Female genital mutilation and other harmful practices
Health consequences of FGM
A systematic review of the health complications of female genital mutilation including sequelae in childbirth
This review was carried out to identify research data on the health complications of FGM, including the effects on childbirth and psychosexual consequences. The search for research articles on FGM revealed a total of 422 papers and reports, of which 129 were considered to hold primary data on FGM and health outcomes. Of these, 65 also contained specific information on the impact of FGM on childbirth. The rest of the 422 papers included 42 in foreign languages that were not classified as primary data, 137 review articles, and 115 more general articles (often anthropological in nature) that contained no information on the health impact of FGM. All articles are listed by category in the review, though only the ones on health outcomes are summarized.
The review shows that the health outcomes described in the papers could be classified as obstetric (including antenatal, labour, delivery, postpartum, pregnancy outcome, maternal mortality and neonatal mortality), gynaecological (including menstrual problems), psychosexual (including infertility problems), urinary problems, immediate health problems following FGM, and psychological morbidity. The full text of the systematic review can be found here.