A female undergoing a genital mutilation procedure (FGM) may have a number of complications that can affect the rest of her life. A physician caring for a woman who has undergone genital mutilation should perform a careful review of systems to detect hidden problems.



(1) transmission of viral diseases (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV)

(2) surgical site infection, with risk of necrotizing fasciitis or abscess formation

(3) hypertrophic scar or keloid

(4) damage to urethra with urinary incontinence or retention

(5) ulcer and/or fistula formation

(6) cyst formation

(7) post-traumatic neuroma

(8) hemorrhage with shock

(9) moderate to severe pain (acute and/or long-term)

(10) dyspareunia and/or sexual dysfunction

(11) infertility

(12) difficult childbirth

(13) post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression or other psychological reaction


Determinants of complications:

(1) practitioner performing the procedure

(2) available resources

(3) number of females undergoing the procedure at the same time

(4) environmental contamination

(5) comorbid conditions in patient (immunodeficiency, diabetes mellitus, other)


Although modern medical resources would reduce the complications, the WHO is opposed to the medicalization of female genital mutilation.


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