Circumcision and men : A guide to Circumcision

Many cases of circumcision are carried on boys, often for religious reasons. But men also have this surgery, often for medical reasons or as a preventative measure, e.g. to protect them against a sexually transmitted disease.

Medical need is usually the reason although doctors still argue over the stage at which surgery should be performed. Some doctors argue that circumcision should be performed at an early stage whereas others view it as a last resort.

Is circumcision necessary?

What some doctors argue is that the foreskin is a harmless and healthy part of the penis which doesn’t require removal. They would not perform surgery on a healthy part of the body so why is this any different? Surgery should only be performed if absolutely necessary.

But no-one wants to appear disrespectful of a person’s religious or cultural beliefs. Followers of a religion such as Judaism or Islam strongly believe in what they are doing and why and it is important to respect their beliefs – even if you do not agree with them.

This is discussed further in our cultural/religious reasons section.

Circumcision can be an effective form of treatment but there are side effects which include:

  • Reduced sensitivity which can affect your sex life
  • Post-operative complications such as bleeding and infection

These need to be taken into account when thinking about whether to have surgery or not.

There are advantages and disadvantages with all forms of surgery and circumcision is no different. These will be discussed during the initial consultation between you and your surgeon.

Note: if you require circumcision for a medical reason then this is likely to be covered by the NHS. But this does not apply to surgery for religious/cultural reasons.

That will have to be performed privately.

Circumcision is a big decision to make so you need to be sure that it is what you want. There are arguments for and against this procedure which are worth looking at as well as the medical and non-medical (ritualistic) reasons.

These are all discussed in greater detail in our why circumcision section.

This section presents both sides of the circumcision argument which will help you with making a decision.


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