Female genital mutilation and other harmful practices
Health consequences of female genital mutilation
Female sexual dysfunction in lower Egypt
The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of female sexual function. One thousand married aged between 16 and 49 years were interviewed at five district medical centres Dakahlia governorate between June 2002 and April 2003. The questionnaire comprised six response items, each assessing the presence of a critical symptom or sexual problem. Response items included lacking or having reduced desire for sex, frequency of sexual activity, difficulty in arousal (e.g. erection problem in men, lubrication difficulties in women), inability to achieve orgasm, physical pain during intercourse or finding sex unpleasurable.
The researchers report that 645 (68.9%) of the women had one or more sexual problems – although many (215) women were nor distressed by these issues. As many as 108 women suffered sexual abuse as well as other sexual problems. Decrease or loss of desire was the most common sexual problem (in almost half the women), followed by arousal problems (36%) and dyspareunia (31.5%). Sexual problems were generally more common among the older women.
“Circumcision status [i.e. having undergone FGM] was associated with an elevated risk of experiencing sexual problems,” the researchers say. Some 90% of the women had undergone FGM and “this was a significant cause of sexual problems”.
1. Elnashar AM, EL-Dien Ibrahim M, EL-Desoky MM, Ali OM, El-Sayd Mohamed Hassan M. Female sexual dysfunction in lower Egypt. BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2007; 114:201–206 (doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2006.01106.x).