Out of Eastern Africa: Defibulation and Sexual Function in Woman with Female Genital Mutilation


Annette Kuhn, MD, Department of Urogynaecology, Gynaecology, Frauenklinik, Inselspital, University of Bern, Effingerstr.10, Bern 3010, Switzerland. Tel: +41 31 6321838; Fax: +41 31 6321015; E-mail: annette.kuhn@insel.ch


Introduction.  Female genital mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the female external genitalia and/or injury to the female genital organs for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reasons.

Aim.  Aim of this study was to determine sexual function before and after defibulation using a CO2 laser in migrant women who had undergone FGM in the past.

Main Outcome Measures.  Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) before and 6 months after defibulation.

Methods.  Patients were asked to fill the FSFI before surgery and at 6 months follow-up. Defibulation took place under general anesthetic using a CO2 laser.

Results.  Eighteen patients underwent defibulation in a standardized manner and filled in the FSFI completely. Female sexual function improves after surgical defibulation in the domains desire, arousal, satisfaction, and pain whereas lubrification and orgasm remained unchanged.

Conclusion.  Defibulation using CO2 laser may improve some aspects of sexual function in patients who undergo defibulation but not all. Krause E, Brandner S, Mueller MD, and Kuhn A. Out of Eastern Africa: Defibulation and sexual function in woman with female genital mutilation. J Sex Med 2011;8:1420–1425.