Comfort Momoh: Abstract.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision, refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female organs whether for cultural or other reasons.

FGM varies across cultures, ethnic groups and tribal affiliations; there is also some variation in the type and timing of FGM within cultures, ethnicity and tribes, and across cultures. It can be and is performed on babies, young children or adolescents. Some cultures perform FGM on adults, often just before marriage or during the first pregnancy.

FGM has no medical or health benefit, it is irreversible, and its effects last a lifetime. It is commonly performed by traditional birth attendants, local women or men, or female family members. Such individuals do not have formal medical training and usually perform FGM without anaesthesia or sterilization of instruments. It is not uncommon for those who perform FGM to cut or damage more of the genital area than they intend.

Click here to return to the front page