6 Frequently Asked Questions About Circumcision


Circumcision is performed for medical, religious or personal reasons. While most procedures are performed on infants, male circumcision can be performed on children, teens and adults. Due to the nature of circumcision, there is often much confusion regarding the subject and many questions regarding the procedure and effects.


6 Common questions regarding circumcision include:


1. Does It Hurt?


This is probably the most common question and concern. Traditionally, circumcision was performed without any form of analgesia. These days analgesic creams along with a penile ring block or dorsal nerve block are used to effectively reduce the pain during the procedure. However, if the procedure is performed without analgesia, it can be mildly to extremely painful. 


 2. Is Circumcision Safe?


Just like every surgical procedure, their are some risks involved. The most common risk is infection. A procedure that is performed by a qualified medical professional in a sterile environment using sterilized surgical instruments is however unlikely to result in infection or other complications. 


 3. When Is The Best Time To Perform A Circumcision?


Most pediatricians would be reluctant to perform a circumcision on a baby older than 8 weeks as the surgical area is larger and the infant more difficult to handle. However, some medical practitioners prefer to perform the procedure at a much later date between the ages of 4 and 5 years old. There is no specific age which is preferable unless the circumcision is being performed for religious reasons which dictates a certain age. 


 4. Does Circumcision Prevent The Spread Of Disease?


Scientific evidence shows that circumcision reduces HIV infection in heterosexual males by up to 60% through vaginal sex. A circumcised penis is also less likely to contract or transmit other sexually transmitted diseases. However, this evidence is only relevant to vaginal sex and not oral or anal sex. 


 5. How Long Is The Recovery Period?


Healing time can take as long as 3-4 weeks if there have been no complications. It is critical to follow the physician's cleaning and care instructions to improve healing time and prevent infection. If the head of the penis becomes red, itchy or inflamed (swollen), it is important to contact your doctor immediately. Keep any scheduled appointments to checkup on the circumcision site. 


 6. Will Circumcision Reduce Sensation And Pleasure?


There is a common misconception that a circumcision results in the loss of sensation in the penis. The removal of the foreskin does however not reduce sensation and or pleasure during sex. In fact, many studies have shown that men experience greater sensation and enjoyment after a circumcision. In cases where there is a loss of sensation, the procedure was probably not performed correctly by an inexperienced or unqualified practitioner. Contact a qualified professional to find out if the problem can be rectified. The biggest question for adult men is whether they should undergo a circumcision or not. Other than the overwhelming evidence that it reduces the likelihood of contracting sexually transmittable diseases, this is a personal choice. Understanding the procedure, risks as well as what to expect post-operation, is however important to making an informed decision.