About circumcision : A guide to Circumcision

This section of the guide is designed to provide you with an introduction to circumcision. Most people know what circumcision is but are hazy as regards its history and how it came into being.

It is performed in many cultures, some more than others and in both boys and men. Circumcision is usually carried out on boys but adult men can also undergo this procedure.

If you are thinking of having circumcision but want to know more about then have a look through this section. It is designed to give you enough information so that you are able to make an informed decision about whether to have surgery or not. You need to understand what this procedure is, what it entails and how it will benefit you.

Only once you understand and are satisfied with this will you be in the best position to make this decision.

This section of the guide is arranged as follows:

Two main reasons for circumcision

Circumcision is performed for two reasons:

  • Religious/cultural: circumcision is an important part of both the Islamic and Jewish faiths.
  • Medical: certain medical conditions such as phimosis are treated with circumcision. This and other conditions are what we term ‘immediate medical need’ in that they necessitate treatment – whether surgical or non-surgical – quickly and safely.

There is another reason; that of using circumcision as a preventative measure. This means performing surgery in order to prevent the likelihood of particular diseases such as penile cancer, urinary tract infections, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

However, there is not enough evidence to show that this is effective at doing so. For example, in the case of sexually transmitted diseases, condoms and better awareness of ‘safe sex’may be more beneficial than circumcision.

This issue is discussed further in our why circumcision section.


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