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Are obstetric outcomes affected by female genital mutilation?

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

Female genital mutilation (FGM) has been associated with adverse obstetric and neonatal outcomes, such as postpartum haemorrhage (PPH), perineal trauma, genital fistulae, obstructed labour and stillbirth. The prevalence of FGM has increased in the UK over the last decade. There are currently no studies available that have explored the obstetric impact of FGM in the UK. The aim of our study was to investigate the obstetric and neonatal outcomes of women with FGM when compared with the general population.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective case–control study of consecutive pregnant women with FGM over a 5-year period between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2013. Each woman with FGM was matched for age, ethnicity, parity and gestation with subsequent patients without FGM (control cohort) over the same 5-year period. Outcomes assessed were mode of delivery, duration of labour, estimated blood loss, analgaesia, perineal trauma and foetal outcomes.

Results

A total of 242 eligible women (121 FGM, 121 control) were identified for the study. There was a significant increase in the use of episiotomy in the FGM group (p = 0.009) and a significant increase in minor PPH in the control group during caesarean sections (p = 0.0001). There were no differences in all other obstetric and neonatal parameters.

Conclusions

In our unit, FGM was not associated with an increased incidence of adverse obstetric and foetal morbidity or mortality.

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Correspondence to Ranee Thakar.

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Balachandran, A.A., Duvalla, S., Sultan, A.H. et al. Are obstetric outcomes affected by female genital mutilation?. Int Urogynecol J 29, 339–344 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-017-3466-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-017-3466-5

Keywords

  • Episiotomy
  • Female circumcision
  • Female cutting
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Neonatal outcomes
  • Obstetric outcomes