Genital mutilation – circumcision of girls’ abdomen

Circumcision of girls and women’s abdomen is a tradition that has been around for a long time. The tradition is not linked to any particular religion. It can affect both your body and how you feel if you have been circumcised, but it doesn’t have to.

All forms of circumcision on girls are illegal in many countries. It is also illegal to plan, prepare or ask someone else to perform a circumcision. You who work with children and young people are obliged to report to the social services if you know or suspect that someone is at risk of being circumcised.

Different kinds of circumcision

A female abdomen can be circumcised in many different ways. It may be large or small parts of the sex that are removed. It may also be that someone has stabbed or cut into the clitoris.

According to the definition that the World Health Organization, WHO has developed, there are four different types of female circumcision. There are also genital mutilations that are a mixture of different types.

Type 1: Clitoridectomy

In this type of circumcision, parts or all of the clitoral top and sometimes the foreskin of the clitoris has been removed. 

Type 2: Excision

An excision means that all or part of the clitoral tip and the inner labia are removed. Sometimes, the outer labia is also removed.

Type 3: Infibulation or pharaonic circumcision

In this type of circumcision, the vaginal opening is reduced by intersecting and stitching the inner or outer labia. A smaller opening is left open for a kiss and means blood to come out. It is common for the clitoral top to be removed as well.

Type 4: Other harmful interventions

Other harmful interventions on the female genitals may be that the clitoris and the tissue around it are stung with a sharp object. It’s called a dot. Other forms can be burning or scraping on or in different parts of the genital area without any medical reason. 

When and where should I seek care?

If you have any questions or problems with your abdomen, contact a youth clinic, medical center or gynecological clinic. There you can meet someone to talk to. You can contact many receptions by logging in.

You can seek care throughout the country

At the large hospital’s women’s clinics there is a staff who have good knowledge of female circumcision. You can go to any reception you want throughout. You may sometimes need a referral from the gynecologist, doctor or midwife you first meet.

AMEL reception

At the Södersjukhuset in Stockholm, there is the AMEL reception, which is a special reception for those who have been circumcised. You do not need a referral to apply for the reception. You can search there even if you do not live in Stockholm.

Circumcision can affect how you feel

You may feel depressed or feel otherwise. Memories from the procedure may remain, although it happened a long time ago. Some become depressed or depressed without realizing that it may be due to circumcision itself. Some may not remember being circumcised but feel discomfort when a gynecologist or partner touches the genital area.

It is good to talk to someone if you are feeling depressed or worried. You can do this with, for example, a curator or psychologist. To get in touch with someone to talk to, contact a health care center. You can contact a youth reception or student health if you are young. Everyone who works in health care and in school has a duty of confidentiality.

Investigations

You can do a gynecological examination and see what your abdomen looks like without using your fingers or any instruments in the slide opening if you wish. Talk to the person who is investigating you and tell them how it feels best for you.

Treatment of genital mutilation

There are various treatments so that you do not have to suffer or have pain in the genital area.

  • It is possible to remove scars and cysts, which can be causes of pain.
  • A stitched abdomen can be operated to make it easier to pee, have menstruation and have sex.
  • You can get call support where you can talk about what happened and how it affected you.

Opening Operation

You who are circumcised in a pharaonic way can undergo an opening operation, so-called defibrillation. The operation makes menstrual blood and urine pass more easily and the pain that arose earlier disappears. After an opening operation, it will also be possible to carry out a slit joint.

The operation takes about 15 minutes and you are anesthetized all the time. If you do not want to be anesthetized, you can also perform the surgery with local anesthesia. You usually get to the hospital for half a day and can be at work or school a few days after.

After the surgery

After the surgery, you can use prescription pain tablets, such as Avedon.  

Complications and sequelae

You may not know that you have been circumcised. Also, you may not have any problems because of it.

Many complications occur when the procedure itself is performed, but there are also many complications that affect life after the procedure is over.

Here are some examples of complications associated with the procedure:

  • It hurts.
  • It bleeds a lot.
  • You may have damage to the urethra or other nearby organs.
  • Risk of infections.
  • You may have a mental shock.

It also happens that girls die in connection with the procedure.

Prolonged complications after a circumcision

The problems that may arise may vary depending on the type of circumcision. Here are some of the problems you may have if you are circumcised:

  • You may have difficulty peeing as it may take a long time or it will hurt. For example, it can be difficult to get a strong and straight beam. The kiss can instead splash when you kiss. You can also leak kiss between the toilet visits.
  • You may get recurrent urinary tract infections.
  • You can get hurt when you have menses.
  • You may have trouble with scarring at the clitoris.
  • It can hurt or not feel good to masturbate.
  • It can hurt or not feel comfortable to have slit joint.

It can be difficult to do an examination for acute gynecological disorders if you have a very small vaginal opening.

Female circumcision can also lead to difficulties during pregnancy, childbirth and gynecological cell sampling. It can also be difficult to insert a coil if you want one.

You should understand the information

In order for you to be involved in your care and treatment, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare staff. Ask questions if you don’t understand. For example, you should receive information about treatment options and how long you may have to wait for care and treatment.

Children should also be involved in their care. The older the child, the more important it is.

You should get information on what tools are available if you need it.

Your consent is important

Once you have received information about what options and options for care you have, you can give your consent or in some other way express a yes. This also applies to you who are not of legal age.  

You may choose not to give your consent to the care you are offered. You may also withdraw your consent at any time.

Having sex when you are circumcised

Being circumcised does not have to affect your ability to have or enjoy sex. You can masturbate and have sex with others. Here are tips on things you can do if you feel you are having sex because of being circumcised:

  • Get to know your body and what feels good to you. Even though the outer clitoris and the surrounding area are damaged, you can learn to use what is left to make it feel good. It is never possible to remove the entire clitoris. The part of the clitoris that is visible is only a small part of the entire clitoris, which continues down behind the pubic bone and encloses the vagina.
  • Try to find other areas of the body if it hurts or doesn’t feel good to touch any area, such as the clitoris. The nipples, the opening or the diaphragm are examples of areas that, when touched, can create arousal and feelings of desire.
  • Talk to the person you have sex with. Tell us what feels good and what doesn’t feel good.
  • If the slit opening is reduced in a way that you cannot have a slit joint, you can book a time with a gynecologist to perform an opening operation.

Childbirth as circumcised

Talk to your midwife and tell her that you are circumcised if you know you are. It may feel difficult to talk about having been circumcised, but it is a great help before delivery if the midwife knows how you are circumcised. For example, they may offer you an opening operation if it is difficult to perform a vaginal delivery due to circumcision.

What does the law of female circumcision say?

The UN Declaration on Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child state that all people in all countries have the right to their own bodies and not to be sexually abused.

Female genital mutilation is prohibited in most countries in the EU and in many types of leather where the tradition occurs, such as Egypt and Ethiopia. 

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