On the 16th of May, Pharos organised a webinar on FGM and sexuality. Three speakers both from academia as day-to-day health practice were invited to discuss the consequences of FGM on the sexuality of women.
Simone das Dores, a clinical psychologist discussed the results of a systematic review that she conducted with her colleagues (Van Moorst et al. 2018).The main results were that women with FGM experience less sexual and mental wellbeing compared to women without FGM. According her it is important for healthcare professionals to actively discuss these issues with their patients in a non-judgemental way. Cendrine Vanderhoeven is a sexologist at CeMAViE, a multidisciplinary centre that provides help to women with FGM. She spoke about their approach. Most patients that seek help do not feel they are a full-fledged woman and are insecure about their sexuality. It is important that they receive mental and sexual help; only a genital reconstructive surgery is not enough. Unfortunately most of her patients think that such an operation is the key for better sexual health. Professionals should therefore discuss misconceptions on such surgeries. They also invited Lenna van den Haak who is a journalist and an FGM survivor, who spoke about her personal experiences and how she wants to help other women through her work. The webinar is published on the YouTube channel of Pharos . The presentation of Cendrine Vanderhoeven is in English.