Circumcision has been around since ancient times and has been practiced in many different cultures all over the world. Circumcision has been done for a number of reasons, some believed that it would control unwanted sexual desires, some did it for religious reasons, and others for health related reasons. Overall, whatever the reason for circumcision, it is a painful procedure.
What is Circumcision?
Circumcision is the removal of some or the entire foreskin (prepuce) from the penis. This procedure is generally performed on newborn males, but in some cases has been done on children, adolescent or adult males. Some religions, like Judaism and Islam, consider circumcision to be a right of passage for males and it is done ceremoniously.
Modern Circumcision Procedures
There are three main ways of performing circumcision on male infants today- Plastibell, Gomco Clamp, and Mogen Clamp. Some of these may include the use of local anesthesia to help with the discomfort during the procedure. All of these devices use the same basic procedure. The amount of foreskin to be removed is estimated. Next, the preputial epithelium (inner foreskin) is separated from the glans (tip of the penis). Finally the device is placed on the penis and remains until blood flow has stopped. The foreskin is then amputated and the process is complete.
In adults, the procedure is different and often performed without clamps. Adult males must abstain from masturbation and sexual intercourse for 4-6 weeks after the procedure to ensure proper healing and to avoid infection.
Pros and Cons of Circumcision
Some believe that removing the foreskin can expose the penis to infection and leaves the penis unprotected. Directly after the procedure, the penis may be prone to bleeding and more susceptible to infection.
Hygiene should be considered when deciding to circumcise or not. On the pro side, a circumcised penis is much easier to keep clean and does not require as much maintenance as an uncircumcised penis. With uncircumcised penises it is important that boys learn how to clean the area under the foreskin properly and remove any smegma to reduce the chance of urinary tract infections and improve overall penis hygiene.