What is Circumcision?

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, which is the fold of skin covering the delicate end of the penis.

There are generally three reasons for undergoing this operation:

1) For Religious Reasons, as required by the Jewish and Islamic faiths. This is usually carried out on babies, although a small percentage of teenagers and adults choose to be circumcised for religious reasons.

2) For Cultural Reasons. A man who comes from a family where circumcision is traditional may want his infant son to be the same. There are some valid advantages in doing this, such as:

  • A reduced risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI), such as a bladder infection
  • A reduced risk of getting sexually transmitted infections such as HIV
  • A reduced risk of developing cancer of the penis

However, there are disadvantages, such as:

  • The exposed penis tip may become less sensitive – circumcised men may experience less pleasure during sex
  • The potential complications of circumcision surgery, which include excessive bleeding and post-operative infection. These can outweigh any potential benefits
  • There is a growing view that circumcision should only be performed when a boy is old enough to make an informed decision about whether he wishes to be circumcised

3) Medical conditions are more often the deciding factor for a man to choose to be circumcised. Even so, circumcision is generally considered as a last resort after other treatment has failed.

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