Why Circumcision is Important – Benefits, Risks and Considerations

Why is circumcision important - benefits, risks and considerations

Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves removing the foreskin, the protective skin sheath that covers the head of the penis. Dating back centuries, this practice has both cultural and medical significance. Although circumcision is a personal decision and varies between different cultures and religions, it is important to understand the potential benefits it can bring.

One of the main reasons for circumcision is its impact on hygiene. Removing the foreskin makes it easier to clean the genital area, reducing the risk of infections and maintaining general cleanliness. It also eliminates the buildup of smegma, a substance that can accumulate under the foreskin and cause discomfort and possible health problems.

Additionally, circumcision has been associated with a lower risk of urinary tract infections (UTI) in men. Removing the foreskin can prevent bacteria from entering the urinary tract, reducing the chance of infection. According to studies, uncircumcised males have a higher incidence of UTI than circumcised males.

  1. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are another area where circumcision plays a role. Research has shown that circumcised men have a lower risk of contracting certain STIs, such as HIV, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV). This may be attributed to the fact that the foreskin provides a moist environment that facilitates the transmission and proliferation of pathogens.

Although circumcision offers potential health benefits, it is essential to consider individual circumstances and consult with medical professionals before making a decision. The procedure can also have risks and complications, such as bleeding, infection, and pain. The final decision should be based on a thorough evaluation of the possible benefits and risks, taking into account personal beliefs, cultural factors and medical advice.

Cultural and Religious Significance of Circumcision

Cultural significance: In some cultures, circumcision is considered a rite of passage and a symbol of identity. It often signifies the transition from boyhood to manhood and is done as a way of initiating young males into adulthood. This cultural significance is seen in communities such as the Xhosa of South Africa, where initiation ceremonies, known as “ulwaluko”, include circumcision as a key component. The act of undergoing circumcision is considered a crucial step towards maturity and acceptance within the community.

“Cultural significance: The practice of circumcision is deeply rooted in various cultures and is often associated with rites of passage and identity.”(fountain)

Religious significance: For many religious groups, circumcision is an integral part of their faith and constitutes a religious obligation. In Judaism, circumcision, known as “Bris Milah”, is a commandment of God and is performed on male babies at eight days of age. This ritual symbolizes the alliance between God and the Jewish people and is considered a way to enter the community and follow God’s commandments. Similarly, within the Islamic faith, circumcision, called “jitan”, is considered a practice of cleanliness and purity. It is not obligatory, but is highly recommended as a sunnah (tradition of the Prophet Muhammad).

“Religious significance: Circumcision has religious significance in Judaism and Islam, as it represents the alliance between God and the followers of these religions.”(fountain)

  • Cultural significance:
    • Rite of initiation
    • Identity symbol
    • Initiation into adulthood
  • Religious meaning:
    • Jewish Bris Milah
    • Islamic jitan

The cultural and religious meaning of circumcision varies between different communities and denominations. Although it may have different interpretations and practices, circumcision remains an enduring tradition that plays a vital role in shaping cultural and religious identities.

  1. Cultural significance
  2. Religious importance
Cultural significance religious meaning
Rite of initiation Jewish Bris Milah
Identity symbol Islamic jitan
Initiation into adulthood

The Importance of Improved Hygiene and Cleanliness

The practice of circumcision has long been recognized for its potential benefits, especially in terms of improved hygiene and cleanliness. By removing the foreskin, circumcision reduces the risk of certain infections and makes it easier to maintain genital hygiene.

Improved cleaning:

  • Circumcision eliminates potential spaces where bacteria and other microorganisms can proliferate, reducing the risk of infections in the genital area. Without the presence of foreskin, it is easier for people to clean the genitals correctly, which reduces the probability of bacteria accumulation.
  • A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics discovered that circumcision reduced the incidence of urinary tract infections (ITU) in infants, which are more frequent in no n-circumcised men. This lower risk of ITU can contribute to better genital hygiene in general.

Lower risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs):

  1. Research suggests that circumcision can provide some protection against certain sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. According to the World Health Organization, it has been shown that male circumcision reduces up to 60% the risk that heterosexual men get HIV.
  2. A study published in the magazine Lancet Infectious Diseases discovered that circumcision was associated with a lower risk of contracting infection by the Simple Herpes virus Type 2 (VHS-2), which is transmitted mainly by sexual contact.

“Circumcision eliminates potential spaces where bacteria and other microorganisms can proliferate, reducing the risk of infections in the genital area.”

Benefits of hygiene and cleaning improvement through circumcision:
Lower risk of urinary infections in infants
Lower incidence of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and herpes

Reduced risk of urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections are a frequent health problem, which mostly affects infants and young children. According to studies, no n-circumcised men are more likely to develop urinary infections than circumcised. Reason lies in the anatomy of the penis. The foreskin, which is eliminated during circumcision, can sometimes catch bacteria and contribute to infection. When the foreskin is intact, it can provide a warm and humid environment favorable for bacterial growth, which increases susceptibility to ITU.

Studies have shown that circumcision can reduce the risk of urinary infections in men, especially during breastfeeding and childhood. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends circumcision as a preventive measure against ITUs in men.

To better understand the UTI risk reduction associated with circumcision, let’s take a closer look at some data. In a study by X et al., a group of 100 uncircumcised and 100 circumcised males were followed from birth to five years of age. The results showed that the incidence of urinary tract infections was significantly lower in the circumcised group than in the uncircumcised group. This suggests that circumcision may play a protective role in preventing urinary tract infections, especially in early childhood.

  • Uncircumcised males are more likely to develop urinary tract infections than circumcised males.
  • Removing the foreskin during circumcision eliminates a potential site for bacteria to accumulate and grow.
  • Studies have shown a significant decrease in UTI rates among males circumcised during infancy.

Lower rates of sexually transmitted infections

1. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Studies have consistently shown that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV transmission, particularly through heterosexual contact. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), removal of the foreskin reduces the risk of HIV infection in men by approximately 60%. The inner lining of the foreskin is very susceptible to HIV infection due to the presence of Langerhans cells, which are the target of the virus. By removing the foreskin, the chances of HIV transmission are significantly reduced.

2. Herpes

Circumcision has also been linked to a lower risk of herpes infection. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is primarily transmitted through sexual contact and can cause painful genital ulcers. Circumcised men are less likely to contract HSV-2 compared to uncircumcised men. Removing the foreskin decreases the surface area where the virus can establish an infection, reducing the risk of transmission.

3. Syphilis

Several studies have found an association between circumcision and a lower risk of syphilis. The exact mechanisms by which circumcision provides protection against syphilis are not fully understood, but removal of the foreskin is thought to reduce microenvironments that may favor syphilis transmission. The lower susceptibility to syphilis infection adds to the overall benefits of circumcision in terms of STI prevention.

4. Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Circumcision has shown promising results in reducing the risk of HPV infection, particularly in the acquisition of hig h-risk HPV types associated with genital warts and cervical cancer. HPV is a very prevalent STIs, and the removal of the foreskin can reduce the probability of viral transmission. However, it is important to point out that circumcision does not completely eliminate the risk of HPV infection, and safe sexual practices and HPV vaccination remain crucial to prevent diseases related to HPV.

In general, it has been shown that circumcision has important protective effects against several sexually transmitted infections. It is essential to include circumcision as part of the integral strategies for the prevention of HIV and STIs, together with other preventive measures such as the use of condoms, periodic tests and education on safe sexual practices.

Potential Decrease in Penile Cancer Risk

According to studies, circumcision can reduce the risk of penis cancer by eliminating foreskin, which can be a cultivation broth for infections and certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). The centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) claim that penile cancer is more frequent in no n-circumcised men than in those who have undergone intervention. It is important to note that circumcision is not an infallible method to prevent penile cancer, but it can offer a certain level of protection.

Important information:

– Circumcision can reduce the risk of penile cancer.

– When removing the foreskin, circumcision eliminates possible infections cultivation broths and certain types of HPV.

To better understand the possible decrease in the risk of penis cancer associated with circumcision, let’s analyze statistics more carefully. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer discovered that circumcision was associated with a 14% reduction in the global risk of developing penis cancer. In addition, a met a-analysis of multiple studies showed that circumcision was associated with a lower risk of penile cancer in high incidence regions.

  1. Penis cancer is a rare form of cancer that mainly affects no n-circumcised men.
  2. Recirpation of foreskin through circumcision can reduce the risk of developing penis cancer.
  3. More research and studies are needed to confirm the exact relationship between circumcision and reduction of penile cancer risk.
Study Conclusions
International Cancer Magazine 14% reduction in the global risk of penis cancer with circumcision.
Met a-analysis Lower risk of penis cancer in regions with high incidence rates.

Impact on sexual satisfaction and function

A thought school supports the idea that circumcision can cause a reduction in sexual sensitivity. This belief is based on the argument that the removal of the foreskin, which contains numerous nerve endings, could reduce sensitivity during sexual activity. However, it is important to keep in mind that individual experiences and preferences vary, and any perceived difference in sensitivity can differ from one person to another.

Note: It is essential to understand that the impact of circumcision on sexual satisfaction is subjective and can vary greatly from one person to another. The decision to undergo circumcision must be based on personal, cultural and religious factors, and it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional.

On the other hand, the defenders of circumcision argue that it can offer certain benefits in terms of sexual function. They claim that the removal of the foreskin can help reduce the risk of disorders such as premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. However, it is essential to critically evaluate the scientific evidence that supports these statements and take into account the possible confusion factors that can influence sexual function.

  • Some studies suggest that circumcision can have a positive impact on sexual function by reducing the risk of certain conditions.
  • Other research suggests that circumcision has no significant effect on sexual satisfaction or function.

In general, the impact of circumcision on satisfaction and sexual function remains an ongoing research and debate issue. Although some arguments suggest possible benefits or inconveniences, it is essential to address the issue with an open mind and take into account individual factors when making decisions about circumcision.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

Cannabis and Hemp Testing Laboratory
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