Prevalence, types and psychopathologic consequences of female genital cutting (circumcision) among ante-natal clinic patients in a mission hospital in Uyo, South- South Nigeria.
Introduction: Female genital cutting (FGC) or circumcision is an age-long practice perceived as a rite of passage into maturity of womanhood.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence, types and psychopathologic consequences of FGC among pregnant women attending the ante-natal clinic of a mission hospital in Uyo.
Method: This was a prospective descriptive cross-sectional study conducted between August and October 2015. Using systematic sampling technique, 364 newly registered pregnant women were recruited. Using aseptic technique vaginal examination was done for each respondent to determine the presence and type of FGC based on World Health Organization (WHO) classification. Using GHQ-12, Psychopathologic consequence of FGC was assessed among those who underwent FGC.
Results: The prevalence of FGC among respondents in this study was 22.5%. Type 2a (removal of labia minora only) was the predominant type of FGC among respondents accounting for 64.6%; this was followed by type Ia (removal of the clitoral hood or prepuce only) 18.3%; then type 1b (removal of the clitoris with prepuce) 15.9%; and type 3a (removal and apposition of the labia minora) 1.2%. Respondents in this study reported the presence of adverse psychologic experience following their exposure to Female genital cutting (FGC).
Conclusion: Findings from this study shows that FGC is still being practised among different population groups in Nigeria. The types and psychologic sequelae are variable. Education and empowerment of women along with intensifying public enlightenment to outlaw FGC are most imperative now.