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Female genital circumcision/mutilation: implications for female urogynaecological health.

Int Urogynecol J. 2013 Jul 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Female genital circumcision/mutilation: implications for female urogynaecological health.

Teufel K, Dörfler DM.

Hospital of St. Poelten, St. Poelten, Austria, katharinateufel@gmx.at.

ABSTRACT

“Female genital circumcision” or “female genital mutilation”, as it is called more often, is an operation that is primarily carried out in Africa. Owing to migration, physicians are increasingly confronted with this issue in Western countries as well. A range of negative effects may result from this operation and this article aims to address consequences for female pelvic health. Special emphasis is placed on urogynaecological health consequences; in particular, on “voiding difficulties”, “recurrent urinary tract infections” and “vesicovaginal fistula”. All of these occur mostly in infibulated women, i.e. in women whose genitalia are sealed by the most severe form of circumcision. Some of the problems that may emerge as a result of the operation can be resolved by defibulation (i.e. surgical reopening of the sealed vulva). Female genital circumcision is a sensitive topic even in the area of research and reliable data are therefore scarce.

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