Circumcision represents a surgical removal of the penile foreskin, the tissue covering the head (glans) of the penis. This procedure has its origins from ancient times when it had been done in religious rites. Today, many parents have their sons circumcised for religious reasons, while it may be done as a part of a family tradition, personal hygiene, and preventive healthcare.
When Is It Done?
First or the second day is usually the time when religious circumcision is performed. Among the Jewish population, it is performed on the eighth days of life. The procedure becomes riskier and more complicated with the years.
Why Is It Usually Done?
As already said, for many Jewish and Islamic families, as well as certain aboriginal tribes in Africa and Australia it is a traditional procedure. In some cases, there is a medical indication for circumcision, one of such is when the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back (retracted) over the glans (phimosis). In some parts of Africa, circumcision is recommended to avoid the potential risk of sexually transmitted infections. It is done even on older boys and men.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)reports that the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. However, the circumcision is not recommended as a routine for all male newborns. Today the AAP’s attitude is to leave the circumcision decision up to parents — and supports the use of anesthetics for infants who have the procedure.
Some Health Benefits Of Circumcision
Hygiene. Circumcision makes it simpler to wash the penis. However, washing beneath the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis is generally easy.
Penile Problems. The foreskin on an uncircumcised penis can occasionally be difficult or impossible to retract (phimosis). This can result in inflammation of the foreskin or head of the penis.
Penile Cancer. Although cancer of the penis is rare, but it is even less common in circumcised men. What is very important, female sexual partners of circumcised men are at lower risk of cervical cancer.
Sexually Transmitted Infections. There might be a lower risk of certain sexually transmitted infections in circumcised men, this includes HIV. However, you should always have protection in order to be safe from STIs.
Urinary Tract Infections. The overall risk of the infections in males is low since their anatomy is different compared to the female body. Still, these infections are more common in uncircumcised males when compared to the circumcised ones.
Circumcised vs Uncircumcised
Today families are questioning the risk and benefits od this circumcision before deciding to proceed. There are benefits where you can read some of those down below.
When circumcision is not performed, it increases the risk of penile skin inflammation and infection three-fold. Types of inflammation that can occur are those of the glans (balanitis), foreskin (posthitis), and both the glans and foreskin (balanoposthitis). Men can also suffer from an inability to retract the foreskin (phimosis) and penile constriction due to a tight foreskin that doesn’t return following retraction (paraphimosis). Data shows that one of these conditions will manifest in up to 18% uncircumcised boys by the age of eight. Since circumcision removes the foreskin, the incidence is much lower in in circumcised males. These are not common conditions, but all present potential problems.
Uncircumcised infants are at over 12 times higher risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) compared to uncircumcised infants. This trend continues into adulthood, with the lifetime cumulated UTI prevalence is 1 in 20 for circumcised men, but 1 in 3 for uncircumcised men.
The intact foreskin can increase the risk of many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , 2-4 times. These include genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), thrush, chancroid, syphilis, and Trichomonas vaginalis. Female sexual partner of uncircumcised men is at increased risk of STIs, with the incidence of genital herpes,Trichomonas vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted HPV (which causes cervical cancer), and possibly chlamydia up to five times more for women with uncircumcised partners.
No. 1 risk factor for HIV infection in heterosexual men is penile foreskin. Uncircumcised men have 2-8 times the risk of HIV, compared with circumcised men.
Prevalence of penile cancer is more than 20 times lower in circumcised men compared with uncircumcised, which is very important considering this as a serious disease in which a quarter of patients have died from and in those with curable forms, sometimes the penile amputation is needed. However, some facts are important to mention such as the incidence of penile cancer which is low even in uncircumcised men. This is important to know.
The risk of prostate cancer is 50-100% greater in uncircumcised men than those who are circumcised.
Cause of the removal of half the skin on the penis, men lose many of the penile fine touch receptors after the circumcision. These skin receptors are very sensitive to light touch sensations. The delicate skin underneath the foreskin hardens slightly to protect itself, thus leading a circumcision scar to become the most sensitive part of the penis. These changes could be the main reason for decreased sensitivity during sexual intercourse.
On the other side, the female partner’s pleasure during the sex is still under debate. Some studies have shown that women with circumcised partners are more satisfied in bed, but other say totally the opposite. Still, there is an advantage for some women whose partners are still uncircumcised: the retraction of the foreskin at the bottom of penis stimulates clitoris more, thus increasing a woman’s pleasure.
Researchers found decreased risk of sexual pain in women with circumcised partners compared to those with uncircumcised ones. The explanation for this is that lack of foreskin makes penis smoother, bringing particular benefit for women who don’t produce enough lubricants. An uncircumcised penis is slicker than the circumcised one, causing men not to need as much lubricant for sex and masturbation. However, they will have to be careful for retraction, as this can be the reason of the condition such as phimosis.
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