A woman can have a physical examination by a trained doctor to understand what has happened to the genital area.
What if a woman has been closed?
If a woman has been ‘closed’ then she can have a procedure to have the lips of the genitals separated. This is called deinfibulation.
This will make it safe to deliver a baby. It can also make sex more comfortable and make it easier to pass urine.
If the genitalia remains closed it can cause severe infections and long term bladder problems.
When is the procedure performed?
This procedure can be performed at any age before the first experience of sexual intercourse, after marriage and during pregnancy. Deinfibulation can be performed under a local anaesthetic in the clinic setting.
Deinfibulation may also be performed in the first stage of labour or at the time of delivery under local anaesthetic in a delivery suite room. It can also be performed after caesarean section while in surgery.
There is specialist help and care available to support in this procedure.
All health care related to FGM is free, regardless of the woman’s immigration status in the UK.
Brenda Kelly, consultant obstetrician and director of the Oxford Rose Clinic, walks us through an example patient consultation at a FGM clinic. The Oxford Rose Clinic is an NHS service which offers clinical, psychological and psychosexual therapy for women and girls who have experienced FGM.