An estimated 170,000 women and girls in the UK have been subjected to FGM, according to a report from MPs.
The Home Affairs committee also found:
- In two London boroughs almost one in 10 girls are born to mothers who have suffered the procedure and are therefore themselves at risk.
- FGM is most commonly carried out on girls between the ages of five and eight.
- In some cases it is carried out by a health professional, but is more commonly undertaken by a traditional practitioner with no formal training, without anaesthetic, using knives, scissors or even pieces of glass.
- The committee said there was still very little information on the girls most at risk.
- The immediate effects can include severe pain, bleeding, shock, infection and occasionally death.
- In the long term, many women and girls experience mental health problems, such as depression and post-traumatic stress.
- Police in the UK have investigated more than 200 cases over the last five years.