Hesperian Health Guides

Types of Female Genital Cutting

    There are 3 types of female genital cutting:
  1. The clitoris is partly or completely removed.
  2. The clitoris is removed along with the small skin folds of the outer genitals.
  3. The outside genitals are cut away, and the opening to the vagina is sewn almost closed. This is called ‘infibulation’. A small hole is left for urine and monthly bleeding to flow out. This type of female genital cutting is the most dangerous and causes the most serious health problems. But all types of female genital cutting can cause bleeding, infection and death.

The way that a girl is cut is different in different places, but it is almost always done as part of a ceremony in which a girl moves from childhood into adulthood.

This page was updated:13 Jun 2019