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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Relapse and Clitoral Reconstruction After Female Genital Mutilation

Abdulcadir, Jasmine MD; Bianchi Demicheli, Francesco MD; Willame, Alexia MD; Recordon, Nathalie PsyS; Petignat, Patrick MD

Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001835
Contents: Case Report

BACKGROUND: Evidence on clitoral reconstruction after female genital mutilation is lacking.

CASE: A woman with female genital mutilation experiencing clitoral pain during sex consulted to undergo clitoral reconstruction. The surgery was complicated by a wound infection responsible for severe postoperative pain. Such genital pain made our patient recall the traumatic experience of genital mutilation and experience a relapse of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. She reported anxiety; spontaneous, intrusive recurrent memories of the cutting; hypervigilance; and depressed mood. We successfully treated the infection and posttraumatic stress disorder. At 6 months postsurgery, she reported no clitoral pain and improved sexual function.

CONCLUSION: Genital pain after clitoral reconstruction may cause recall of memories of the genital mutilation. We recommend multidisciplinary comprehensive psychosexual care and adequate analgesia.

In Brief

Comprehensive multidisciplinary psychosexual care should be recommended for women living with female genital mutilation who ask for clitoral reconstruction.

Author Information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospitals of Geneva, and the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Psychology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Corresponding author: Jasmine Abdulcadir, MD, 30 Bld de la Cluse, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland; email:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for authorship.

© 2017 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.