Consequences


IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCES

The immediate consequences are intense psychological trauma and possible medical complications in the immediate or short term.

Haemorrhage and infection are the primary physical complications. Immediate mortality is estimated at about 100,000 girls per year.

PSYCHOLOGICAL
Psychological trauma is the result of a particular context. A festive event resembling a tribal celebration is suddenly interrupted by an extremely violent act. While the physical consequences will fade, there is no collective discourse; no dialogue is built to last beyond this violent and incomprehensible act in the eyes of the young girl. A post-traumatic syndrome crystallises in the young victim who remains alone with her pain. Each child will then go on to develop according to her own strength and resilience.

PHYSICAL
Bleeding is always involved, sometimes moderate, often heavy, sometimes fatal.

Infections are almost constant. Being localised they cause scarring that will leave a part of the vulva with fibrosis. More importantly, infections are the second leading direct cause of mortality. Systemic infections, hepatitis and HIV may also occur.

Other complications (haematocolpos, laceration of the urethra and abscesses) may result.

LATER CONSEQUENCES
After the ritual, psychological or psycho-sexual problems almost always arise. A number of physical problems also occur with a significant number of women.

PSYCHOLOGICAL
Studies are rare and difficult to organise. Note also that the surrounding environment is an important element in this context. Therefore the life of a circumcised woman living in an African country where the majority of women are also circumcised will be different from that of a woman living in a context where female circumcision is not the norm.

Nevertheless, these women are mutilated, impaired and frequently severely disturbed in their sexual fulfilment. Their self-esteem is diminished and their capacity for sexual fulfilment is severely hindered.

PHYSICAL
Painful scars, stenosis of the vulva, chronic local infections, urethral strictures, prolongation of labour during childbirth as a result of perineum fibrosis.