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What every man should know about circumcision
What every man should know about circumcision

39% of men worldwide have gone through this procedure. The life hacker understands whether this makes any sense.

What every man should know about circumcision
What every man should know about circumcision

Why did they start circumcision at all?

Circumcision is one of the oldest surgical practices that people still use today. The earliest records of her were found in an Egyptian tomb about 2,300 BC. NS.

We did this procedure for different purposes. For example, the Jews, because it is written in the holy book of the Torah: “This is my covenant, which you must keep between me, and between you, and between your descendants after you [in their generations]: may all male sex be circumcised among you "(Genesis 17: 10-14).

And the Jews follow this covenant to this day: almost all newborn Jewish men in Israel are circumcised Male circumcision and HIV / AIDS: convincing evidence and the implication for the state of Israel., about 99% in Great Britain and Northern Ireland Male circumcision in Britain: findings from a national probability sample survey. Sex Transm Infect. and 98% in the United States Circumcision in the United States. Prevalence, prophylactic effects, and sexual practice. …

The Bible also tells Christian men to do circumcision, but due to the debate about whether it is necessary to do this for the pagans who came to the Church, the rite gradually lost its meaning and was actually replaced by baptism.

Muslims also do circumcision as a confirmation of their relationship with God. And although the Qur'an does not say Circumcision. In: The Catholic encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. about the need for a procedure, this is a mandatory requirement in order to perform the Hajj to Mecca Religious circumcision: a Muslim view. …

The Aztecs, Mayans, Indigenous Australians, various African peoples and other ethnic groups also practice male circumcision as an initiation rite. Global trends and determinants of prevalence, safety and acceptability., although initially it could be a test of courage and endurance.

Depending on the nationality, the procedure is performed either in infancy, or when the social role changes: from boy to man.

For example, in Uganda, a boy during the ceremony stands directly on his feet, his foreskin is cut off with several knives by other men. Naturally, everything is done without anesthesia, the boy should not show that he is in pain.

Several ethnic groups, including the Dogon and Dowayo from West Africa, consider Anthropology and circumcision. Annu Rev Anthropol. the foreskin as the female element of the penis, the removal of which (along with passing certain tests) displaces the child from the man Ritual circumcision (Umkhwetha) amongst the Xhosa of the Ciskei. …

It's clear. Why do they continue to do it now?

In general, the reasons remained the same. 62.1% of men circumcised for religious reasons Estimation of country-specific and global prevalence of male circumcision., the rest - for cultural, medical, family (parents circumcise babies). Only about 39% of men in the world are circumcised Estimation of country-specific and global prevalence of male circumcision. …

In Russia this figure is much lower than in other countries - 11.8%. But even that is almost 8 million.

In comparison, 71.2% of men in the United States have been circumcised. This is the second most popular procedure for babies in the country. Vaccination comes first.

Medical circumcision has become very popular in the 21st century. It is even recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics Estimation of country-specific and global prevalence of male circumcision. …

And what's the catch?

There are many questions about circumcision for medical reasons.

The Egyptians also did this for medical purposes: in a drought it was difficult to observe all the necessary rules of hygiene, it was easier to get rid of the foreskin.

However, this is the catch: the current level of development of medicine and technology has changed significantly, there is much less sense in circumcision for medical reasons than is commonly believed. The foreskin is not the extra skin on the penis; it has its own functions.

What is the foreskin for?

It has many functions. The main three are protective, immune and erogenous.

The foreskin is a special erogenous zone. It contains a rich and complex network of nerves. Both the inner and outer folds of the foreskin have a denser distribution of nerve endings than the rest of the penis. Immunological functions of the human prepuce. …

The rich innervation of the inner part of the foreskin is in stark contrast to sensation with the limited sensory capabilities of the head of the penis. On it, the nerve endings are very close to the surface. This leads to the fact that the direct impact can feel unpleasantly rich or painful.

The double layer of foreskin allows the skin of the penis to glide freely and smoothly over the glans. One of the functions of the foreskin is to facilitate movement between the surfaces of the mucous membranes of two partners. It allows the penis to slide into the vagina directly within its own sheath.

Conventional circumcision removes most of these sensitive areas, drastically weakens the penis, and immobilizes any remnants of the foreskin.

Loss of protective self-lubricating mobile double-layer fold and gap for smooth friction leads to abrasion and injury. Immunological functions of the human prepuce. … Also, a circumcised man may need more intense action to achieve orgasm. For this reason, a circumcised penis is more likely to cause microcracks, abrasions and lacerations in the vagina or rectum, and through these, HIV in semen can come into contact with blood.

The glands present on the foreskin secrete lubrication and protect against infections. The antibacterial enzyme lysozyme in these secretions acts against the harmful microorganisms Phimosis in Children. …

In fact, a circumcised penis in the first years of a person's life is more susceptible to infections than an uncircumcised penis. Immunological functions of the human prepuce. … An eye without an eyelid will not be cleaner. It's the same with the head of the penis.

But does circumcision have advantages?

Yes there is. But even with them, everything is not so simple. To understand the issue, we turned to a urologist, a member of the European Urological Association.

1. Reduces the risk of urinary tract infections

According to Chernysheva, if the procedure is performed on a newborn, circumcision significantly reduces the risk of urinary tract infections in boys under one year old - by almost 90%. It is another matter that in general there are not very many of these infections in boys, but the fact remains.

2. Phimosis and paraphimosis are excluded

Phimosis is a narrowing of the foreskin around the head of the penis, paraphimosis is an acute form of phimosis.

Obviously circumcised boys / men do not suffer from phimosis and even more so paraphimosis. In addition, they are less likely to get balanoposthitis. But it is important to understand that if the foreskin is handled correctly and hygiene is observed, all these diseases can be prevented without circumcision.

Daria Chernysheva urologist

In addition, scientists recently came to the conclusion Phimosis in Children. that circumcision to treat phimosis is unnecessary in most cases. A condition in which the foreskin is snug against the head is the norm for boys up to 18 years of age and occurs in 96% of Phimosis in Children men. …

And only in 2%, phimosis takes on an extreme form, when surgical intervention is required. So, for example, only in 11% of cases, doctors correctly identified the type of phimosis and circumcision was justified. Phimosis in Children. …

3. Decreases the likelihood of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the penis

“This cancer grows from the foreskin, and circumcision reduces the risk of its occurrence by almost 70%. No skin, no cancer. But there is one thing, - the urologist notes. - This type of cancer is very rare. To prevent one case, it is necessary to circumcise from 1,000 to 300 thousand boys just like that. At the moment, no one is sure if it is worth it."

4. Reduces the risk of HPV in partners

HPV is a family of viruses that cause warts, papillomas, dysplasia (abnormal development of tissues, organs, or body parts) or cervical cancer in humans.

Circumcised men are less likely to carry HPV. So, under the condition of monogamy in the relationship, their partners are less likely to get cervical cancer.

5. Reduces the risk of contracting HIV and genital herpes

It is believed that certain bacteria live under the foreskin that increase the risk of infection.

The doctor explains how else the foreskin can increase the risk of infection.

Body fluids containing the virus stay in contact with the skin of the glans penis longer due to the foreskin. HIV penetrates relatively easily through this thin skin, which almost always has micro cracks or inflammations, and invades immune cells (HIV) or neurons (herpes). Together, this increases a person's risk of becoming infected.

Daria Chernysheva urologist

There are several reasons against this statement. First, herpes viruses are among the most common infections in humans, including oral herpes. It is found in 90% of people Human Herpesviruses: Biology, Therapy, and Immunoprophylaxis., incurable Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet. and is not hazardous to health: most of the infected do not have any symptoms of Herpes Simplex Virus at all. World Health Organization. …

Secondly, for orgasm, the circumcised penis needs to make more active movements, which lead to the appearance of cracks both on the head and in the vagina, and direct contact with an open wound also increases the risk of HIV infection. At the same time, studies prove Male circumcision for HIV prevention. that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection by 60%. But a condom reduces it by 80%. Condom effectiveness in reducing heterosexual HIV transmission. …

In addition, circumcision in itself is not a guarantee of safe sex - contraceptives will still have to be used to protect against STDs and HIV.

Should you still be circumcised or not?

If we are talking about religious circumcision, this is only your choice. When it comes to surgery to prevent disease or simplify hygiene, it is worth soberly weighing all the chances of success.

Ask your doctor as many questions as possible about potential results, statistics, and your analyzes. You may be more likely to be insensitive than getting cancer.

If it comes to your child, then try to get the numbers from the doctors. For example, how many boys under one year old have urinary infections in your area.

This is not a routine procedure for getting rid of a useless skin area, but a full-fledged operation that should be performed exclusively by specialists. You must be aware of all the possible consequences, both positive and negative.

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