Female genital mutilation: opinion of outpatients of a department of obstetrics and gynaecology in north central Nigeria
Background: Female genital mutilation is known to exist especially in developing countries like Nigeria. This study aimed to determine women's views on aspects of female genital mutilation, types of female genital mutilation, reason for and attitude towards female genital mutilation.
Method: A Pretested questionnaire was administered to women attending the antenatal clinic in Jos University Teaching Hospital from October 2013 to February 2014. The data obtained were analysed using SPSS version 20
Result: The prevalence of FGM from this study was 21.9%. In total, 429 respondents (97.9%) reported the existence of FGM at the time of the interview. Majority of respondents [(283) 66.0%] said that the clitoris was the main part removed. The main reason given for genital cutting was to prevent sexual promiscuity in sexual practice, and was the response of one hundred and thirty two (30.8%) of the women, while thirty five (8.2%) women responded that it was done to preserve virginity. Three hundred and eighty four(89.5%) were aware of the campaign against female genital mutilation and two hundred and ninetyeight (69.5%) were in support of the legislation against FGM. Seventy nine(18.4%) were not in support of the legislation out of which nineteen (24.1%) feel that to stop is to interfere with the norm.
Conclusion: Female genital cutting/mutilation is still practiced in our environment and some of the women knew the negative reproductive health consequences of FGM and had experienced them during sexual intercourse and childbirth. However, with regard to stopping FGM, majority had not taken any steps towards stopping the practice. There should be public enlightenment about the dangers of FGM and policies against this harmful practice should be enforced.