In briefBMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5180 (Published 01 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5180
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'In brief' comments on the latest data on FGM submitted to HSCIC. It is a sad fact that press reporting around FGM is subject to huge inaccuracies and misconceptions. It is a shame to find that the BMJ itself falls into this category.
The news item states that 'A total of 1036 new cases of FGM were recorded in England between April and June 2015.' This statistic is confusing. Along with other press, the BMJ does not explain that these cases are not 'newly performed' cases of FGM, but newly recorded historical cases which make up by far the majority of FGM cases seen in this country.
Further, the article states that 'in the three months to June this year 43 reinfibulation procedures were performed'. I presume that in fact, the article was referring to deinfibulation surgery, the procedure by which the closed labia in type III FGM are reopened to enable both sexual intercourse and safe childbirth. Reinfibulation, the procedure by which type III FGM is redone after childbirth, is rightly illegal in the UK.
Competing interests: KD is clinical lead of a specialist FGM clinic.