Why Do Men Get Circumcised?
What is circumcision?
Normal males are born with foreskin on their penis. The foreskin is a layer or fold of skin that covers the head of penis. This foreskin can be surgically removed and penis can be exposed by a process known as circumcision. It is an ancient practice and many parents circumcise male child’s due to their religious beliefs, social or cultural traditions or for hygiene or health care purpose.
In most cases, boys are circumcised when they are born either in the hospital or at home within 10 days of their birth. About 55% to 65% of newborn male babies are circumcised each year in the US. However, many men get circumcised at their later ages as well for health related or religious reasons.
Circumcision is usually done at first or second day after child’s birth under anesthesia and takes almost 30 minutes to complete the procedure. The procedure is more painful and risky in older males and children. The pain and discomfort reduce within one to two days and swelling is also reduced after one to two weeks.
Why to go for circumcision?
The male circumcision is a religious or cultural trend in many cultures. Sometimes circumcision become obligatory due to certain medical condition like recurrent STDs or if skin becomes inflexible or rigid due to which it becomes difficult to retract it over the glans.
The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that the benefits of circumcision are outweighed by any potential risks. According to Dr. Carey Chronis, the writer of first year baby care guide, circumcision is safe and harmless procedure however; every surgical procedure needs proper care in order to avoid the chances of bleeding and infection.
Here are some of the reasons why most men opt for circumcision:
Benefits of Circumcision:
- Easy hygiene:
Usually uncircumcised men find it difficult to clean the skin beneath the foreskin due to which ideal hygiene cannot be achieved.
- Reduces STD risk
According to a new research conducted at Translational Genomics Research Institute, investigators stated that circumcision can reduce the bacteria “micro biome” that may play a huge role in reducing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV virus. The research was based on 156 participants from Uganda. These subjects were circumcised and examine after a year of circumcision. The result indicated a significant decline (33.3%) in the colonization of bacteria.
According to CDC, HIV exposed men who are uncircumcised are twice as more likely to get HIV virus then circumcised men.
- Reduced risk of UTI:
Although the risk of urinary tract infection is not common among males however, circumcision further reduces the risk. The uncircumcised males are more prone to get urinary tract infections. It is difficult to clean the penis in uncircumcised males, because folds on skin makse it difficult to clean the skin beneath. Improper hygiene results in the growth of viruses and infections.
- Reduces the prostate cancer risk:
According to latest research, circumcised men are less likely to develop prostate cancer then uncircumcised men. The skin beneath the foreskin accumulates dirt and bacteria due to moisture. These bacteria and viruses causes inflammation and STDs which further contributes to penile or prostate cancer.
- Reduction in various penile problems (Balanitis & phimosis):
It is helpful in reducing various penile problems like Balanitis and phimosis. Balanitis refers to inflammation of glans and balanoposthitis is inflammation of both glans and foreskin. It usually occurs in males who are uncircumcised due to poor hygiene. Another condition phimosis also occurs in uncircumcised men in whom inflammation occurs because foreskin is difficult or unable to retract.
What might be the risks involved in circumcision:
Just like the other surgical procedure circumcision also involve some risk if not performed under optimal aseptic conditions:
- Risk of infection and bleeding
- Risk of injury to penis.
- There might be difficulty in heeling of foreskin.
- In rare cases, the foreskin pulls back to the penis end and a minor surgery is required to solve this issue.
- Risk of meatus.
The benefits of circumcision are always greater than any potential risks. It is better to get circumcised to avoid many health-related issues at later ages.