Swedish health care providers' experience and knowledge of female genital cutting

Health Care Women Int. 2006 Sep;27(8):709-22. doi: 10.1080/07399330600817741.


We sought to evaluate the experiences and knowledge of health care providers in Sweden regarding female genital cutting (FGC) as a health issue. Questionnaires (n = 2,707) were sent to providers in four major cities in Sweden and evaluated by means of descriptive statistics. Twenty-eight percent (n = 769/2,707) responded, of whom 60% had seen such patients. Seven providers, including 2 pediatricians, were suspicious of patients with signs of recent genital cutting. Ten percent had been asked to perform reinfibulation after delivery. Thirty-eight providers had received inquiries about the possibility of performing FGC in Sweden.A majority of Swedish health care providers meet patients presenting with evidence of FGC performed long ago. However, very few of them have suspected recently cut patients. The results support the hypothesis that this practice is not as active among African immigrants in Sweden as in their countries of origin. If the prevalence was the same as in African countries, more pediatricians would be expected to meet current cut girls. National efforts and policy programs to prevent FGC in Sweden are recommended as effective, in accordance with current research and should especially be directed toward pediatricians.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa / ethnology
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Circumcision, Female / ethnology*
  • Circumcision, Female / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Women's Health Services / organization & administration*