FGM: Female Genital Mutilation and the Psychological effects on women. 

Female Genital Mutilation comprises all procedures involving partial/total removal of the external female Genelia.  

There are 3 types of FGM:  

1) Clitoridectomy- This is the partial or total removal of the clitoris, it is a type of female circumcision in which the clit or part of the clit is sewn up, and in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris) is sewn up.  

2) Excision – Partial and/or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva). with or without excision of the labia majora (the outer folds of skin of the vulva). 

3) Infibulation – narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning of the inner/outer, labid with or without removal of the clitoris.  

There is another “option” referred to as ‘other’ - this included all other harmful procedures to female genitalia for non-medical purposes. E.g. pricking, piercing, incising scraping and cauterizing the gentile area. This is for people who find pleasure or enjoyment in piercing their vaginal area. Although it is not an actual medical procedure and not treated horribly to the extent of sewing up your vagina, however, you're harming your vagina by piercing it when it was not created as a canvas to be experimented on. It is a sensitive area that is meant to be taken care of.  

Nonetheless, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has a lot of mental health and psychological effects on women through this procedure. FGM is normally practised on young girls from the time they are born to as old as 10. The trauma a young female child feels as they are being held down by people they love, to silence their screams and cries is indescribable.  

Women, as they get older, will start to have trust issues with others and could be afraid to do any type of sexual activity with their significant other with the recurring thought always playing on her mind. The fact that it is seen as tradition and it is your close loved ones and family members who are a part of the trauma you have to live with for the rest of your life creates the barriers with the outside world.  

Furthermore, by that one experience that most likely took less than hour influences your entire life – and what is even more preposterous is the fact that, for women especially, we dream of having children when we get older and the moment you are put under the procedure at the age of an infant – 10 years old, when you have your whole life to dream of your husband and kids, it is completely stripped away from you –as infertility is more common than being able to have children, especially for those living in LIC countries. However, it is still possible to have children, but women may be put off on the idea of having children because of thoughts of anything happening to the baby or even the mother. She may also be tormented with flashbacks during labour/PTSD.