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August 2019

Women Health. 1993 ; 20(3): 27-42.

Assessment of the impact of female circumcision on the gynecological, genitourinary and obstetrical health problems of women from Somalia: literature review and case series.

Arbesman M, Kahler L, Buck GM.

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, SUNY at Buffalo 14214.

Approximately 80 million women worldwide have undergone surgery for circumcision. A variety of health risks resulting from the procedure have been reported in the literature including: bleeding, infection, shock, difficulties with menstruation and urination as well as painful intercourse. Prolonged labor and perinatal difficulties have also been noted. After an extensive literature review, a description of gynecological and obstetrical complications is provided. We had the opportunity to survey 12 Somali refugee women who were temporarily residing in a refugee center in Western New York about their personal experience with circumcision. We were interested in determining whether this convenient sample of women substantiated the clinical sequelae of circumcision reported in the literature. Structured interviews were conducted and included questions on sociodemographic, circumcision and health factors. Our findings, however limited, support the presence of heavy bleeding at the time of the surgery as a complication arising from circumcision.


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