Get medical help with the compilcations caused by FGM

FGM has no health benefits for girls and women, and procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth.

Women and girls who are experiencing complications from FGM can get medical help either through the doctor’s surgery where they are registered or by contacting one of the clinics listed under Medical Help on this page.

If you are pregnant

If you are pregnant and have had FGM or been circumcised, it’s important that you register with a midwife as soon as you know you are pregnant. You can find a midwife through your local clinic.

Midwives have experience of supporting all women and will understand the issues for FGM. Your midwife can refer you to any specialist services you may need including “opening” surgery.

Medical advice and treatment is confidential.

Are you worried that a child may be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation?  Are you a child worried about FGM?  Signs that FGM may be planned include plans for a long holiday with a special celebration about becoming a woman, and your family may talk of 'pinching your bottom'

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is also known as female circumcision or female genital cutting. FGM has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies.

FGM is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”.

Person in need having a counseling session

The Law

The Female Genital Mutilation Act was introduced in 2003 and came into effect in March 2004.

The Act:

  • Makes it illegal to practice FGM in the UK;
  • Makes it illegal to take girls who are British nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM whether or not it is lawful in that country;
  • Makes it illegal to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad;
  • Has a penalty of up to 14 years in prison and/or a fine.

On 31st October 2015 a new duty was introduced that requires health and social care professionals and teachers to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in girls under 18 to the police. Please click below to access a fact sheet for more information

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