Female circumcision: a report of four adolescents.

J Adolesc Health. 1995 Aug;17(2):128-32.

Female circumcision: a report of four adolescents.

Walker LR, Morgan MC.

University of California, San Diego 94143, USA.

PIP: Although female circumcision is not traditionally performed in the US, health professionals must consider the possibility when seeing a female patient from central Africa that she may have been circumcised. A genital examination
should therefore be part of such women’s routine health maintenance. Pertinent genitourinary symptoms which may be secondary to the circumcision should be elicited. When pelvic exam is difficult or impossible in a patient, pelvic sonography can supplement rectal exam when pelvic pathology is suspected. Some adolescents may desire reconstructive surgery, while others will want only symptomatic treatment if complications arise. It is also important to create a comfortable environment in which relevant psychosocial issues may be discussed as the young women become acculturated into Western society. Four cases of recently immigrated, circumcised adolescent females from Somalia are reported. It is not illegal to perform female circumcision in the US, but efforts are being made to create and implement such legislation. When parents present requesting a circumcision for their daughter, they must be given information about the risks and complications of the procedure and its outcome. Culturally sensitive counseling should be offered to help the family make its decision.

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