Female genital mutilation comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons. Health care providers for women and girls living with female genital mutilation have reported difficulties in recognizing, classifying, and recording female genital mutilation, which can adversely affect treatment of complications and discussions of the prevention of the practice in future generations. According to the World Health Organization, female genital mutilation is classified into four types, subdivided into subtypes. An agreed-upon classification of female genital mutilation is important for clinical practice, management, recording, and reporting, as well as for research on prevalence, trends, and consequences of female genital mutilation. We provide a visual reference and learning tool for health care professionals. The tool can be consulted by caregivers when unsure on the type of female genital mutilation diagnosed and used for training and surveys for monitoring the prevalence of female genital mutilation types and subtypes.
Training of caregivers in accurate diagnosis and clinical management of female genital mutilation can improve patient–physician communication, clinical care, recording, and reporting.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Geneva University Hospitals, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, and the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Regional Referral Centre for the Treatment and Prevention of FGM, Health Promotion of Immigrant Woman, Department of Maternal and Child Integrated Activity, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Corresponding author: Jasmine Abdulcadir, MD, 30 Boulevard de la Cluse, 1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supported by the World Health Organization.
Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.
The authors thank Svetlin Kolev for his help in making the video.
The views expressed in this document are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the World Health Organization or its member countries.