The psychological impact of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) on girls/women’s mental health : a narrative literature review

Mulongo, P, Hollins Martin, C and McAndrew, SL ORCID: 2014, 'The psychological impact of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) on girls/women’s mental health : a narrative literature review' , Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 32 (5) , pp. 469-485.

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Background: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is the procedure of removing healthy external genitalia from girls/women for socio-cultural reasons. There is much scientific literature on the adverse physical health complications that can result from having FGM/C, but little is known about its psychological impact and treatment. Objective: To identify psychological problems that may follow from a woman having FGM/C and success of treatment herein, and relate findings to the role of the maternity care professional. Study design: A structured narrative review, which identified 10 studies, was carried out. Findings: Eight of ten studies reported psychological consequences, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and affective disorders. Also identified were socio-cultural differences in the meaning of perceived consequences for different individuals. Two studies reported inconclusive results regarding the psychological impact of FGM/C on women’s lives. Key conclusion: While these findings provide an indication of adverse psychological effects of women/ girls having FGM/C, more studies are needed. In particular, studies that focus on the role that cutting extent, circumstances surrounding the cutting, and girls’ level of knowledge of what was going to take place, and their relationships to psychological outcomes. Implications for Practice: Raising awareness of the risk of negative psychological consequences is important, with maternal health care professionals requiring training on how to treat and care for women/girls who are suffering problems that result from having FGM/C.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0264-6838
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: SL McAndrew
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2016 08:36
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 20:39

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