Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Relapse and Clitoral Reconstruction After Female Genital Mutilation

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Evidence on clitoral reconstruction after female genital mutilation is lacking.


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.


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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