Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but where there's no medical reason for this to be done.

It's also known as "female circumcision" or "cutting", and by other terms such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others.

FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts. Itis illegal in the UK and is child abuse.

It's very painful and can seriously harmthehealth of women and girls. It can also cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health.

Help and support is available if you've had FGM or you're worried that someone may be at risk.

This page covers:

Forms of FGM

Effects of FGM

Treatment for FGM (deinfibulation)

Getting help and support

Why it's carried out

Whereit's carried out

The law and FGM

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 4 Jan 2017