For many years, circumcising male infants was a common procedure in various countries. The practice can be performed in a hospital, during a religious ceremony, or in other occasion. Although most males were circumcised at some point in their lives in certain cultures, this is becoming less common. Families today are not automatically circumcising their sons, and are questioning the risks and benefits of this procedure. So which is better – circumcised vs uncircumcised? Keep reading on to find your idea about it.
Circumcised Vs Uncircumcised: What's the Difference?
Circumcision is a big decision. Before making the choice, it helps to be informed about the differences between circumcised and uncircumcised penises.
Circumcision can be seen at the penis tip. When boys are born, they have a foreskin covering the penis head (glans), similar to the skin on the eyelids. If the foreskin is taken off, the penis is then circumcised (cut). If not, it is regarded as uncircumcised (uncut).
People usually circumcise the penis because compared with the circumcised penis, men who are not circumcised are at increased risk of many health conditions. It has been reported that:
- There is over 12 times the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in uncircumcised infants compared with circumcised infants. What's more, this trend continues into adulthood, with the lifetime cumulated UTI prevalence 1 in 20 for circumcised men, but 1 in 3 for uncircumcised men.
- Leaving the penis uncircumcised increases the risk of penile skin inflammation and infection three-fold. Different types of penile inflammation include those of the glans (balanitis), foreskin (posthitis), and both the glans and foreskin (balanoposthitis). Men can also suffer from inability to retract the foreskin (phimosis) and penile constriction due to a tight foreskin that doesn't return following retraction (paraphimosis). It's estimated that up to 18% uncircumcised boys will get one of the conditions by the age of eight. However, as circumcision removes the foreskin, the incidence of these conditions is much lower in circumcised males.
- Penile cancer is more than 20 times less common in circumcised men compared with uncircumcised men. This is a serious disease in which a quarter of patients have died from it and the others need some form of penile amputation. However, it is important to know that penile cancer is rare, with low rates even in uncircumcised men.
- When men become sexually active, an intact foreskin can increase 2-4 times the risk of many sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), thrush, chancroid, syphilis, and Trichomonas vaginalis. Lack of circumcision even puts a man's female partner at increased risk of STIs, with the incidence of genital herpes, Trichomonas vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted HPV (which causes cervical cancer), and possibly chlamydia up to five times more for women with uncircumcised partners.
- Having a foreskin is the No. 1 risk factor for HIV infection in heterosexual men. Uncircumcised men have 2-8 times the risk of HIV, compared with circumcised men.
- The chances of developing prostate cancer are 50-100% greater in uncircumcised men than those who are circumcised.
Debate also arises around the differences in sexual feelings with men in circumcised vs uncircumcised penis. So, when considering circumcision or not, you can take this into account.
- Sensitivity. As circumcision involves the removal of half the skin on the penis, men lose many of the penile fine touch receptors after the procedure. These receptors are highly responsive to light touch sensations, a huge part of male sexual pleasure. After circumcision, the delicate skin underneath the foreskin hardens slightly to protect itself. The most sensitive part of the penis is now the circumcision scar. These changes could result in decreased sensitivity during sexual intercourse.
- Pleasure. Whether male circumcision affects the female partner's pleasure is still under debate. Some studies have shown that women with circumcised partners are more satisfied in bed, whilst other studies reveal the opposite. However, there is one advantage for a woman whose partner is still uncircumcised: When the foreskin retracts, it can bunch up at the bottom of the glans, so there's a bit more friction on the clitoris. This is great news if a woman has a clitoral arousal pattern.
- Pain. Researchers found that women whose partners were circumcised had trebled the risk of sexual pain compared with women with uncircumcised partners. This is because the uncircumcised penis feels smoother, like velvet. This brings particular benefits for women who don't produce a lot of lubricant. This can also help for the uncircumcised man. As his penis is slicker than the circumcised one, he won't need as much lubricant for sex and masturbation. However, he will have to watch out for retraction, as this can cause painful phimosis.
If you want to get more women's idea about sex with circumcised vs. uncircumcised men, click HERE please.
Is Circumcision Necessary?
The debate over the health reasons of circumcised vs uncircumcised still exists. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has shown that for newborn males, the medical benefits are greater than the risks. However, these are not substantial enough for the universal circumcision of newborn boys. If older boys and men suffer from phimosis or penile infection, circumcision may be recommended.
Before you decide to get your son circumcised, you should speak with a physician about the risks and benefits of circumcision. Religious and cultural factors, as well as personal preference, will also play a role in your choice. Remember though, you are making this decision on behalf of your son, so think carefully about what would be best for him, both now and in the future.
The following video about circumcision process will help you know more facts about it.