FGM is the mutilation of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is sometimes known as female circumcision or ‘sunna’. FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15. Most instances occur in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, but FGM is also practiced in Australia, Europe, Latin America, New Zealand and North America



Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Even if someone is taken overseas to undergo FGM, it is still a crime in the UK if the mutilation is done by a UK national or a UK resident. It is also a crime if a UK national or resident assists or gets a non-UK national or resident to carry out FGM overseas on a UK national or resident And if FGM is committed against a girl under the age of 16, each person who is responsible for the girl at the relevant time is guilty of an offence.

There are 4 Types of FGM

  • Type 1: This is the partial or total removal of the clitoris
  • Type 2: T his is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva),
  • Type 3: Often referred to as This is the narrowing of the vaginal opening. Stitching, with or without removal of the clitoris
  • Type 4: This includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area
FGM types

The effects of FGM

  • Severe pain
  • excessive bleeding (haemorrhage)
  • genital tissue swelling
  • fever
  • infections e.g. Tetanus
  • urinary problems
  • wound healing problems
  • injury to surrounding genital tissue
  • shock
  • Some girls die from blood loss or infection as a direct result of the procedure.
  • Some women who have undergone FGM are also likely to find it difficult to give birth and many also suffer from long-term psychological trauma.
Professionals have a duty to report abuse against a girl under 18.

FGM – True case from The brook Clinic

“I was six years old when it happened to me. I knew what was going to happen, I knew they were going to cut me because a lot of my friends had had it done and I’d had a look. I remember my grandmother taking me home and telling me I had to pee, I was terrified. Because my legs were tied I couldn’t sit to pee, so I leaned over on one side and the pain was unbearable. I jumped, and some of the stitches opened. My neighbour, she was in her 30s, said I would have to be sewn up again but my grandmother refused”. (

FGM Happens Nationally

Between July and September 2016 there were 1,971 attendances reported at NHS trusts and GP practices where FGM was identified or a procedure for FGM was undertaken

FGM map
In an emergency you should always dial 999 for help

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