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Female Circumcision is widely known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or Female Cutting. This tradition was practiced in some ethnic groups and religion, has been wiped off by some laws and still in practice in some countries. This act is deeply rooted in the Islamic region; thus, its practice in some Islamic countries. FGM according to WHO (1997) is the total or partial removal of the external female genitalia or organs for non-medical reason. The practice is non-medical because it is been carried out for ritualistic purposes.
Circumcising a female child can occur right at birth or at the puberty age by a traditional circumciser with the use of sharp razors, which are mostly unsterilized. Some women are circumcised in their old age especially when they want to marry into another clan or when after the birth of their first child. This practice varies according to traditions.
The external genitalia, that is, the vulva can be cut. Other parts of the external sexual organs that are being tampered with or removed in this process include the visible part of the clitoris, the outer and inner labia, urethral and other openings on the vagina. Holes are being left for urine, menses, sexual intercourse and childbirth. A lady that is circumcised has naturally lost her virginity.
Reasons for FGM
Female Circumcision is believed by some culture to bring honour, modesty and power to their female children. It is seen as a cultural tradition in some places. The females child in these cultures are seen as unclean until they are being circumcised. The parts of the genitals are then removed to make the child pure, clean and beautiful. Some women circumcised their daughters because they were circumcised.
The removal of the part of the clitoris, that is responsible for sexual sensation reduces sexual urge. This practice is being carried out by people so as to restrain their daughters from pre-marital sexual activities.
Effects of Female Cutting in Women
Female Genital Mutilation has no health benefits to women but rather poses risks to their health. Some of these risks are discussed in the following paragraphs.
FGM is a painful experience for ladies and accompanied by bleeding which can lead to anemia, fainting or death. Complications arise during the procedure because the practitioners are unskillful. Women that are cut experience painful sexual experience, have low sex libido while some do not enjoy sex at all. This is due to the removal of the external sexual organs.
Circumcised women find it difficult to have natural birth and many complications during birth procedures are common among these category of women. Birthing experience becomes unbearable and extremely painful for some of them. Some even bleed to death during childbirth. Childbirth is through surgical operation (Caesarian section).
The use of unsterilized equipments during circumcision exposes the female body to infections and disease. Infections such as tetanus, the formation of cysts in the ovaries and HIV/AIDS can be transmitted.
Organs such as the urethra and the passage for easy flow of urine and menstrual blood can be blocked or damaged. The ovary can also be tampered with: thus leading to infertility and inability to get pregnant and bear children.
Female Genital Mutilation is seen as a form of child violation by some organizations (both Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations) like the WHO, Human Rights Bodies, UNICEF among others. Women are exposed to physical, medical and psychological health trauma when they undergo circumcision.