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Female genital mutilation is a common practice in many countries and cultures, such as those in Africa, and can lead to or contribute to infertility, the inability to produce a pregnancy after about one year of unprotected sexual activity. Female genital mutilation is the intentional alteration or injury of the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is also known as female circumcision. There are a variety of female genital mutilation practices that include clitoridectomy, the partial or total removal of the clitoris and possibly the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris. Other areas of the female genitalia may also be removed, including the labia minor and the labia major, the lips that surround the vagina. The vagina can also be narrowed. Other forms of female genital mutilation may include piercing and cauterizing the genital area. These practices can result in such fertility problems as painful intercourse, inability to have intercourse, infections, frigidity, and other forms of infertility. The World Health Organization has recognized female Genital Mutilation as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
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