Female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) (also known as female circumcision) is the practice of cutting or disfiguring female genitalia for non-medical reasons. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) opposes all forms of FGM/C and recognizes the practice as a violation of human rights. The AAFP supports efforts to end the practice and protect those at risk of undergoing FGM/C. The AAFP also opposes the practice of reinfibulation as a form of medicalized FGM/C with no medical benefit and a risk of harms.
The AAFP encourages family physicians to educate themselves about FGM/C, the associated health consequences, and best practices for its management in clinical practice, particularly during pregnancy and childbirth. Patients should be counseled and given trauma-informed, culturally sensitive support and education on healthy body image and managing long-term complications.
Physicians should provide or refer patients to receive these services, as appropriate. (1998) (DEC2020BOD)