Get access

Defective sexuality and female circumcision: The cause and the possible management


Reprint request to: Saeed M.A. Thabet, 19-Maamal Al-Alban St. El-Kalafawi, Shoubra, Cairo, Egypt. Email: dr_ saeedth


Aim:  To verify the effect of circumcision on female sexuality and to define the need for clitorolabioplasty in these cases.

Methods:  Thirty uncircumcised controls, 30 minorly circumcised, 30 minorly circumcised mutilated, and 57 circumcised cases having clitoral cysts were selected on random bases at Kasr El Aini School of Medicine. Sexuality was assessed by a special questionnaire sheet prepared by the authors to fit the circumcised cases. Clitorolabioplasty and clitoral cyst excision were also done in cases of sexual defects.

Results:  Sexuality was not affected in minorly circumcised cases. However, sexuality was markedly affected in the mutilated cases. The scores for sex desire and arousal and for orgasm were especially affected in such cases. These defects were not detected in cases having clitoral cysts until late, when cysts enlarged. The role of clitorolabioplasty in restoration of sexuality was confirmed.

The loss of certain clitoral and labial bulk, necessary for orienting the woman towards her genitalia and initiating her interest in their function, was responsible for the occurrence of such defects; this was able to be restored by surgery.

Conclusion:  Counseling parents about these sexual defects and asserting the need for correcting the mutilation, which resulted from these circumcisions, are effective steps in banning such procedures.