Effect of female genital mutilation/cutting on sexual functions.

Sex Reprod Healthc. 2016 Dec;10:3-8. doi: 10.1016/j.srhc.2016.07.002. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Effect of female genital mutilation/cutting on sexual functions.

Biglu MH, Farnam A, Abotalebi P, Biglu S, Ghavami M


BACKGROUND: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) or female circumcision is the procedure of eliminating some or all parts of the external female genitalia. FGM/C is carried out by traditional circumcisers. They usually use cutting tools like a blade or straight-razor. Although FGM/C is well described in the African continent and some Arabic countries, data from Iran are scarce.

OBJECTIVES: The major objective of this current study was to investigate the effects of FGM/C on the female sexual function of married women compared to the non-circumcised women in the Kurdistan province of Iran.

METHODS: A case-control study was conducted in a sample of 280 married women (140 circumcised-women and 140 non-circumcised-women) who referred to the healthcare centers for vaccination, midwifery, or family planning services. Participants were requested to complete the Persian-translated version of the Female Sexual Function Index.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The total score of the FSFI and its individual domains.

RESULTS: Of the circumcised women, 51.4% reported circumcision procedures before the age of 3 years. Religion motivation (53.6%) was mentioned as the most important factor for the family leading to FGM/C. Almost all operations were performed by traditional circumcisers. Non-circumcised women had significantly higher Persian-FSFI total score (25.3 ± 4.34) compared to the circumcised women (17.9 ± 5.39).

CONCLUSION: Sexual function in women with FGM/C is adversely altered. In Kurdistan province women, FGM/C is associated with reduction of scores of Persian-FSFI on all domain scores. Education in general and informing the people that FGM/C is not a religious Hadith certainly would have a great impact on the suffering of the women from FGM/C as well as the level of “desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain in the sexual function of women”.

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