In the final episode of our sex and religion week, sex and relationships therapist Emma Ziff answers a crucial question.
Question from Teresa in Ashford wanting to understand more about Female Genital Mutilation.
FGM is when young girls have parts of their genitalia removed or mutilated for non-medical reasons.
It has been believed to be religious. However, nowhere in Islamic text does it mention this and is now believed to be cultural and traditional, especially in African countries.
Many women have come to the UK from such countries and may seek advice or solace with practitioners in the fact that they have felt violated from this act. You may also not be aware that FGM is carried out in the UK, in secret illegally, with more than 66,000 victims.
There are many physical and psychological complications so it is important for you to guide them towards necessary help. If you do come across information, which can help stop this atrocity, then I believe we have a duty to report such an incident.
Others religious views may have a huge impact on the sexual health of clients, and especially in such a fast moving modern world.
It is personal to them and every individual will have an opinion on their own issues whether religious, cultural, political, economical or social. In your career there will be people who you will want to help but perhaps unable to due to their thoughts and beliefs.
Make sure that you have done everything you can within the scope of your ability as a pharmacist and that you are familiar with religious guidelines to sexual health issues such as contraception, abortion, infertility, IVF and circumcision, and what treatments there are based on their individual needs.
This will also demonstrate a mutual respect and they will appreciate your acknowledgment of their beliefs.