Female genital cutting (FGC) can have serious complications. The procedure is often done with unsterilized equipment, such as scissors, knives, or razor blades. Many girls are not given anesthesia, so the practice is extremely painful. Common risks are wound infection, bleeding, hemorrhaging, and sepsis (blood poisoning).
As the girls grow up, there are often long-term complications, such as painful intercourse, problems with urination and menstruation, infections, cysts, and abscesses. Girls who have had their vaginas stitched shut will need to have another procedure to open it when they’re ready for intercourse and childbearing. Infertility is another risk.
Babies born to women who have had FGC are at higher risk for low birth weight, infection, and stillbirth.