“I feel complete after my circumcision was reversed” - Daily Nation

“I feel complete after my circumcision was reversed”

Friday December 22 2017

I had been robbed of the most valuable thing that defined my womanhood and my confidence plummeted.

"I had been robbed of the most valuable thing that defined my womanhood and my confidence plummeted." PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH

By SONI KANAKE
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Stacy Moraa* was circumcised at the age of 10. When she later understood the consequences of female circumcision, it not only left her with a perpetual fear of intimacy in marriage but also tore her soul apart and left her feeling less a woman. She is now 27 years old and shares her story with Soni Kanake on her love life before and after a reconstructive surgery:

“Growing up was fun and I remember enjoying my childhood. However, my life changed drastically during my teenage years when I joined Form One. I come from a community that values Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and regards it as a rite of passage. Actually, I was circumcised at the age of 10 while in Standard Five. Though we lived in town, dad took me to the village for the initiation. I had been looking forward to the ceremony and could not wait to be a ‘big girl’.

“My people have embraced this fallacy that an uncircumcised girl is loose and loves men and, therefore, to curb this, they circumcise the girls. Incidentally, I witnessed some of my friends getting pregnant during their teenage years, which dampens the theory that circumcision lowers a woman’s libido. Ironically, it would seem circumcision gave the girls a green light to explore their sexuality as they now felt like grown women, never mind they were barely in their teens. Though young, I still remember the excruciating pain when that sharp razor cut through my body. But that did not matter to me as I was now a ‘woman’ and everyone celebrated me.

LIVING A LIE

“My joy and excitement, however, was short-lived after I joined high school where I got to learn about a campaign against FGM. Wait, had I been living a lie? I went online and starting researching on FGM and that was when it hit me. I had been robbed of the most valuable thing that defined my womanhood and my confidence plummeted. The once happy-go-lucky girl was gone and in her place was a girl plagued by inferiority complex. The set books we read talked about the dangers and consequences of FGM and it dawned on me that what I had been so proud had negative consequences. My online research further revealed that I would never enjoy intimacy and I shut my mind off on an enjoyable marriage.

“I was so sensitive that any story or news on FGM served as a reminder that I was an incomplete woman. Joining university wasn’t any better. It got worse when my classmates asked me if I was circumcised and I was forced to lie. There was no way I was going to make them confirm my inner inferiority status. Worst of all, I could not discuss what I was going through to anyone. I mean, who would understand? What would appear as a normal rite of passage had turned out to be my worst nightmare.

DEAD SEX LIFE

“My first relationship in college did not work out as I was still apprehensive about my sexuality. I later dated a man who is now my husband though deep down, I wasn’t expecting any sexual pleasure in my marriage. I could not bring myself to have the FGM conversation with him and I just let things play themselves out. Luckily for me he is a very polite man and never made me feel uncomfortable or unwanted. However, unknown to him I was living a nightmare. I was scared of getting intimate and our intimate moments were characterised by a lot of anxiety. For me, it was an enduring process as I did not want to lose him.

“Intimacy was a hit or miss affair and I was never sure which way it would go. I knew as a woman I would either experience a clitoral or vaginal orgasm though I had already ruled out the former. My sex life was as dead as a dodo and I was only in the prime of my youth and newly married. I detested my father for taking me for FGM. I went online in search of answers. Was there anything out there that would remedy my situation? I remember coming across a product that promised to lengthen the clitoris but dismissed it when the side effects included facial hair and a deep voice. I had enough problems as it were.

BRAND NEW WOMAN

“Salvation came one evening as I watched TV and there was a feature of an American doctor, who was visiting Kenya and was offering FGM reversal. I followed up and met Dr Abdullahi Adan, a plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon at Karen Hospital, who was doing the surgery locally. He said I had Type 1 FGM (He explained to me that there were four types of FGM graded according to their severity from Type 1 to Type 4). Luckily, my husband paid the Sh150,000 that was required for the 45 minutes operation and after six weeks, I had healed.

I felt like a brand-new woman and like a part of me had been restored. I felt happy, relaxed, confidence and most importantly, I experienced an emotional healing, and for the first time in my sex life, I experienced pleasure. I experienced a clitoral orgasm. My sex life has improved and I no longer endure intimacy. My husband, a man of few words said to me, “It’s a good thing you went for the surgery.”

“It’s now three months post operation and I can now enjoy a good night’s rest. I, however, cannot share the good news with my family but have told my younger sister who is keen on undergoing the surgery. I wish my people and other communities that subject girls to FGM would know how agonising it is. I would never subject my daughters (when I get them) to circumcision.


*not her real name