be discouraged regardless of the underlying cultural significance.

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