Survey of UK physiotherapists treating female genital mutilation
Since many of the long-term effects of female genital mutilation (FGM) are within the scope of practice of women’s health physiotherapists, the International Organization of Physical Therapists in Women’s Health conducted a survey of its member countries in 2010 to determine if women who have undergone FGM are receiving physiotherapy, and to identify any current research or the level of interest in such research. Survey Monkey was the tool used. This survey showed that approximately 13% of 423 respondents had treated women with FGM, mostly in small numbers of up to four per year, with some treating 20 or more. Urinary incontinence, perineal trauma/tears in childbirth, dyspareunia, postpartum urinary problems and chronic pain were the conditions for which treatment was most often sought. A synopsis of this survey has been communicated to the World Health Organization. Because the world-wide survey showed that the UK was the country in which the most women were treated by physiotherapists, a further survey was
conducted in this country during March–April 2015, and the results are reported below.
Keywords: female genital mutilation, physiotherapy, UK.