Female circumcision and obstetric complications

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2002 Jun;77(3):255-65. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7292(02)00028-0.


Objectives: To examine whether complications at delivery are associated with female circumcision.

Method: One thousand eight hundred and fifty-one women seeking family planning or antenatal care in three south-west Nigerian hospitals were interviewed and had a medical exam. The prevalence of complications at delivery for uncircumcised women and circumcised women with type 1 (partial or total removal of the clitoris) or type 2 (partial or total removal of the clitoris and part or all of the labia minora) were determined. Associations between self-reported complications at delivery and clinic-reported type of circumcision were analyzed using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Result: Forty-five percent were circumcised; 71% had type 1 and 24% had type 2. Circumcised women had significantly higher risks of tearing and stillbirths when all pregnancies were analyzed.

Conclusion: Circumcised women experienced more obstetric complications, while there was no significant difference between women with type 1 and type 2.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Circumcision, Female / adverse effects*
  • Circumcision, Female / methods
  • Circumcision, Female / statistics & numerical data
  • Episiotomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Risk