Get to know more about female circumcision and its impact on he alth

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Get to know more about female circumcision and its impact on he alth
Get to know more about female circumcision and its impact on he alth

Female circumcision is a procedure that involves removing part or all of the external female genitalia. Female circumcision is not performed for medical reasons, and can actually have a negative impact on he alth

The term female circumcision is actually not correct. A more appropriate term for this procedure is female genital mutilation. This is because it is not only the foreskin or the fold of skin that surrounds the clitoris that is removed in this procedure, but also the clitoris itself.

Get to know more about female circumcision and its impact on he alth - Alodokter

Female circumcision or female genital mutilation is quite common in Africa and the Middle East. It is estimated that more than 200 million women worldwide have undergone this procedure. The majority of these women are circumcised before they are 15 years old.

Since 1997, this procedure has been banned from being practiced. Apart from being carried out without medical skills or indications, female circumcision also has a negative impact on he alth.

Female Circumcision and its Types

The World He alth Organization (WHO) defines female circumcision or female genital mutilation as any procedure that involves the removal of part or all of the external female genitalia.

Female circumcision is generally performed for social and cultural reasons. In some cultures, this procedure is a requirement for a woman to marry. While in some other cultures, female circumcision is a form of respect for a woman to her family.

In general, there are four types of female circumcision, namely:

  • Type 1

    This type of female circumcision is also known as a clitoridectomy. In this type, part or all of the clitoris is removed.

  • Type 2

    In type 2 female circumcision, not only part or all of the clitoris is removed, but also the labia. The labia are the inner and outer "lips" that surround the vagina.

  • Type 3

    In type 3 female circumcision, the labia are sewn together to make the vaginal opening smaller. This type of female circumcision is also known as infibulation.

  • Type 4

    Female circumcision type 4 includes all types of procedures that damage the female genitals for non-medical purposes, including piercing, cutting, scraping, or burning.

About 90% of cases of female circumcision belong to type 1, 2, or 4. While the rest, which is about 10% or more, are type 3 female circumcision.

The Impact of Female Circumcision on He alth

Female circumcision is a dangerous practice and can be bad for he alth. Therefore, the World He alth Organization (WHO) opposes all forms of female circumcision and strongly urges he althcare providers not to perform this procedure even if the patient or patient's family requests it.

Unlike male circumcision, female circumcision does not have any he alth benefits. On the other hand, this procedure can actually cause various complaints, such as:

1. Mental he alth problems

Female circumcision can make women who undergo it experience psychological trauma and depression. If sustained, this mental disorder can even lead to suicidal ideation.

2. Cyst

Female circumcision is at risk of causing cysts and abscesses to form.

3. Bleeding

Bleeding can occur due to the cutting of blood vessels in the clitoris or other blood vessels around the genitals during the female circumcision procedure.

4. Interference in having sex

Damaging the very sensitive genital tissue, especially the clitoris, can cause decreased sexual desire, pain during sex, difficulty with penile penetration, decreased lubrication during intercourse, and reduced or absent orgasm (anorgasmia).

5. Constant pain

Cutting nerve endings and genital tissue can cause excruciating pain. Not only that, the healing period is also painful.

6. Infection

Infection can occur due to the use of used and contaminated tools. Many types of infections can occur as a result of this procedure. One of them is tetanus which can cause death.

7. Urinary disorders

Women who undergo female circumcision may experience urinary problems, such as pain when urinating or even being unable to urinate.

8. Disturbances in childbirth

Due to the narrowing of the birth canal, female circumcision, especially in type 3, can cause difficult delivery, tears in the birth canal, bleeding after delivery, and prolonged labor that threatens the lives of both mother and baby.

Therapies for Women Undergoing Female Circumcision

To reduce the problems caused by female circumcision, an operation to open the vagina can be performed, also known as deinfibulation. However, please note that this procedure cannot replace lost tissue or restore damage that has already been done.

Deinfibulation surgery is usually recommended for the following conditions:

  • Women who cannot have sex or have difficulty urinating
  • Pregnant women who are at risk of experiencing problems during childbirth

Deinfibulation must be done before pregnancy. However, if forced, this operation can still be done during pregnancy, but ideally should be before the last 2 months of pregnancy.

The operation is performed by making an incision to open the scar tissue above the vaginal entrance. This procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia and the patient does not need to be hospitalized afterward. However, in some cases, general anesthesia or an injection in the back (epidural) is required.

The point is, female circumcision is not a procedure done for he alth reasons. On the contrary, undergoing this procedure can cause many he alth problems.

If you or someone around you has undergone female circumcision and feels the various complaints described above, see a doctor immediately so they can be treated.

Written by:

dr. Sonny Seputra, M.Ked.Klin, Sp.B, FINACS(Surgeon Specialist)

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