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Male Circumcision – Medical and Religious Facts

Newborn circumcision

Male circumcision is the process of partial or even complete removal of the foreskin of the penis. There are several reasons why male circumcision is done, but generally these reasons are medical or religious. Circumcised males usually earn their status as newborn, in their late teens, or early twenties. Very rare a male is circumcised at a later stage of his life and this occurs in case on an immediate medical request.

Medical Circumcision
An interesting circumcision fact is that in the United States, around 75% of all adult men have been circumcised, most of these for medical reasons. One of the main causes of medical circumcision is when the foreskin of an infant does not retract, causing great discomfort. Many are not aware that almost all babies have non-retractable foreskin and this is not a reason for circumcision! However, numbers are slowly but surly declining and currently only around 55-60% of newborn US children are circumcised.

Another reason for medical circumcision is phimosis, whereby the foreskin is contracted in such a way that it can no longer retract over the shaft of the penis. There are other reasons for medical circumcision as well, mainly relating to infections in the penis or the foreskin itself.

Religious Circumcision
There are several religions in the world that see circumcision as part of their custom and beliefs. These religions are Judaism (Jews) and Islam (Muslims). Within Judaism, the removal of the foreskin symbolizes the pact made between Abraham and God, after God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son. Within Islam, circumcision is only required as an act of closeness to Allah in certain strains of Islam. However, many Muslims choose to be circumcised.

Circumcision Process and Effects
In a circumcision, the foreskin of the penis is pulled forward. An incision is then made to split the skin up to the top of the penis. A circular incision is also performed to remove the excess skin or foreskin. Soreness will occur for a considerable amount of time after the procedure, meaning that in particular infants that have been circumcised need to be carefully monitored. Furthermore, masturbation becomes more difficult for circumcised males.

Circumcision Facts
• Circumcision, if not done properly, can lead to death through infections or blood loss.
• Circumcision is not reversible.
• There are questions around the benefits of circumcision. Many people believe the circumcision fact that a circumcised penis is more hygienic. However, when we take into consideration that most medical professionals do not have their sons circumcised, one could wonder the validity of this statement.
• Anesthetics are only used in medical circumcisions, meaning that 55% of all circumcisions are performed without pain relief.
• There is no evidence that circumcision reduces the risks of cancers and there is no existing medical advice suggesting that men or boys should be circumcised.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Dave August 21, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Circumcised men are up to 60% less likely to get HIV, and now the World Health Organization and the UNAIDS program recommend adult surgery to slow the AIDS pandemic.

    The recommendation comes only weeks after the WHO and UNAIDS officials asked an expert panel for advice. The advice is based on three clinical trials suggesting that circumcised men are 50% to 60% less likely than uncircumcised men to get HIV during heterosexual sex.

  • Kevin Martin December 26, 2011, 6:22 pm

    Thanks for the article. This information about circumcision is really informative. Once again, thanks.

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