Find out what to expect when you come to one of our Sunflower clinics for your appointment.
Before your appointment
If you are not pregnant you can self-refer or ask your GP to refer you to our clinic for women who are not pregnant.
If you are pregnant and have been booked to have your baby at either Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea or St Mary’s hospitals, you will be referred to one of the clinics at these hospitals and will be given an appointment.
Once we receive your referral, we will contact you with the date and time of your appointment.
At all three clinics, you are welcome to bring a friend, family member or carer to the appointment. Before you arrive, your health advocate will let you know whether you need to bring anything.
During your appointment
Appointments range in length from 20 minutes to one hour.
The midwife will welcome you to the clinic and introduce herself. She will then discuss with you the different types of FGM, where it is practised, why it is carried out and the law in the UK.
The midwife will then carry out a visual inspection of the genital area to diagnose what type of FGM you have. She will do this sensitively and gently with a counsellor or health advocate providing support. The midwife will then explain the deinfibulation procedure to you and may perform it during your appointment. If you are pregnant, the midwife will also help you to plan your care for labour.
Please note that our hospitals are teaching hospitals, so medical students may be present for some appointments, but only if you give consent. If you do not, they will be asked to step outside.
After the appointment
Some women will require a follow-up appointment two weeks later. You will also have access to a counsellor, who will be able to provide specialist support.
Further resources and contacts
NHS Choices website has more information on FGM at NHS Choices: FGM
There are a number of organisations which offer specialist support for women and families who have been affected by FGM.
- NSPCC FGM helpline: 0800 028 3550
- FORWARD UK: a national and local charity for people affected by FGM. Call 020 8960 4000, extension 1 or email email@example.com.
- Midaye Somali development network: a local charity for people affected by FGM. Call 020 8969 7456
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