Journal Article

Female genital cutting practices in Burkina Faso and Mali and their negative health outcomes

Observations of the types of female genital cutting and possible associated gynecological and delivery complications were undertaken in 21 clinics in rural Burkina Faso and in four rural and four urban clinics in Mali. Women who came to the clinics for services that included a pelvic exam were included in the study, and trained clinic staff observed the presence and type of cut and any associated complications. Ninety-three percent of the women in the Burkina Faso clinics and 94 percent of the women in the Mali clinics had undergone genital cutting. In Burkina Faso, type 1 (clitoridectomy) was the most prevalent (56 percent), whereas in Mali the more severe type 2 cut (excision) was the most prevalent (74 percent); 5 percent of both samples had undergone type 3 cutting (infibulation). Logistic regression analyses show significant positive relationships between the severity of genital cutting and the probability that a woman would have gynecological and obstetric complications.