Sexual quality of life in women who have undergone female genital mutilation: a case–control study

BJOAn International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Article first published online: 10 OCT 2012. DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.12004.

Sexual quality of life in women who have undergone female genital mutilation: a case–control study

Andersson SHA, Rymer J, Joyce DW, Momoh C, Gayle CM


Objective  To investigate the sexual quality of life of women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) and compare them with a similar group who has not undergone FGM.

Design  Case–control study.

Setting  A large central London teaching hospital.

Population  A total of 73 women who had undergone FGM and 37 control women, who had not undergone FGM but were from a similar cultural background where FGM is practiced.

Methods  The women completed a questionnaire containing the Sexual Quality of Life-Female (SQOL-F) questionnaire.

Main outcome measures  SQOL-F score.

Results  Women who have undergone FGM of any type have a significantly lower (P < 0.001) overall SQOL-F score than control women (mean = 62.44, SD = 27.93 versus mean = 88.84, SD = 13.73). Women who were sexually active and had undergone FGM type III differed the most from sexually active controls (< 0.05) in their SQOL-F score. Women who were sexually inactive but who had undergone FGM reported significantly lower overall SQOL-F scores (P = 0.015) than sexually inactive controls, but were not differentiated by type of FGM.

Conclusion  FGM significantly reduces women’s sexual quality of life, based on the results of the SQOL-F questionnaire.

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