someone raised an interesting topic on the "circumcision gone wrong" thread. so i thought id make a post with information on the benefits of male cricumcision. Most parents have their children circumcised after birth so they do not suffer through the pain at a later age.
i was circumscized at birth and i dont mind it. and there are many benefits health wise.
1 Many older men, who have bladder or prostate gland problems, also develop difficulties with their foreskins due to their surgeon's handling, cleaning, and using instruments. Some of these patients will need circumcising. Afterwards it is often astonishing to find some who have never ever seen their glans (knob) exposed before!
2 Some older men develop cancer of the penis - about 1 in 1000 - fairly rare, but tragic if you or your son are in that small statistic. Infant circumcision gives almost 100% protection, and young adult circumcision also gives a large degree of protection.
3 Cancer of the cervix in women is due to the Human Papilloma Virus. It thrives under and on the foreskin from where it can be transmitted during intercourse. An article in the British Medical Journal in April 2002 suggested that at least 20% of cancer of the cervix would be avoided if all men were circumcised. Surely that alone makes it worth doing?
4 Protection against HIV and AIDS. Another British Medical Journal article in May 2000 suggested that circumcised men are 8 times less likely to contract the HIV virus. (It is very important here to say that the risk is still far too high and that condoms and safe sex must be used - this applies also to preventing cancer of the cervix in women who have several partners.)
A BBC television programme in November 2000 showed two Ugandan tribes across the valley from one another. One practised circumcision and had very little AIDS, whereas, it was common in the other tribe, who then also started circumcising. This programme showed how the infection thrived in the lining of the foreskin, making it much easier to pass on.
5 As with HIV, so some protection exists against other sexually transmitted infections. Accordingly, if a condom splits or comes off, there is some protection for the couple. However, the only safe sex is to stick to one partner or abstain.
6 Lots of men, and their partners, prefer the appearance of their penis after circumcision, It is odour-free, it feels cleaner, and they enjoy better sex. Awareness of a good body image is a very important factor in building self confidence.
7 Balanitis is an unpleasant, often recurring, inflammation of the glans. It is quite common and can be prevented by circumcision.
8 Urinary tract infections sometimes occur in babies and can be quite serious. Circumcision in infancy makes it 10 times less likely.
There are a few situations where it is clearcut. If there is only a small opening in the foreskin so that passing urine is difficult, or when the foreskin is painful to pull back during an erection or won't return forward again. The latter is an emergency situation needing urgent surgery to avoid really serious consequences.
But there are many other situations where circumcision helps prevent future disease or discomfort. We should seek to prevent problems arising, rather than deal with the problems once they occur. Let us look at some of these, in no particular order.
1 Where the foreskin cannot comfortably be pulled back over the glans (knob) of the penis. Now, up until the age of five or six, many boys cannot retract their foreskins - mums and dads beware - if you try too early you may do some damage. Above the age of six or seven, it is important that boys be taught how to clean under the foreskin, making sure the skin is pulled right back. If your son cannot do that he may need circumcising. Boys frequently forget or deliberately avoid this routine and run into difficulties.
2 If the foreskin cannot easily be moved when the penis becomes hard, or if that causes pain - this is not only a childhood problem. At puberty, as the penis grows and masturbation begins, problems may emerge. Some men have pain on intercourse, which they then try to avoid for that reason. If so, you (and your partner) will benefit from your circumcision just as many boys do. Some men are afraid to admit to this problem, but it is curable by circumcision.
3 Where you and your partner keep getting 'thrush' infections.Some call this 'sexual ping-pong'. One keeps passing it back to the other. Of course, you may first try creams or tablets from your doctor or chemist, but if it keeps coming back, circumcision will cure it. It did for me. The foreskin is a warm and moist incubator under which infections can easily develop.