Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Relapse and Clitoral Reconstruction After Female Genital Mutilation

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Evidence on clitoral reconstruction after female genital mutilation is lacking.

CASE:

A woman with female genital mutilation experiencing clitoral pain during sex consulted to undergo clitoral reconstruction. The surgery was complicated by a wound infection responsible for severe postoperative pain. Such genital pain made our patient recall the traumatic experience of genital mutilation and experience a relapse of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. She reported anxiety; spontaneous, intrusive recurrent memories of the cutting; hypervigilance; and depressed mood. We successfully treated the infection and posttraumatic stress disorder. At 6 months postsurgery, she reported no clitoral pain and improved sexual function.

CONCLUSION:

Genital pain after clitoral reconstruction may cause recall of memories of the genital mutilation. We recommend multidisciplinary comprehensive psychosexual care and adequate analgesia.

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