In collaboration with the Ministries of Health (MOH) of Burkina Faso and Mali, the Population Council conducted two studies in 1998 to describe the occurrence and severity of health problems related to female genital cutting (FGC). Study participants were consenting women who received a pelvic exam during prenatal, family planning (FP), obstetric, or gynecological consultations at MOH clinics. Providers were trained to observe the types and complications of FGC. To assess their potential role as change agents, providers in Mali also received training on the health effects of FGC and client counseling. In Burkina Faso, health providers recorded information on 1,920 women at 21 health centers in the rural provinces of Bazega and Zoundweogo. In Mali’s Bamako district and Segou region, providers recorded information on 5,390 women in 14 urban and rural health centers. As noted in this brief, women in Burkina Faso and Mali who have had their genitals cut are more likely to have gynecological and obstetrical problems, including bleeding, internal scarring, vaginal narrowing, and childbirth complications. More severe cutting increases a woman’s risk of other reproductive health problems.
"Burkina Faso and Mali: Female genital cutting harms women's health," FRONTIERS OR Summary. Washington, DC: Population Council, 2000.
Frontiers in Reproductive Health