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Male circumcision is most commonly linked to the religious practices in the Jewish and Islamic communities to symbolise one’s faith in God and also to promote hygiene and health. When it comes to religious reasons, the procedure is usually carried out at a very young age. However, in adults the reason for circumcision is usually found to be due to certain medical conditions or even to prevent HIV. In Africa, men are encouraged to get a circumcision because study shows it can reduce the risk of HIV in heterosexual men.
Male circumcision in adults is usually known to be opted due to reasons such as:
- Phimosis – A skin condtion when the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back over the head of the penis and usually occurs in older children and will require surgical intervention to treat the condition.
- Balanitis – When the foreskin and head of the penis becomes infected and inflated.
- Paraphimosis – A condition where the foreskin is pulled back and cannot be retracted back.
- HIV prevention – There are evidence that supports the benefit of male circumcision regarding prevention of HIV from women, however, it is still unclear whether it can prevent STIs.
Male circumcision is performed as a day-case procedure and under local anaesthesia, which means the patient will be relaxed as well as fully aware throughout the procedure. It is a relatively straight forward procedure where the foreskin is removed just behind the head of the penis and the remaining of the skin is sutured together using dissolvable stitches. A circular bandage with triple antibiotic ointment may be applied which falls off in a few days for better healing.
Expect some discomfort for a few days following the procedure and pain killers can be taken to ease it. Vaseline can be applied around the stitches as well as the tip of the penis to avoid underclothes sticking to the cut. You will not experience any problem with passing urine even right after the procedure, but you will be advised to wear light clothing for a few days. You can expect to return back to normal activities after 4 weeks of the surgery.
In UK, infection and swelling are the most commonly known reasons men opt for circumcision but very rare.
Other complications include:
- Bleeding of the wound
- Reduced sensation in the head of the penis
- Need for occasional removal of the skin
Am I a good candidate for male circumcision?
You are a good candidate if you wish to remove your foreskin due to medical skin conditions such as phimosis or balanitis.
How is male circumcision carried out?
A simple procedure, foreskin is cut and removed and the remaining skin is sutured with dissolvable stitches.
Can circumcision help reduce the risk of STI or HIV?
Some studies have shown that circumcised heterosexual men have been less likely to get HIV, however, there is no firm evidence to support it. However, it is unclear whether circumcision can help prevent STIs.
Is cirumcision safe?
The commonly known complications associated to male circumcision in UK are known to be infection and swelling but very rare.