what is circumcision

By definition, circumcision in males is the surgical removal of the foreskin that covers the head of the penis. Circumcision has been in practice for hundreds of years. Earlier, it was a religious practice only. Males belonging to Judaism and Islam used to undergo circumcision for religious reasons.

The religious aspect of circumcision

In Judaism, the ritual is known as brit milah and is performed when the baby is around 8 days old. It is performed by a mohel. The mohel is religiously and surgically trained to perform circumcision.

On the other hand, in Islam, the practice is called khitan. Circumcision in Islam can be done either as a part of a religious ceremony or in the hospital itself. Unlike Judaism, the circumciser does not need any training other than surgical training. Also, there is no specified age for undergoing circumcision. Khitan is carried out during infancy or when the boy grows up.

Apart from cultural reasons, nowadays, circumcision is a common medical practice as well. Circumcision has been a topic for debate for decades now. Some believe that it is beneficial while others believe that it has health risks. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has the viewpoint that the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. This is probably the reason why about 60 percent of newborn boys in the US choose circumcision, as revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Circumcision prevents many health problems in males. It is also the surgical treatment for many problems. 

Let’s look at some of the health problems circumcision can prevent:

  • Phimosis

It is the condition in which the foreskin is too tight and difficult to retract to reveal the glans penis. It is found only in uncircumcised males and is a really painful and troublesome condition.

  • Paraphimosis

In paraphimosis, the foreskin gets stuck and forms a ring around the penis. It is an emergency medical situation and can even lead to permanent damage to the penile tissues.

man with tight foreskin

  • Balanitis and Balanoposthitis

Balanitis is the condition of swelling the glans penis. Balanoposthitis is the condition of swelling in both the glans penis and the foreskin. Both these occur due to the accumulation of microbes, sweat and dead tissues under the foreskin.

  • Urinary Tract Infections

Circumcision reduces the risk of urinary tract infections by about 90 percent. Since in circumcised men, the urine does not retain under the foreskin for prolonged periods of time. Thus, the chances of developing urinary tract infections reduce significantly.

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

The risk of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV also reduces to a great extent in circumcised men. This is because now the disease-causing pathogens cannot thrive under the foreskin.

  • Penile Cancer:

It is believed that if a baby boy gets circumcision, it nearly eliminates the risk of penile cancer.

Female Circumcision

Apart from male circumcision, some ethnicities and cultures perform the ritual of female circumcision as well. Female circumcision is a ritual in Islam and in some Christian ethnicities in parts of Africa. Female circumcision includes the removal of tissues of the clitoris or the complete clitoris along with the labia. In some cultures, female circumcision is an obligatory practice while in some others, it is not obligatory but is something that brings pride. In Africa, women feel proud of undergoing circumcision. On the other hand, in Islam, female circumcision is believed to reduce female sexual desire. Female circumcision is considered to be a violation of the human rights of girls and is now termed as Female Genital Mutilation by international organizations. Unlike male circumcision, it has no health benefits and thus many countries consider the practice to be illegal but still in some parts of the world, it is widely prevailing.

Changes in the procedures of male circumcision changed with time

Earlier, many males used to be skeptical about undergoing circumcision. The major reason for this was the painful and complex procedure of conventional circumcision. The conventional procedure involved open surgery which made use of incisions along the length of the foreskin to remove it. The procedure involved a lot of bleeding and the risk of infections and blood clotting after the procedure was very high. The downtime for the procedure was also really long. (Also read: How the procedure of circumcision changed over time?)

But with the advancement in technology, techniques like laser circumcision have been developed. This technique uses a high-intensity laser beam for circumcision. The procedure is minimally invasive and involves no stitches, cuts or bleeding. Laser circumcision also does not have any risk of infections. The recovery time is short (3-5 days) and it causes no discomforts.

doctors performing laser circumcision

The Bottom Line

Laser circumcision is used widely nowadays and if you want to undergo circumcision, finding a place where laser circumcision is available won’t be very difficult. If you want to undergo circumcision or if you want to know more about the procedure, you can contact Pristyn Care. And, we will be more than happy to respond to any queries you have.

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Pristyn Care Provides Phimosis Treatment in:


Will circumcision affect my sexual life?
Most men are worried that circumcision may reduce sensitivity and thus affect sexual performance. This is not true. Studies have shown that circumcision does not affect sensation of the penis. In some cases, men have even reported that their sex life improved after circumcision.
Can circumcision cause erectile dysfunction?
No, circumcision has no effect on erections. Circumcision removes the foreskin and the foreskin has no part to play in erections.
Who should not undergo circumcision?
Boys and men who have penile anatomy abnormalities like hypospadias and chordee should not undergo circumcision without consulting a specialist doctor.

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