Benefits and risks of Circumcision

The term ‘circumcision’ is a Latin derivation which means ‘cutting around’. The practice of removing a part or the entire foreskin from the penis is termed as male circumcision. Through circumcision, the sleeve of the foreskin and mucosal tissue that covers the head of the penis get surgically removed. The practice of circumcision can be dated back to the periods of ancient civilisations as its depictions are found on cave paintings. Circumcision is widely followed by certain religions such as Islam and Judaism. According to a WHO report, out of the thirty percent circumcised men in the world two thirds are Muslims. While circumcision is a usual practice in the Middle East, its rate is under two percent in Scandinavian countries.

Male circumcision is, however, recommended by health organisations as it reduces the risk of sexually tramistted diseases including AIDS. It should be highlighted in this context that the protection from STDs (Sexually Transmittede Diseases) provided by circumcision is only partial in nature and not a fully reliable one.

Circumcision reduces the risk of penile cancer which is characterised by inflammation on the foreskin. It also reduces the risk of urinary tract infections in children. Due to this reason, doctors often advice circumcision as a remedy for children who have kidney abnormalities. Inflammation of the foreskin of the penis or its adherance to the penis makes circumcision necessary even at an older age. Painful sexual intercourse due to irregularity in the foreskin is another reason for opting circumcision at a later stage.

Like all other minor surgeries, circumcision also has a little percentage of risk involved in it. Rarely, it leads to excessive bleeding and then infections are likely to develop. Local anaesthesia is provided before circumcision is done. Though a recommended preventive measure, a circumcised boy also might develop troubles at the tip of the penis in his later life.

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