“A new study confirms that women who were forced to undergo genital cutting as young girls have a poorer sex life years later.
An estimated 130 million women worldwide have undergone genital mutilation, also known as female “circumcision.” The centuries-old practice, which involves removing part or all of a girl’s clitoris and labia, and sometimes narrowing the vaginal opening, remains a common practice in some countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.
It’s well-known that genital cutting has long-term consequences for women - including childbirth complications, incontinence and psychological disorders.
Not surprisingly, studies have also linked genital mutilation to sexual dysfunction. The new report, published in the British obstetrics and gynecology journal BJOG, adds to the evidence.
Researchers found that among women who’d immigrated to the UK from Africa, those with genital cutting scored about 30 percent lower on a scale that measures women’s perceptions of their sex life.
“This study shows a quantifiable effect of female genital mutilation on women’s psychological well-being in terms of sexual quality of life,” lead researcher Dr. Stefan Andersson, of Central Manchester University Hospitals, said in an email.
He said the gap was even seen among women who were not currently sexually active.”
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