FGM can leave women and girls with many negative health consequences. These can include; infection, bleeding, reduced sensation, increased risk during childbirth, psychological trauma and death. In groups where FGM prevalence is high, certain consequences that are common may be considered ‘normal’ and not associated with the practice.


Short Term Complications

  • Death
  • Haemorrhage
  • Infection and failure of the wound to heal
  • Injury or trauma to adjoining areas, such as the urethra and anus
  • Shock from severe pain and bleeding
  • Surgical mishap
  • Tetanus
  • Transmission of HIV and other viruses


Long Term Complications

  • Decrease or loss of sexual sensation
  • Difficult and complicated childbirth
  • Dysmenorrhoea, difficulties in menstruation including passing menses
  • Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
  • Incontinence and difficulty urinating
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility
  • Psychological trauma
  • Scarring (with or without keloid formation) and hardening of the vaginal tissue, causing constant pain around the genital area
  • Sebaceous cyst development


For all health professionals looking for further information on FGM please see:

Information for Healthcare Professionals in Ireland [2nd Edition].