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Survey of Women's Opinions on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Southeast Nigeria: Study of Patients Attending Antenatal Clinic

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      Female genital mutilation is known to exist especially in many third world countries including Nigeria with many women being victims of this harmful practice and its complications. The practice is rife in Southeast Nigeria and efforts have been made to discourage it.


      To determine women's views on aspects of female genital mutilation and the prevalence among the study population.


      Women attending the antenatal clinics of two university teaching hospitals in Southeast Nigeria were interviewed by means of structured pre-tested interviewer- administered questionnaires. The data obtained were analysed using SPSS version 10.0 and the results expressed in descriptive statistics as percentages.


      The prevalence of FGM was 42.1%. However, only 14.3% of the respondents circumcised their own daughters or showed willingness to circumcise their daughters indicating considerable reduction in uptake of the practice. A larger proportion (63.7%) would support legislation against FGM.


      There is a high opinion against the practice of FGM in Southeast Nigeria, with the majority of the women showing support for legislation against it.

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      Most cited references 19

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      Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome: WHO collaborative prospective study in six African countries.

      Reliable evidence about the effect of female genital mutilation (FGM) on obstetric outcome is scarce. This study examines the effect of different types of FGM on obstetric outcome. 28 393 women attending for singleton delivery between November, 2001, and March, 2003, at 28 obstetric centres in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan were examined before delivery to ascertain whether or not they had undergone FGM, and were classified according to the WHO system: FGM I, removal of the prepuce or clitoris, or both; FGM II, removal of clitoris and labia minora; and FGM III, removal of part or all of the external genitalia with stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening. Prospective information on demographic, health, and reproductive factors was gathered. Participants and their infants were followed up until maternal discharge from hospital. Compared with women without FGM, the adjusted relative risks of certain obstetric complications were, in women with FGM I, II, and III, respectively: caesarean section 1.03 (95% CI 0.88-1.21), 1.29 (1.09-1.52), 1.31 (1.01-1.70); postpartum haemorrhage 1.03 (0.87-1.21), 1.21 (1.01-1.43), 1.69 (1.34-2.12); extended maternal hospital stay 1.15 (0.97-1.35), 1.51 (1.29-1.76), 1.98 (1.54-2.54); infant resuscitation 1.11 (0.95-1.28), 1.28 (1.10-1.49), 1.66 (1.31-2.10), stillbirth or early neonatal death 1.15 (0.94-1.41), 1.32 (1.08-1.62), 1.55 (1.12-2.16), and low birthweight 0.94 (0.82-1.07), 1.03 (0.89-1.18), 0.91 (0.74-1.11). Parity did not significantly affect these relative risks. FGM is estimated to lead to an extra one to two perinatal deaths per 100 deliveries. Women with FGM are significantly more likely than those without FGM to have adverse obstetric outcomes. Risks seem to be greater with more extensive FGM.
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        Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey

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          Female genital mutilation: an analysis of 522 cases in South-Western Nigeria.

          This study was conducted at three teaching hospitals in South-Western Nigeria. Paturients were examined to find out if they had had female genital mutilation. Those who did were given a self-administered questionnaire. Results show that all the patients had either Type I (69%) or Type II (31%) mutilation (using WHO classification). The average age at which the procedure was performed was 6.9+/-2.9 years, with 4% of women having the procedure performed in pregnancy. The majority of the procedures were performed by medically untrained personnel (89%). Up to 67% of the women reported complications following the procedure. Severe pain and bleeding were the most common (69%) of the complications reported. The most common reason given for the procedure is cultural/traditional (63%). About a fifth of the women want their female child to undergo female genital mutilation. This study highlights the need for further interventions aimed at discouraging the practice of female genital mutilation.

            Author and article information

            [* ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Anambra State University Teaching Hospital, Awka, Nigeria
            [** ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
            Author notes
            Correspondence: * Dr. C.C Ezenyeaku, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Anambra State University Teaching Hospital, Awka, Nigeria. E-mail: cyrilezenyeaku@
            Ann Med Health Sci Res
            Ann Med Health Sci Res
            Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research
            Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
            Jan-Jun 2011
            : 1
            : 1
            : 15-20
            Copyright: © Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Original Article


            campaign against: southeast nigeria, female genital mutilation


            This study shows an interesting trend towards the condemnation and reduction of FGM in Southeast Nigeria, as two third of the participating women would approve legislation against the practice. The finding that only 14.3% of the participants had circumcised their daughters points into the same direction. The study offers insight in a neglected aspect of the practice by stating that many of the participating women felt incomplete after undergoing FGM. This aspect would be interesting to further illuminate.

            2015-06-11 14:56 UTC

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