Female genital mutilation (female circumcision)
Surgery can be performed to open up the vagina, if necessary. This is called deinfibulation.
It's sometimes known as a "reversal" although this name is misleading, as the procedure doesnt replace any removed tissue, and will not undo the damage caused.However, it can help many problems caused by FGM.
Surgery may be recommended for:
Deinfibulation should be carried out before getting pregnant, if possible. It can be done in pregnancy or labour if necessary, but ideally should be done before the last two months of pregnancy. The surgery involves making a cut (incision) to open the scar tissue over the entrance to the vagina.
It's usually performed under local anaesthetic in a clinic and you won't normally need to stay overnight. A small number of women need either a general anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic (injection in the back) , which may involve a short stay in hospital.
Find out what female genital mutilation (FGM) is, why and where's it carried out, what the health risks are, and where to get help and advice.
There are four main types of FGM: Type 1 (clitoridectomy) removing part or all of the clitoris. Type 2 (excision) removing part or all of the clitoris and the inner labia (lips that surround th
There are no health benefits to FGM and it can cause serious harm, including: constant pain pain and/or difficulty having sex repeated infections, which can lead to infertility bleeding, cysts a
Surgery can be performed to open up the vagina, if necessary. This is called deinfibulation. It's sometimes known as a "reversal" although this name is misleading, as the procedure doesnt replace any
All women and girls have the right to control what happens to their bodies and the right to say no to FGM. Help is available if you've had FGM or you're worried that you or someone you know is at ris
FGM is carried out for various cultural, religious and social reasons within families and communities in the mistaken belief that it will benefit the girl in some way (for example, as a preparation fo
Girls are sometimes taken abroad for FGM, but they may not be aware that this is the reason for their travel. Girls are more at risk of FGM being carried out during the summer holidays, as this allows
FGM is illegal in the UK. It is an offence to: perform FGM (including taking a childabroad for FGM) help a girl perform FGM on herself in or outside the UK help anyone perform FGM in the UK help
The summer holidays are when many young girls are taken abroad, often to their family's birth country, to have FGM performed. The FGM statement, also known as the FGM health passport, highlights the f
The Department of Health has published leaflets for patients who want to know more about FGM. These are available in the following languages: More about FGM English version (PDF, 117kb) Mwy o w