Does female genital mutilation/cutting have any effect on normal birth?

Esra Tamburaci, Özer Birge


Background: World Health Organization’s (WHO) defines female genital mutilation (FGM) as all procedures involving the total or partial removal of female external genitalia without any medical reasons. It is estimated that about 100 million women worldwide are circumcised. After circumcision compications such as bleeding, infection, shock, menstrual irregularity, dysuria, frequent urinary tract infections, pelvic pain and difficulty in sexual intercourse occur with varying frequencies.

Methods: In this article, we aimed to discuss normal vaginal delivery results of 45 term pregnant cases with 3 types of  female genital multilation/circumcision. We know that the vaginal entrance is closed as a result of adhesions in the genital area due to circumcision and secondary complications may develop.

Results: The mean age of 45 patients included in the study was 26.2±8.78 years. Considering the postpartum complications, bilateral labial tissue ruptures in 15 cases, followed by vaginal hematoma in 9 cases, anal sphincter damage in 11 cases, deep episiotomy tears in 8 cases, periurethral tears in 8 cases, deep cervical tears in 8 cases, vulvar epidermoid cyst ruptures in 4 cases and 4 cases. perineal body ruptures were seen in 4 cases, vulvar hematoma in 4 cases, and vaginal mucosal damage in 9 cases.

Conclusions: It has been shown once again that FGM/C is a method that completely changes the female vaginal anatomy and has very serious delivery complications. It is obvious that serious educations and studies need to be done in the countries where this method is applied.


Female genital mutilation/cutting, Normal birth, Circumcision

Full Text:



World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research. Eliminating female genital mutilation: an interagency statement. Geneva: WHO; 2008. Available at: Accessed on July 25, 2013.

Shah G, Susan L,Furcroy J. Female circumcision: history, medical and psychological complications, and initiatives to eradicate this practice. Can J Urol. 2009;16(2):4576-9.

Yoder PS, Khan S. USAID. Numbers of women circumcised in Africa: the production of a total. DHS Working Paper 39. Claverton MD: Macro International, 2004. Available at: Accessed on July 25, 2013.

Perron L, Senikas V, Burnett M, Davis V. Female genital cutting. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013;35(11):1028-45.

MacLeod TL. Female genital mutilation. J SOGC. 1995;17:333-42.

Nour NM. Female genital cutting: clinical and cultural guidelines. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2004;59(4):272-9.

Editorial comment. The lancet. 2013;382:16.

Drakonaki EE, Tritou I, Pitsoulis G, Psaras K, Sfakianaki E. Hematocolpometra due to an imperforate hymen presenting with back pain: sonographic diagnosis. J Ultrasound Med. 2010;29(2):321-2.

Yount KM, Carrera JS. Female genital cutting and reproductive experience in Minya, Egypt. Med Anthropol Q. 2006;20(2):182-211.

Ryckman J, Black A, Fleming N. Adolescent Urethral Coitus: 2 Cases and Review of the Literature. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2014;27(1):e9-12.

Alsibiani SA, Rouzi AA. Sexual function in women with female genital mutilation. Fertility and Sterility. 2010;93(3):722-4.

WHO Study Group on Female Genital Mutilation and Obstetric Outcome: Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome: WHO collaborative prospective study in six African countries. Lancet. 2006;367(9525):1835-41.

Kaplan A, Hechavarría S, Martín M, Bonhoure I. Health consequences of female genital mutilation/cutting in the Gambia, evidence into action. Reprod Health. 2011;8:26.

Banks E, Meirik O, Farley T, Akande O, Bathija H, Ali M. Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome: WHO collaborative prospective study in six African countries. Lancet. 2006;367(9525):1835-41.

Minsart AF, N'Guyen TS, Ali Hadji R, Caillet M. Maternal infibulation and obstetrical outcome in Djibouti. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2015;28:1741-6.

Taraldsen S, Vangen S, Øian P, Sørbye IK. Female genital mutilation/cutting, timing of deinfibulation, and risk of cesarean section. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2021;100(4):587-95.