Definition of FGM

  • Female Genital Mutilation (or cutting) comprises of all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (World Health Organisation WHO, 2013).
  • It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural function of girls’ and women’s bodies. The harmful practice causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth also causing dangers to the unborn (Savera UK, 2022).



Terms used for FGM

  • Female Genital Mutilation                      
  • Female Genital Cutting
  • “The Cut”
  • Female Circumcision
  • Initiation
  • Sunna (type 1, type 4)
  • Khifad
  • Khitan
  • Khatana
  • Bondo
  • Pharaonic (type 3)
  • There are a lot of terms – refer to National FGM Centre for more information




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HM Government  - Multi agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation







Normal Female Genital Anatomy



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The 4 different types of FGM


Type 1 Clitoridectomy: Involves removing the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris with or without excision of part or all of the clitoris, a small sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals.