FGM and Childbirth

Evidence suggests that FGM has a significant effect on the morbidity and mortality of childbearing.

In 2006 the WHO undertook a large study across 6 obstetric units in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan, where FGM is highly prevalent. 28,393 pregnant women were examined in the antenatal period and if they had undergone FGM they were classified according to the WHO system. Information on demographic, health and reproductive outcomes were collected and compared to those women without FGM

  • Women with FGM were significantly more likely than those without FGM to have adverse obstetric outcomes
  • Risks seem to be greater with more extensive FGM
  • FGM is estimated to lead to an extra one to two perinatal deaths per 100 deliveries

Women with FGM were more likely to be complicated by:

  • Caesarean section
  • Postpartum haemorrhage
  • Episiotomy (41% for FGM II to 88% for those with FGM III)
  • Extended maternal hospital stay
  • Obstructed labour due to scar tissue
  • Resuscitation of the infant
  • Inpatient perinatal death