Current status of female circumcision among Nigerian Igbos

West Afr J Med. Oct-Dec 1997;16(4):227-31.

Abstract

The incidence of circumcision in 256 pregnant Nigerian Igbo women was 124 (48.4%). This incidence increased with increasing social class (circumcision index (C.I), 0.06 to 16.50, for social class 1 to 5); was least among the least age range, 16-20 years (C.I, 0.45); and among the primigravidae (C.I, 0.36) compared to the grandmultipara (C.I, 4.43) (P < 0.05.). Simple excision was the commonest type of circumcision, 122 (98.4%). The genital introitus was mildly scarred in 48 (38.7%) respondents, moderately scarred in 47 (37.9%) and severely scarred in 29 (23.4%). Ninety four (36.7%) of the respondents were not aware of their circumcision status, while 91 (96.8%) of the circumcised women had it performed during infancy. On the question of continued practice of female circumcision in their villages, 43 (16.8%) respondents replied, "yes"; 138 (53.9%), "no"; 25 (9.8%) "Sometimes"; and 50 (19.5%), "don't know". The incidence of episiotomy during delivery was similar for both circumcised, 47 (18.4%)and uncircumcised, 46 (18.0%) respondents (P = 0.05). More uncircumcised respondents, 31 (12.1%) were sexually satisfied during intercourse than the circumcised, 11 (4.3%) (P < 0.05). Of the 118 female offsprings of the respondents, 109 (92.4%) were not circumcised while 9 (7.6%) were. Increased public enlightenment on the risks of female circumcision is expected to eradicate the practice by the next generation

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Circumcision, Female / statistics & numerical data*
  • Coitus
  • Episiotomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Nigeria
  • Pregnancy
  • Social Class