Adult Circumcision: Benefits and Drawbacks
Circumcision is the act of removing the foreskin—a sheath of skin that covers the head of the penis—for medical, social, religious or other reasons. This is done by cutting the foreskin’s connections to the penis at both ends so the foreskin can be removed.
Normally performed on infants, as it decreases the risk of complications, circumcision is a procedure adult men can and do receive. In some areas and medical practices, the number of adult men opting to be circumcised is increasing.
Benefits of adult circumcision
One of the main reasons men choose to be circumcised as adults is their appearance to others. Circumcised and uncircumcised penises look considerably different from one another, and many men and women have specific preferences toward one or the other.
Some men choose the procedure to improve their self-esteem when it comes to sex; they want the look of a circumcised penis because they believe that is what their partner prefers.
There may also be health benefits to circumcision. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that being circumcised lowers a person’s risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections. This may be attributed to differences in hygiene or other factors.
Some religions require, or at least heavily encourage, circumcision as a part of religious doctrine. Adults who are converting to such a religion may well decide to become circumcised.
Drawbacks of adult circumcision
As with any surgery, circumcision has some potential medical drawbacks. Bleeding and infection are the most common complications. The healing process can be uncomfortable, even with pain medication. The procedure can be an interruption to your life, since it takes three to four days to get back on your feet, followed by a three- to four-week healing period before you can resume normal physical activities.
After circumcision, one issue may be a possible decrease in the sensitivity of the penis, meaning that a man with a circumcised penis potentially may feel less physical pleasure during sex. It is difficult to determine whether this is common, however, due to the subjectivity of the testing.
It’s up to you
If you were not circumcised in infancy and are now considering it, the decision is ultimately yours. Unless there is a medical reason to get the procedure, it is perfectly fine to remain uncircumcised. Likewise, choosing to become circumcised is entirely fine, too. Before you make a decision, discuss your situation with your partner, medical professionals and people you trust to give you a variety of points of view. And do your research.