Female genital mutilation (female circumcision)
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but where there's no medical reason for this to be done.
It's also known as "female circumcision" or "cutting", and by other terms such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others.
FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts. Itis illegal in the UK and is child abuse.
It's very painful and can seriously harmthehealth of women and girls. It can also cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health.
Help and support is available if you've had FGM or you're worried that someone may be at risk.
This page covers:
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