Clitorectomy reversed

There is hope for victims of female genital mutilation – that is, when you are a citizen of France or the United States. Newsweek reports on the work of Dr. Marci Bowers, who performs reconstructive operations on women who have undergone clitorectomies. 80% of the women who undergo the procedure have pleasurable feelings restored.

It is the first time I heard of the possibility. The clitoris is a wonderful organ, and most of it is buried inside as recent research brings to light, so it is not unimaginable that there are options of restauration, why didn’t I think of that? Fortunately, Dr. Pierre Foldès did. When he started 20 years ago, he found

“It was shocking for me to discover in my research that there was nothing, absolutely nothing on this organ, although there are hundreds of books on the penis, and several surgical techniques to lengthen it, enlarge it or repair it. Nobody was studying the clitoris because it is associated with female pleasure. There was very little anatomical detail on it. It was as if it didn’t exist. I had to start from scratch.”

But there now is a start. Kudos.

3 thoughts on “Clitorectomy reversed

  1. Hmm, I’m trying to remember where I got this from (cause it would be a useful thing to share!), and I can’t… But anyway, yes, I’ve known for years that what we call the clitoris is almost literally the tip of the iceberg – there’s a huge area of sensitive tissue (I guess the right word for it is “an organ”, really) that extends under the skin all around the labia and in a petal-like formation to the tops of the thighs. In theory it should be possible (at least for some women) to reach orgasm without stimulation of the actual little button we think about when we think clitoris… But I didn’t know that people are working to surgically restore the button itself, or that there was even any imedical interest in FMG victims… That’s great news!

  2. Hello TheLady. Helen O’Connell was in the news a few years ago having discovered that the clitoris is as you describe. Here’s an old BBC article.

  3. That the practice of clitorectomy has existed for thousands of years (I know I’m on thin ice quoting clitorectomy proponents’ meta-narratives about “the time of the Pharoahs” as “fact”) demonstrates that men have understood the importance of the “little button” for a very long time. How tragic that anatomical diagrams used in (Canadian) sex-ed classes don’t represent this organ AT ALL and DO feature full colour illustrations of the male genitalia, including the prostate. My first experience with a nearly accurate textbook illustration of a clitoris was actually with a college level psychology textbook. That might have had something to do with our FEMALE program coordinator for Social Sciences.

    Doctors Foldes, Bowers and O’Connell are correcting far more than the damage done to their individual patients. Congratulations, and thank you.

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