Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Kenya is also known as female circumcision. Female Circumcision is a rare practice in Kenya, though in cases like Kisii in Kenya, it is still practiced. It is estimated that about 130 million girls are currently living with the effects of FGM. A further two million girls are at a risk of the practice. Societies that practice FGM in Kenya believe that it is an initiation into adulthood and prevents the woman from becoming promiscuous.
There are four types of operations involved in FGM in Kenya; Circumcision, which involves cutting of the prepuces or hood of the clitoris. There is also Excision, which involves the cutting of the clitoris together with all or part of the labia minora. The third type of cut in Kenya is Infibulation, which involves the cutting of the clitoris, labia minora, and part of labia majora. The two sides of the vulva of the woman are pinned together with silk, catgut sutures, or probably with thorns, thus obliterating the vaginal introitus leaving a small opening, preserved by inserting a piece of wood or reed for passage of urine or menstrual blood. The girl’s legs are bound together from hip to ankle, and she is kept immobile for 40 days to permit the formation of scar tissue
The fouth type of FGM in Kenya is Intermediate, which involves the removal of the clitoris and some or all parts of the labia minora. All of these operations present severe consequences to the reproductive health for girls and women in Kenya.
Health Consequences of FGM in Kenya
FGM in Kenya is associated with several health risks to women which include; Medical complications such as haemorrhage, pain, pelvic infection, and painful intercourse, Complications of childbirth such as obstructed labour due to scarring of tissues. In some communities in Kenya, the husband must give consent before an episiotomy can be performed. The Female circumcision procedure in Kenya also denies the woman enjoyment of sexual life as the clitoris plays a role in reaching orgasm.
FGM also predisposes girls to early marriage in Kenya since after the initiation they are considered mature and can get married. Early marriage, as we said earlier, has negative consequences on their RH as it exposes them to early pregnancy. If contraception is not used, the girl may have many deliveries, which predisposes her to various risks, including cancer of the cervix (Miranda). Now you know the dangers of female circumcision in Kenya, do something to discourage it and save our women in Kenya from this tradition.