Monday, 21 October 2013

Female Genital Mutilation and Identifying girls and young women at risk

and young women at risk

Knowing who has been mutilated or is at risk is often difficult. This is difficult because:

• it happens only once

• parents may believe FGM is a good thing to do for their daughters

• the genitalia of girls are rarely examined

• it is not culturally acceptable for girls to talk openly about FGM.

But remember there is a risk if:

• the girl’s mother or her older sisters have been cut

• the mother has limited contact with people outside of her family

• the paternal grandmother is very influential within the family

• the mother has poor access to information about FGM

• no one talks to the mother about FGM

• health, social service and education staff fail to respond appropriately

• communities are given the impression that FGM is not taken seriously by the statutory sector.

Step up and say No to FGM. It has nothing to do with culture or religion. Spread the message and say no to an unnecessary, horrific procedure that has no value to a woman’s body.



Thursday, 17 October 2013

Female Genital Mutilation and frontline staff

Raising awareness about the socio-cultural, ethico-legal, sexual health and clinical care implications involved in FGM is essential.


Education and training needs to be provided for all health and social care professionals who may work with affected women and girls and with their families. It is also important to consider the issues of ethnicity, custom, culture and religion in a sensitive manner.


Professionals should explore ways of resolving problems about the continuation of this practice in ways that involve clients with their full participation.


Education of male partners and community leaders might reduce the number of children, young and older women who suffer in the future. However, cultural practices like FGM have been ingrained for many generations, and will require extensive cultural education to address the issues thoroughly and effectively.


Nurse training has not included FGM as part of the curriculum in the past, and midwifery programmes may not address the issues adequately either. FGM

should be a part of sexual health education in all preregistration and post-registration programmes for nurses, midwives and health visitors. It is equally essential to raise awareness and the seriousness of the issues among teachers, school nurses and social service staff.


The programme of training around FGM should include the following:


  • overview of FGM (what it is, when and where it is performed)
  • socio-cultural context
  • facts and figures
  • UK FGM and child protection law
  • FGM complications
  • pregnancy, labour and postnatal periods
  • safeguarding children – principles to follow when FGM is
  • suspected or been performed
  • roles of different professionals.

Spread the message. Say No to FGM. Read, A lost Youth by Abigal Muchecheti now available on Amazon

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Female Genital Mutilation: Pyschological and sexual impacts

A friend wanted me to look at the psychological impacts of FGM and here are some,

In some instances girls and women from FGM practising communities visit a clinic complaining of a wide variety of physical problems for which no sign can be found when they are examined. Their complaints are, in fact, "psychosomatic" – that is, they are psychological problems which the client experiences, or disguises, as physical discomfort. Anxiety about their genitals or about sexual relationships may manifest themselves in psychosomatic symptoms. Often the girl or woman is unaware that her symptoms are based on psychological anxieties. But in some cases the woman is aware of the fact that the symptoms she is presenting are not the real cause of her problems, but she is too shy to discuss them directly them with anybody.


Genital mutilation is commonly performed when girls are young and uninformed and is often preceded by acts of deception, intimidation, coercion, and violence by parents, relatives and friends that the girl has trusted. Girls are generally conscious when the painful operation is undertaken as no anaesthetic or other medication is used.

 In a lot of instances they have to be physically restrained because they struggle. In some instances they are forced to watch the mutilation of other girls. The experience of genital mutilation is associated with a range of mental and psychosomatic disorders.

 For example:

Girls frequently report disturbances in their eating and sleeping habits, and in mood and cognition. Symptoms include sleeplessness, nightmares, loss of appetite, weight loss or excessive weight gain, as well as panic attacks, instability of mood, difficulties in concentration and learning, and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress. As they grow older, women may develop feelings of incompleteness, loss of self esteem,

depression, chronic anxiety, phobias, panic or even psychotic disorders.


Girls may suffer feelings of betrayal, bitterness and anger at being subjected to such an ordeal. This may cause a crisis of confidence and trust in family and friends that may have long term implications. It may affect the relationship between the girl and

her parents, and may also affect her ability to form intimate relationships in the future, even perhaps with her own children.


Girls and women sometimes express feelings of humiliation, inhibition and fear that have become part of their lives as a result of enduring genital mutilation.


Sexual problems of FGM:


Painful intercourse (dysparaenia), due to tight introitus as a result of infibulation vaginal stenosis, stimulation of the clitoral nerve or clitoral neuroma.


Difficulty or impossibility of penetration by husband/partner due to narrowing of the vaginal orifice as a result of infibulation or scarring.


Various forms and degrees of sexual dysfunction due to injury or removal of the clitoris, which is a key organ in female sexuality (The clitoris and labia

minora are supplied with a large number of sensory nerves, which are connected to the brain and plays an important role in female sexual arousal).


Inability to reach orgasm


Complications of FGM during labour and delivery


Reduced vaginal opening, which will present a direct mechanical barrier to delivery and will interfere with other procedures required for both assessment and management during labour. A tight introitus may, for example, prevent vaginal examination, and result in mistakes being made in assessing the degree of cervical dilatation, and monitoring the stage of labour and fetal presentation.


Labour may be obstructed as a result of scarring of the external genitalia which prevents the normal stretching of the perineum to allow the passage of

the baby.


Prolonged second stage due to scarring of the perineum and a tight vaginal opening.


Tears during delivery due to rigidity of the perineum as a result of scarring of the tissues around the introitus.


Development of obstetric fistulae as a result of prolonged labour, during which the foetal head presses against the bladder or rectum.


Death as a result of rupture of the uterus due to

obstructed labour.


Help us end this horrific practice.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Five Most dangerous Countries for Women


Did you know?


 1. Afghanistan

Afghanistan scores highest in terms of non-sexual violence, women-specific health and economic discrimination.
-    1 in 11 women die in childbirth
-    Almost 90% are completely illiterate
-    70 – 80% of girls are forced into marriages.

Added to all this, there is female genital mutilation which is after all unnecessary.

2. Congo

The Congo comes in second mainly because the figures for sexual violence are so high. A country with a shockingly long list of human rights violations, the Congo is still recovering after the war.

-    About 1 150 women are raped EVERY DAY
-    57% of women are anaemic.

3. Pakistan

Pakistan is rife with cultural, tribal and religious practices which abuse women. Things such as “punishment” through stoning, acid attacks, beatings and forced marriages are at the order of the day and women have nowhere to turn to for help because of an unsympathetic cultural and religious government.

According to the Human Rights Commission more than a 1000 women and girls are victims of “honour killings” – which are committed by their families – per year.

4. India
This is doubly depressing seeing that India’s population is around a billion people which should make it the world’s biggest democracy by far. On the contrary,

-    100 million (mostly women and children) are victims of human trafficking.
-    Over 50 million girls are missing due to female infanticide.
-    Almost half of the female population are married before 18.

5. Somalia

This country has been ravaged by civil war and lack of government for many years now. It ranks as the fifth most dangerous country for females because of factors such as:

- Female Genital Mutilation usually practiced on girls between 4 and 11
- High maternity death rate as only 9% of women give birth in hospitals
- Child marriage

And with only 7.5% parliament seats being held by women conditions are unlikely to improve.

Let’s all work together and put an end to violence against women and girls.

Say No to Female Genital Mutilation and any violence against women.



Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Love life and Food

Many of us believe that the way to their lover’s heart is through their stomach and simply feed them everything and anything they like. But when someone like Christian Grey creates rules around food, it’s more than just the heart he’s after.

Maintaining optimal health through good nutrition has a very positive effect on our entire wellbeing and that includes the libido. Our sex drive and appetite are governed by our hormones and when our diet doesn’t contain the necessary minerals, vitamins and trace elements, our sex hormones get out of sync and we lose our mojo, which makes the world a very sad and dreary place indeed.

To avoid this we need to introduce a couple of deliciously decadent aphrodisiacs in to our daily diet.

Allow Masterchef or any one of the many other foodie programmes to inspire you. Challenge your amateur cheffing skills and spend some time in the kitchen rustling up a couple of tasty tidbits as part of foreplay.

Toss together a salad which includes asparagus spears and avocado pear, both of which are rich in folic acid and boosts the production of histamine. This feeds the brain, which is the biggest sex organ of all.
The zinc in a raw oyster aids the release of hormones that boosts your libido and encourages the production of sperm, which by the way, will be vastly improved in flavour if regular helpings of pineapple are introduced into your man’s diet.
A tasty and healthy way to do this is to make a fruit salad with pineapple, strawberries and bananas. These are all rich in chelating minerals and the bromeliad enzymes which are guaranteed to get the libido soaring.

Throw in a handful of almonds and trickle over some sweet, sticky honey, which is a great source of boron and the B vitamins, and you and your partner will be well on the way to enjoying an enhanced sex drive and more intense and frequent orgasms.

Sharing foods which are psychologically suggestive, have psychoactive properties or help maintain good blood flow to the sex organs is bound to get you both in the mood and keep it that way. And then when your man starts to take a leaf out of Grey’s book and says things like, “I’m not a hearts and flowers kind of man … I don’t do romance. My tastes are very singular,” you’ll know that his hormones are at optimum level and that it’s time to reintroduce a little moon light and roses.

Romance is important too. Bring out the chocolates. We all adore these. They make us feel good and are full of the love chemical PEA which does wonders for releasing dopamine in the pleasure centre of the brain.


Make the most of life!