Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision, is a procedure in which the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed when there's no medical reason for doing so. It is generally performed on girls under the age of 15. It is very painful and can seriously affect the long-term health of women and girls. It can cause particular harm during pregnancy and labour. FGM is illegal in the UK.
The Sunflower clinics are three specialist clinics for women and families in north west London who are affected by FGM.
All of the Sunflower clinics are staffed by female-only midwives. We have health advocates who speak Somali and Arabic and access to specialist counselling support. The midwives who run the clinics are specialists who have years of experience in helping and caring for women with FGM.
Two of the clinics are for pregnant women with FGM who are booked to have their baby at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea or St Mary’s hospitals.
We also run a gynaecology clinic at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital for women with FGM who are not pregnant. Women are encouraged to self-refer to this fast-track, midwifery-led service.
Conditions we treat
We treat all women and families who have been affected by FGM.
We can diagnose the type of FGM and we offer deinfibulation (‘reversal/opening’ procedure) using local anaesthetic.
We also refer women to the hospital if they require or would prefer the opening procedure under general anaesthetic. We also can refer women with chronic perineal pain to specialist urogynaecology services.
Education and elective placements
We offer elective training placements within the Sunflower clinics. For more information please call one of our specialist FGM midwives or our health advocate.
Tackling female genital mutilation through practical partnerships
Female genital mutilation (or FGM) is a serious global issue that causes long-term health problems for a number of women in our local community. In this blog post, Juliet Albert, specialist FGM midwife at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust,…