Male circumcision is one of the most hotly debated sexual health issues in the medical community, and it’s also widely discussed among everyday men and women. Why it is such a controversial topic? Well, part of the reason might be because there’s no definitive evidence that being circumcised is better, medically speaking, than being uncircumcised – and vice versa.
However, there are certain things that we are sure of when it comes to circumcision, which involves a minor surgical procedure to remove the foreskin (the sleeve of skin around the head of the penis). These factors offer compelling reasons for men to get the snip.
Here are some of the advantages of circumcisions:
- Circumcision does not affect male sexual drive or functioning.
- When a guy is not circumcised, moisture can get trapped between his penis and the foreskin, which creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This means there’s a higher risk of infection and it’s easier to spread viruses to others.
- Removing the foreskin gets rid of the wet, warm and dark environment that can sustain viruses such as HIV and other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, herpes and cancroids.
- Being circumcised reduces your female partner’s risk of cervical cancer.
- By getting circumcised, you not only reduce your own HIV and STI risk, but your partner’s too.
- It can be difficult to keep an uncircumcised penis fresh 100% of the time. Circumcision simplifies the task of keeping the penis clean and keeps you fresher, giving you more confidence.
- Some women prefer circumcised penises due to personal preference, as well as the reasons listed here.
The procedure: What to expect and recovery time
A medical male circumcision takes about 30 minutes and is done under anaesthetic by a doctor. The foreskin is snipped off and a few stitches are used to close the incision. These fall out on their own once the penis has healed.
Afterwards you may experience some discomfort for a day or two, but generally it isn’t very painful. There should be no more swelling after two to three weeks, and complete recovery in adult men takes around four to six weeks.
Booking an appointment
Various Marie Stopes centres across South Africa offer medical male circumcision services in a safe, clean and comfortable environment. We also offer a range of other services including HIV testing and counselling and STI screening and management.