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Сircumcised vs. Uncircumcised: Everything You Want to Know

Are circumcised vs. uncircumcised penises really that different? What are the positive and negative effects of circumcision? This is a very common procedure, but how does it affect circumcised people? We’re here to explain.

Circumcision is a surgical procedure in which the skin that folds over the tip of the penis is removed. This small portion of skin is called the foreskin. The foreskin is a continuation of the skin that covers the rest of the penis.

In most cases, circumcision is performed during the first month of life. It’s much more uncommon for circumcision to be performed on adults.

Here are some of the most common reasons for circumcision:

  • Religion: Circumcision is routinely performed in certain religions, particularly the Jewish religion. For those who practice the Jewish faith, circumcision is usually performed on the eighth day of life. Circumcision is not required in Islam, but it is encouraged. Islam does not dictate a specific age when circumcision must be performed.
  • Health: certain medical conditions, such as phimosis (when the foreskin is too tight and can’t be pulled over the head of the penis), may require circumcision. 
  • Hygiene: Some parents believe circumcision will make it easier for their child to maintain proper genital hygiene throughout their lives.
  • Personal preference: Parents may make this decision because the procedure has been traditionally performed in their families, regardless of religion

When circumcision is performed for religious reasons, it’s sometimes performed as part of a ritual. Medical professionals recommend that circumcision be performed in a medical, sterile setting by a skilled doctor.

Circumcision is a short procedure that is usually done with local anesthesia or a numbing cream, although general anesthesia can be used in older children. Different methods can be used to perform a circumcision. Afterward, instructions are given for caring for the penis until it’s fully healed. 

There are certain risks associated with circumcision, such as:

  • Excessive or inadequate removal of the foreskin
  • Bleeding or infection of the surgical site
  • Scarring on the penis
  • Skin adhesions on the tip of the penis
  • Meatitis, or inflammation of the opening of the urethra
  • Meatal stenosis, or a narrowing of the opening of the urethra
  • Permanent reduction in sensation in the head of the penis, particularly during sex

Most of the risks associated with circumcision are minor and can be easily managed. Severe complications can occur, but they’re unusual. Circumcision isn’t recommended in patients who have coagulation disorders since they may experience heavy bleeding as a result of the procedure. These risks should be discussed with a physician.

Most of the risks associated with circumcision are minor and can be easily managed. Severe complications can occur, but they’re unusual.

When an uncut penis is flaccid, the foreskin drapes over the head (glans) of the penis, giving it a “hooded” appearance. A circumcised penis, on the other hand, won’t be covered by any skin.

Circumcised and uncircumcised penises look very similar when erect. When an uncircumcised man has an erection, the foreskin naturally retracts to expose the glans. The skin on a circumcised penis may feel tougher and harder than on an uncut penis.

The foreskin of an uncircumcised penis may act as a reservoir for bacteria, dead skin cells, and sebum. These elements can create a foul-smelling substance called smegma. Smegma can lead to penile inflammation or balanitis, which can eventually cause phimosis. 

However, good genital hygiene can prevent these issues. Uncircumcised teenagers and adults must retract the foreskin to clean their penises properly.

Circumcision makes it easier to clean a penis — it simply has to be washed regularly.

The age at which the foreskin can be retracted varies from person to person. The foreskin typically can’t be retracted in children under 5, but it should be fully retractable by puberty.

Circumcision makes it easier to clean a penis — it simply has to be washed regularly. Circumcision is linked to a much lower risk of developing penile cancer, which has been linked to smegma and phimosis. However, this is a rare condition and good hygiene can also help decrease this risk.

There’s a lot of debate about whether circumcised and uncircumcised people experience sex differently. Scientific studies have yielded conflicting results. Some studies have found that circumcised men experience lower levels of sexual pleasure. However, these findings have been rebuked by other studies that have found contradictory evidence.

Circumcision can affect the natural ability to lubricate the penis during intercourse and masturbation.

Healthcare professionals generally agree that, although the foreskin is a very sensitive area, circumcised people can achieve the same levels of sexual pleasure and satisfaction as uncircumcised people. Circumcision hasn’t been conclusively shown to have any adverse effects on sexual function.

Circumcision can affect the natural ability to lubricate the penis during intercourse and masturbation. However, this can be compensated for by using extra lubrication, which can enhance sex for both partners.

Circumcision doesn’t have a direct effect on a man’s fertility. Not being circumcised increases the risk of developing phimosis or infections such as balanitis and STDs. These conditions can impact male fertility, but these risks can also be avoided through good hygiene. 

There are other factors that can have a much more significant effect on male fertility, including diet, lifestyle, hormonal imbalances, certain medications, sperm count, and chronic health conditions.

Circumcision lowers the risk of contracting HIV from an HIV-positive opposite-sex partner. The foreskin contains Langerhans cells, which are more likely to attach to the HIV virus than other types of cells. Circumcised men also have a lower risk of getting genital herpes and HPV. Circumcised men still need to wear condoms during intercourse to prevent transmission of STIs. 

Circumcision lowers the risk of contracting HIV from an HIV-positive opposite-sex partner.

Circumcised babies have a lower risk of developing a urinary tract infection or UTI during their first year of life. But even in uncircumcised babies, this risk is only about one percent. 

Although the potential benefits of male circumcision may outweigh the risks, it is not a universally recommended procedure. The risks associated with being uncircumcised can be avoided through good hygiene and safe sex.

Ultimately, the decision to circumcise a baby lies with the parents. It’s always a good idea to discuss this matter with a pediatrician. Some parents may choose to skip circumcision and let their child decide whether they want to be circumcised when they’re older.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21672947

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3253617/

https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/circumcision

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/circumcision-in-men/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/circumcision/about/pac-20393550

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