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Is there an association between female circumcision and perinatal death?

Bull World Health Organ vol.80 no.8 Genebra Aug. 2002

Is there an association between female circumcision and perinatal death?

Birgitta Essén, Birgit Bödker, N-O. Sjöberg, Saemundur Gudmundsson, P-O. Östergren, & Jens Langhoff-Roos

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In Sweden, a country with high standards of obstetric care, the high rate of perinatal mortality among children of immigrant women from the Horn of Africa raises the question of whether there is an association between female circumcision and perinatal death. 
METHODS: To investigate this, we examined a cohort of 63 perinatal deaths of infants born in Sweden over the period 1990–96 to circumcised women. 
FINDINGS: We found no evidence that female circumcision was related to perinatal death. Obstructed or prolonged labour, caused by scar tissue from circumcision, was not found to have any impact on the number of perinatal deaths. 
CONCLUSION: The results do not support previous conclusions that genital circumcision is related to perinatal death, regardless of other circumstances, and suggest that other, suboptimal factors contribute to perinatal death among circumcised migrant women.

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