Awareness, Clinical Experience and Knowledge of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Among Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeons in the United States

Hannah S. Thomas, Nnenaya A. Mmonu, Gregory Amend, Alexandra Dubinskaya, Crista Johnson-Agbakwu, Tami S. Rowen, Jennifer T. Anger, Benjamin N. Breyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To promote the recognition and care of patients with female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), we aimed to evaluate the awareness, clinical experience and knowledge of FGM/C among female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) specialists. FGM/C is a cultural practice whereby there is removal of external female genitalia for non-therapeutic reasons. Despite the high prevalence of urogynecologic complications, there is a paucity of literature discussing FGM/C from the lens of urologists and urogynecologists. Methods: By cross-sectional design, we distributed a 27-item survey via email to members of the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. We collected variables pertaining to previous FGM/C education, clinical confidence, cultural and medical knowledge, and desire for future education. Results: A total of 54 US-based, mostly urologists and FPMRS specialists, completed the survey. All providers had heard of FGM/C; however only 13% received formal education during medical training. Over 50% had encountered a patient with FGM/C in clinical practice. Only 19% and 13% felt completely confident recognizing and discussing FGM/C, respectively. Seventy percent believed religious doctrine informed FGM/C practice and 24% correctly identified FGM/C type on clinical representation. Finally, only 17% of respondents were aware of FGM/C guidelines, and providers expressed a desire for increased availability of multimodal resources. Conclusion: Education regarding FGM/C remains sparse and variable for US FPMRS specialists. Cultural and clinical knowledge is also lacking, which is a detriment to patient care. In order to strengthen awareness and knowledge, we must develop high-quality FGM/C educational resources for urologists and gynecologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalUrology
Volume159
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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