Female Circumcision as a Public Health Issue
Same with the circumcision in male, the female circumcision also become as a public issue. The fundamental and important differences are that female circumcision does not have any medical benefit. The excision and infibulations have negative benefit for women health. The fact is, the female circumcision rely on cultural and religious reason. The name of circumcision is given because this practice diminishes the seriousness in the practice of infibulations and excision.
Many of public health organization, Islamic groups, women’s group, and western governments try to persuade the people who still maintain this practice to press or even stop the circumcision. For example, in Kenyan Family, the Planning Association has proposed alternate strategies with a ceremony that would be accompanied by the traditional education where information about circumcision and the effect will be delivered. This strategy helps the proponents of change seems respect tradition and culture while trying to change the unhealthy aspect of a particular tradition.
The risks and issues that follow female circumcision are similar to male circumcision such as pain, the risk of infection, alteration of natural state, and the status of children. In addition, female circumcision conducts more serious implications for the female health. This includes significant chance of damage to the clitoris during the surgery, loss of sexual pleasure in women, patriarchal control, birthing complications, increased infections during the life, refugee status in developed countries, and loss of mobility in the infibulations form. However, after the development of the information, technologies, and education, and empowered within this societies, female circumcision are being modified.
Female circumcision actually practice in 26 African countries, approximately 100 million of women are circumcised. The mildest form is clitoridectomy and the other type is infibulation. The circumcisions for girls are usually done between the ages of 4 and 10 years. Since the doctor or operator is usually a nonprofessional without surgical experience, the complication and negative impacts are commonly occurs.
The common complications such as hemorrhage and severe pain can result in shock and death. The most common long term complication is the formation of dermoid cysts in the line of the scar. The childbirth fact adds other risks for infibulated women and vesicovaginal fistula as the result. The female circumcision also cause attendant urinary incontinence leads to ostracism of these women. After all the female circumcision cause the major contributor to childhood and maternal death and morbidity in communities that have poor health services.
These damage also cause the psychological trauma, the women suffer a syndrome of chronic anxiety and depression, intractable dysmenorrheal, and fear of infertility. Thus, many healthy institutions try to reduce the practice of female circumcision due to the women health.