Infibulation is the act of altering the sexual organs so as to prevent the use of them for sexual purposes. There are both male and female forms of infibulation.
Male infibulation is done by twice piercing the foreskin and then placing a clasp through the two piercings to prevent retraction of the foreskin. The clasp may be a small padlock. The intent is to prevent masturbation and coitus.
In ancient times, infibulation was thought to protect the quality of a young singer's voice.
Female infibulation is more complex. It includes excision of the labia majora and minora and sometimes the head of the clitoris. The vulva is sutured closed except for a small opening to allow for passage of urine and menstrual blood. The procedure is sometimes called pharaonic circumcision.
Female infibulation is classed as Type III female genital mutilation (FGM).