Sunday, December 13, 2009
THE FOUR TYPES OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
TYPE I This is the most common form of Female Genital Mutilation. The clitoris is held between the thumb and index finger and then pulled out and amputated with one stroke of a sharp object. The bleeding is stopped by packing the wound with gauze. A pressure bandage is then applied. Modern trained practitioners may insert one or two stitches around the clitoral artery to stop bleeding.
TYPE II The degree of severity varies a lot in this type. The clitoris is amputated as in Type I. The Labia Minora are partially or totally removed, often with the same stroke. The bleeding is stopped with packing and bandages or by by by circular stitches that may or may not cover the urethra and part of the vaginal opening. Types I and II account for 85% of all Female Genital Mutilation.
TYPE III An extensive amount of tissue is removed. This is the most extreme form. It involves a complete removal of the clitoris and labia minor along with the inner surface of the labia majora. The raw edges of the labia majora are brought together to fuse. Thorns, poultices or stitching are used to hold them together for two to six weeks. The healed scar creates a hood of skin that covers the urethra and part or most of the vagina. This acts as a physical barrier to intercourse. A small opening is left at the back to allow the flow of urine and menstrual blood. The opening is surrounded by skin and scar tissue. It is usually 2 to 3cm in diameter and may be as small as the head of a matchstick.
TYPE IV This type is unclassified and deals with a variety of procedures. (1) Pricking, piercing, stretching or an incision of the clitoris and/or the labia. (2) Cauterization by burning the clitoris and surrounding tissues. (3) An incision is made to the vaginal wall. (4) Scraping or cutting of the the vagina. (5) An introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina. Some of these procedures often result in vesicovaginal fistulae and damage to the anal sphincter.