Female genital mutilation — a blind spot in Dutch general practice? A case– control study

Ramin Kawous*, Nigar Kerimova, Maria ETC Van Den Muijsenbergh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Women with female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) often suffer from physical and psychosexual problems related to FGM/C. As gatekeepers to the medical system, GPs are often the first to be consulted about these problems. It is as yet unknown if, and to what extent, Dutch GPs identify women with FGM/C or related health problems. Aim: To investigate how often Dutch GPs register FGM/C and related health problems. Design & setting: A case–control study of anonymised patient records was performed in the Netherlands. Method: Medical records were checked for information on country of origin. Records of women, aged ≥15 years, from countries where FGM/C is practised were compared with those of a case-control. Results: Although many migrants were registered with the participating GPs, information on country of origin was seldom recorded. Only 68 out of 16 700 patients were identified as women from countries where FGM/C is practised; 12 out of these 68 records contained information about the FGM/C status, but none on the type of FGM/C. There were no significant differences in health problems related to FGM/C between patients with FGM/C and the controls. Conclusion: FGM/C may be a blind spot for GPs and registration of information on migration background could be improved. A larger sample in a future study is needed to confirm this finding. Given the growing global migration, awareness and knowledge on FGM/C, and other migration-related health issues should be part of GP training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBJGP Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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