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The issue of reinfibulation.

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2010 May;109(2):93-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2010.01.001. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

The issue of reinfibulation.

Serour GI.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research, Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. giserour1@link.net

ABSTRACT

Reinfibulation is resuturing after delivery or gynecological procedures of the incised scar tissue resulting from infibulation. Despite the global fight against female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), reinfibulation of previously mutilated or circumcised women is still performed in various countries around the world. A good estimate of the prevalence of reinfibulation is difficult to obtain, but it can be inferred that 6.5-10.4million women are likely to have been reinfibulated worldwide. Women who undergo reinfibulation have little influence on the decision-making and are usually persuaded by the midwife or birth attendant to undergo the procedure immediately following labor or gynecological operation. Although medicalization of reinfibulation may reduce its immediate risks, it has no effect on the incidence of long-term risks. Reinfibulation is performed mainly for the financial benefit of the operator, and cultural values that have been perpetuated for generations. Reinfibulation has no benefits and is associated with complications for the woman and the unborn child. Its medicalization violates the medical code of ethics and should be abandoned. International and national efforts should be combined to eradicate this practice.

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