Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed. It is carried out for a number of cultural and social reasons in some countries, but no religious text advocates for FGM. There are no health benefits to it.
It may be called other names such as:
- female circumcision
It is illegal to perform FGM, and also illegal to take a child to another country to have it done.
Types of FGM
There are 4 types of FGM:
Type I — Partial or total removal of the clitoris
Type II — Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora
Type III — Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal
Type IV — All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization
- constant pain
- pain and/or difficulty having sex
- repeated infections, which can lead to infertility
- bleeding, cysts and abscesses
- problems passing urine or incontinence
- depression, flashbacks and self-harm
- problems during labour and childbirth, which can be life-threatening for mother and baby
Help is available if you've had FGM or you're worried that you or someone you know is at risk.
If someone is in immediate danger, contact the police immediately by dialling 999.
- If you're concerned that someone may be at risk, contact the NSPCC helpline on 0800 028 3550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you're under pressure to have FGM performed on your daughter, ask the school nurse or GP for help, or contact the NSPCC helpline.
- If you've had FGM, you can get help. Contact your GP for further information
FGM support clinics
African Well Woman's Clinic – Guy's & St Thomas'
Contact: Miatta Kpakra, FGM Specialist Midwife
Tel: 020 7188 6872
African Women's Health Clinic – Whittington Hospital
Contact: Joy Clarke
Tel: 020 7288 3482 ext 5954 Mobile: 07825 034 665
African Women's Clinic – University College Hospital
Contact: Yvonne Saruchera, Service manager
Tel: 0845 155 5000
St Mary's Hospital – Gynaecology & Midwifery Departments
Contacts: Zuriash Amare, Specialist FGM midwife
Tel: 020 3312 1060
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital FGM Service
Tel: 07812 378 363
The Department of Health and Social Care has published leaflets for patients who want to know more about FGM.
These are available in the following languages:
Mwy o wybodaeth am FGM – Welsh version (PDF, 164kb)
ስለ ኤፍ ጂ ኤም ተጨማሪ መረጃ – Amharic version (PDF, 472kb)
مزيد من المعلومات حول ختان الإناث – Arabic version (PDF, 228kb)
FGM اطلاعات بیشتر درباره – Farsi version (PDF, 207kb)
Renseignements complémentaires sur les MGF – French version (PDF, 167kb)
Informasi selengkapnya tentang FGM – Indonesian version (PDF, 160kb)
FGM زانیاری زیاتر دەربارەی – Kurdish Sorani version (PDF, 245kb)
Macluumaad dheeraad ah ee ku saabsan FGM – Somali version (PDF, 170kb)
Habari zaidi kuhusu ukeketaji wa wanawake – Swahili version (PDF, 160kb)
ብዛዕባ ኤፍ ጂ ኤም ተወሳኺ ሓበሬታ – Tigrinya version (PDF, 491kb)
ایف جی ایم کے بارے میں مزید معلومات – Urdu version (PDF, 235kb)