• Nursing Care Considerations Among Maternity Patients Who Have Undergone Female Genital Mutilation/ Female Circumcision

      Delis, Pamela; Coreas, Iliana (2018-01-01)
      Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined as “procedures that intentionally alter and cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” by the World Health Organization (2018). FGM is a complicated subject matter to explore, not only because of what it entails, but also due to the identified gap in research about the proper care for these women here in the US. FGM can be very traumatizing and can affect so many aspects of these women's lives. The alteration and injury to the female's genital organs complicate and change the normal care plans for a pregnant patient that has undergone FGM. According to UNICEF, “there are approximately three million women and girls who have undergone FGC (Female Genital Circumcision) living in the United States” (Little, 2015). This number was estimated 5 years ago, and due to recent immigration patterns it is likely that this number will continue to rise. The increasing number of girls and women who have undergone FGM that live here in the US and the limited amount of identified research on this subject supports the need for this inquiry. A review of the literature was conducted using the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) database and PubMed for years 2012-2018. A review of eight identified articles substantiate that significant risks and complications exist for women who have undergone female genital mutilation. The obstetrical complications of FGM include hemorrhage, injuries due to tearing and episiotomies, extended hospital stays, and emotional and cultural insensitivity experienced by patients. A gap in research exists related to nursing care considerations for this population. Research suggests that education about this topic and becoming culturally sensitive can help nurses provide appropriate care. There are also a number of obstetrical procedures that can lower the complications that FGM may cause during labor/birth. Further research should focus on nursing implications and interventions for the safe and appropriate care for these women.