The Advantages & Disadvantages of Circumcision

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Circumcision

The decision of whether to circumcise your little boy or not, can be a difficult one. Sometimes culture makes the decision for you, but most times, parents are left to make the decision themselves.


What is circumcision?

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the penis foreskin, so that the penis head can be seen. This kind of procedure is more common in some cultures than others, as not all cultures view it as necessary.

An increase in male circumcision in South Africa’s Orange Farm community coincides with lower overall HIV rates among adult men in that population, a new study has found.

Researchers devised a community-wide programme in 2008 that provided free circumcision for men as well as condoms and counselling. Within three years, the adult male circumcision rate had increased from 17 percent to 54 percent.

A report from Kenya supports these findings, that young men who get circumcised are less than half as likely as their uncircumcised peers to acquire HIV.

Surveys conducted on thousands of Orange Farm men in 2008 and 2011 found that the prevalence of HIV had dropped from 15.4 to 12.3 percent during that time. According to Auvert, there were 1, 040 HIV infections that had been avoided.

The two reports were presented on July 24, 2012 at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington.

The United States is said to have circumcised about half of the newborn population, which indicates that it is very dominant in this culture. Countries in the European region have a circumcision rate that is not more than one percent. Meanwhile, the Islamic and Jewish religions support and observe this practice very closely.

Even with all this medical proof, the decision to circumcise or not, still remains a hotly debated one. Parents are well within their rights to decide whether to go through with it or not. We list the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide.



Some health professionals indicate that the procedure helps young boys to have less infections of the urinary tract up to the age of five. In addition, circumcised males tend to have a cleaner genital area that is free of odour. They also are not as prone to cancer of the genital organ or sexually transmitted diseases as males who are not circumcised.

If a circumcised male has contracted a sexually transmitted disease, it is much easier for him to get rid of the bacteria before it causes more damage than an uncircumcised male can. There seems to be documented evidence in the healthcare community that cancer of the penis is rare for circumcised men.



Those who are not in support of circumcision believe it is an unsightly and selfish act to succumb a newborn baby to such a painful procedure, when it is unnecessary.

In addition, for such a surgery, problems can arise during the procedure. Complications can develop after the surgical procedure as well, such as infection, blood loss and malformation of the penis. Some believe that the procedure of circumcision can eventually cause men to be impotent, or experience erections that are painful or bleeding during sexual intercourse. Some health insurance companies no longer cover this operation, making it an out-of-pocket cost.

Whatever you decide, make sure it’s the best decision for your baby.


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