Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

What is FGM?

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), is also known as female circumcision, cutting, sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others. It’s a painful and illegal process that involves cutting, injuring or changing a girl’s external genitalia (private parts). FGM is a cultural tradition and there’s no medical or religious reason for it. In the UK, FGM is considered child abuse.

Impact of FGM

FGM can have a profound impact on a person. When done, it will cause physical issues such as intense pain or bleeding and can result in infection.  Months and years later, it can still impact a person, like problems going to the toilet or difficulty having sex or giving birth. As important as these are the emotional and mental affects, for example depression, anxiety and loss of confidence.

What you can do

If this is something you have gone through, may be going through or you know someone who’s dealing with this, use the resources and helplines below. Also, you may be feeling confused or scared; you might not want to get anyone in trouble but it’s important to remember FGM is abuse and you have the right to speak out and stay safe.

– If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger call the police on 999

– Speak to an adult that you trust such as a teacher, doctor, nurse or youth worker

– Speak to the LB Redbridge Child Protection and Assessment Team on 020 8708 3885 (weekdays) or 020 8708 5897 (evenings and weekends)

– Call the NSPCC’s dedicated 24/7 FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk

– Call Childine free on 0800 1111 (calls to Childline won’t show up on any phone bills)

Resource for more info:

What to do if you’re worried about FGM

Includes info on how to get help if you’ve had FGM and what to do if you are worried bad things will happen if you speak up.


Provides support for young people from women who have experienced FGM themselves.

Petals is a web app is for young people, both girls and boys living in the UK who want to find out more about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and how it might affect them and others they may know.

If you have been affected by FGM and would like to speak to a health professional, there are a number of FGM clinics in the area delivered by Bart’s Health NHS Trust (see information below).


Chingway FGM Clinic, Chingway Medical Centre

7 Ching Way, London E4 8YD

You can just walk in, or phone or email to make an appointment

Phone: 020 8430 7020

Email: bartshealth.fgmwhipps@nhs.net

Fridays, every two weeks from 20 September,10am to 4pm
Whipps Cross Hospital FGM Walk-In Clinic for non-pregnant women

Perineal Clinic, Area A, Outpatients building, Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, London E11 1NR

Last Monday morning of every month, 9am to 12noon


Whipps Cross Hospital Lotus FGM Clinic for pregnant women

Antenatal clinic, Maternity building, Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, London E11 1NR

Last Wednesday afternoon of every month, 2 to 5pm