Circumcision is widely debated on parenting blogs. Most experts are asked about the pros and cons of circumcision. Although circumcision is a standard procedure, how does it impact circumcised individuals? Essentially, circumcision is a surgical procedure where the skin folding over the penis tip is removed.
This is the portion of the penis known as the foreskin. It continues from the skin covering the penis. Let’s find out more about how circumcision impacts sexual health and wellness in males.
When is Circumcision Carried Out?
Perhaps the first question you’re probably thinking is, “when is circumcision done?”. This surgical removal of the foreskin, the tissue covering the glans/head of the penis, is a religious practice in some cultures.
- When performed for religious reasons, it is carried out within 24-48 hours after birth.
- Among members of the Jewish community, circumcision is performed on the eighth day.
The procedure is riskier and complicated in older children, men, and babies. Circumcision i in the first month of life. It is uncommon for circumcision to be performed on adults.
Reasons for Circumcision
Health: Certain conditions like phimosis, where the foreskin is stretching tightly over the penis, require circumcision.
Hygiene: Circumcision is performed because parents may feel children can attain better genital health.
Religion: Circumcision is practiced in various communities like the Jewish and the Islamic.
Personal Reasons: Sometimes, parents may have traditional beliefs regarding circumcision in their family.
Medical professionals recommend circumcision should be performed in sterile, medical settings by skilled doctors.
Circumcision is a procedure carried out using numbing cream or local anesthesia. General anesthesia can also be used in older kids.
Various methods can be used to perform circumcision(1). Instructions are given for caring for the penis till it heals.
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Risks of Circumcision/Benefits of Non-Circumcision
Specific risks are linked with circumcision, like:
- Inadequate or excessive foreskin removal
- Surgical bleeding or infection
- Penile scarring
- Meatal stenosis/narrowing of the urethral opening.
- Permanent reduction in sensation in the penile head.
- Skin adhesions on the organ
- Mastitis or inflammation of the urethral opening
Specific risks linked to circumcision are minor. But major complications can also occur. The parents should consider risks associated with circumcision.
Side Effects and Pitfalls of Circumcision
- Circumcision comes with potential complications and side effects. In a sterile environment, risks of complications are lower.
- 1-3 percent of circumcisions can trigger complications like infection or bleeding, which can be cleared up using topical antibiotics.
- Other risks include poor cosmesis and penile adhesions.
- The tip of the circumcised penis becomes irritated, restricting the urinary opening size.
- This issue can trigger problems in the urinal tract.
- The biggest problem is a botched procedure, where skin removal is extensive, and penile damage occurs.
- Reconstructive surgery may even be needed at later dates.
- Infants can feel the pain of circumcision.
- Those against circumcision say there are nerve endings in the foreskin destroyed through circumcision. This affects sensation and the ability to have sex.
[ Read: Common Sexual Problems in Male ]
Pros/Advantages of Circumcision
However, there are cases where circumcision can prove beneficial.
- Good genital hygiene results from circumcision.
- Foreskins of penises act as receptacles for dead skin cells, bacteria, and sebum.
- This contributes to foul substance smegma, which causes penile inflammation or balanitis. It can lead to phimosis.
- Circumcision makes it easier to clean your foreskin-free penis.
- Circumcision is also linked to higher chances of protection against penile cancer, linked to phimosis and smegma.
- Circumcision guards against STDs and does not impact fertility directly.
- Other effects like diet, hormone levels, certain medicines, sperm count, and chronic health conditions impact male fertility.
- Circumcision lowers the chances of HIV from HIV positive opposite-sex partners.
- Foreskins contain Langerhans cells that attach to HIV and HPV virus.
- It also lowers the chances of UTI, although the risk of such infections is 1% in uncircumcised babies.
- It prevents sexual health problems at a later date.
While the potential benefits of male circumcision(2) outweigh the risks, it is not a procedure customarily proposed. Risks linked to uncircumcised states can also be avoided through proper hygiene and safe sex. The decision to circumcise a baby rests with its parents.
Discuss the matter with a pediatric specialist. Individual parents may choose to skip circumcision and let kids decide whether they want to be circumcised when they get bigger. Circumcised men have no chances of developing foreskin issues or disorders like phimosis. But at the end of the day, the ultimate decision lies with the parent.
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Circumcision can have negative consequences in some cases. In others, the benefits far outweigh the risks. If you’re looking to compare the benefits and pitfalls of circumcision with the pros and cons of non-circumcision, you’ll find that many aspects are waiting to be considered.
Gains and losses need to be considered in this context. Circumcision can have a lot of benefits in the form of better cleanliness and ease of hygiene, not to mention a chance to overcome STDs, STIs, UTIs, and that can be a significant challenge for sexual health and wellness.
Circumcision has a host of drawbacks, too, in that it can be painful, and cause a loss of sexual pleasure. To come within striking distance of optimal sexual wellness, parents need to make the right choice for their child; it is essential to consider all the aspects before diving in.