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Circumcision - Advantages and disadvantages of circumcision

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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There are several potential advantages and disadvantages associated with circumcising boys shortly after they are born.

For example:

Read about why circumcision is necessary for more details about the potential advantages of circumcision.

Most healthcare professionals maintain that the potential benefits of circumcision are not strong enough to justify routine childhood circumcision. Critics of circumcision argue that it has disadvantages, such as:

  • Reduced sensitivity - an uncircumcised penis is more sensitive than a circumcised penis, meaning that circumcised men may experience less pleasure during sex.
  • Potential complications of circumcision - these include excessive bleeding and post-operative infection, and outweigh any potential benefits.

Critics have also argued that routinely circumcising baby boys on medical grounds violates the principle of consent to treatment. They say that circumcision should only be performed when a boy is old enough to make an informed decision about whether he wishes to be circumcised.

Medical Review: January 24, 2012
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