Circumcision - Advantages and disadvantages of circumcision
NHS Choices Medical Reference
There are a number of potential advantages associated with circumcising boys shortly after they are born. For example:
- circumcision reduces the risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI), which include infections of any part of the urinary system, such as the bladder,
- circumcision reduces the risk of getting some types of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV, and
- circumcision reduces the risk of developing cancer of the penis (penile cancer).
See 'why it is necessary' for more details about the potential advantages of circumcision.
Most healthcare professionals maintain that the above potential benefits of circumcision are not strong enough to justify routine childhood circumcision. Critics of circumcision have argued that circumcision also carries a number of 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, and
potential complications of circumcision - such as excessive bleeding and post-operative infection, outweigh any potential benefits.
Critics have also argued that routinely circumcising baby boys on medical grounds violates the principle of consent to treatment, and that circumcision should only be performed when a boy is old enough to make an informed decision about whether he wishes to be circumcised.