Anaesthetics and antiseptic treatments are not generally used and the practice is usually carried out using knives, scissors, scalpels, pieces of glass or razor blades.
The procedure can cause severe bleeding and infections, which can last the woman’s entire lifetime.
It is estimated that 3 million girls are cut every year across the world. Around 23,000 of these are carried out in the UK. The practice is particularly rife in some African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries.