Female circumcision

Saudi Med J. 2000 Oct;21(10):921-3.


It is uncertain when female circumcision was first practiced, but it certainly preceded the founding of both Christianity and Islam. A review of past and current historical, popular and professional literature was undertaken, and 4 types of female circumcision were identified. Typically female circumcision is performed by a local village practitioner, lay person or by untrained midwives. Female genital mutilation is not accepted by any religious or medical opinion, and is a violation of human rights against helpless individuals who are unable to provide informed consent and who must therefore be protected through education and legislation. Complications of female circumcision can present after many years. Any medical practitioner (either for adult or pediatric) can be confronted with this issue of female circumcision, even in countries where this custom is not present, thus mandating the understanding of this complex issue.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Circumcision, Female / adverse effects*
  • Circumcision, Female / classification
  • Circumcision, Female / ethnology
  • Circumcision, Female / statistics & numerical data*
  • Circumcision, Female / trends
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Human Rights
  • Humans
  • Islam
  • Physician's Role
  • Women's Health
  • Women's Rights