Circumcision is a medical procedure that is rarely carried out for medical reasons.
What is Circumcision?
Circumcision in men involves the cutting off of the foreskin protecting the head of the penis. As the only moving part of the penis, the foreskin facilitates sexual activity. It contains nerve endings that play a part in sexual pleasure and its glands produce lubricants that help protect both the head of the penis and the female vagina. It is generally removed for religious reasons but may take place for medical ones.
How many men are circumcised?
Nobody really knows but organisations campaigning against it estimate that worldwide about one in four males are circumcised. National rates vary widely from about 80% of males in the USE to 2% in Sweden, where non-medical circumcision is now illegal in children. In the UK, the number of circumcisions for medical reasons has fallen from 35% of English boys in the 1930s to 6.5% in the 1980s and today some 12,200 such circumcisions are performed annually. Some doctors consider that this is still far too many.
Can Circumcision Help Prevent Cancer?
There is little evidence of this. Circumcision in childhood – but not as an adult – may reduce the risk of penile cancer but this disease is very rare anyway and the real risk factors are poor personal hygiene and smoking. Indeed, the countries with the highest rates of circumcision are also those with the highest rates of penile cancer.
Is Circumcision Safe?
It is generally accepted that there are serious complications in perhaps 2% of medical circumcisions – 1 in 50. Complications include bleeding, infection, ulceration and psychological and sexual problems.
The operation is generally carried out under local anaesthetic for boys and general anaesthetic for men. Usually, the patient is discharged the same day but many describe the operation and its aftermath as painful.
If circumcision is something you are interested in having, then contact us here at Moorgate Andrology to book a consultation.