For many centuries, circumcision has been an integral part of different cultures; nowadays, however, the world has alternative views on the issue. While most of the European continent is against the surgery, the USA has adopted and promoted it widely. According to the recent research, male circumcision reduces the risks of HIV, urethral HR-HPV infection, urinary tract infections, and other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis. In addition, women with circumcised male partners have fewer chances of getting cervical cancer if compared to women, who have uncircumcised male partners (Auvert et al. 14-19).
Male circumcision is beneficial, and it has many positive effects for both men and their female sexual partners. It should be mentioned that most of mails, who are circumcised, do it for religious or cultural but not health care purposes. Many cultures around the world, especially in Africa, also recommend male circumcision. In addition, the three world religions, which are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, recommend male circumcision for their believers. Although it is not mandatory for Christians, male circumcision is necessary for Jews and Muslims. The Jews circumcise their male children when they are eight days old while the Muslims circumcise their children when they reach puberty.
Today, however, more and more men do it for medical or social reasons. Circumcision enhances hygiene since it makes it easy enough for a man to clean his sex organ. For some people, especially in different parts of Africa, circumcision is a part of initiation during the ceremony of passage, which every male teenager has to undergo, in order to become a man (Carroll 167). Some males are circumcised when they are young while others are circumcised when they are old enough, especially in their teenage years. Male circumcision offers numerous benefits, especially in avoiding, and reducing the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases, and other infections, which affect sex and reproductive organs.
Medically, male circumcision is the removal of the foreskin of the male organ, which is a covering on the tip of the penis. Its removal does not seem to have any effect on the male reproductive system or his sexual performance. Circumcision can be done when a man is already an adult, and able to make his own decisions. In case of a child, the procedure requires the participation of the child’s parents in making the final decision. The procedure can be conducted in a hospital or any other health institution, or it can be performed at home by someone, who is knowledgeable and experienced in the practice. When done on children, anesthesia is often necessary because of the pain issues; however, male adults do no need anesthesia since they can bare the pain. After circumcision, it is necessary to provide the circumcised person with a lot of care, to help him recover quickly.
The rates of male circumcision vary in different regions. For instance, male circumcision is more common in America than in Europe (Greenberg, Bruess, and Conklin 134); however, it is more widespread in Africa than in any other part of the world, because of its cultural significance for the region. Male circumcision is normally safe, and there are few instances of complications.
Circumcision is a personal decision, and although it is recommended for all men to undergo the practice, it is not mandatory. However, in some cases, a medical condition can necessitate circumcision; for example, when the foreskin is too tight to be retracted. This condition can be challenging for the man, in terms of functionality and sexual performance. These inconveniences compel the physician to perform circumcision on the patient.
Circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection among heterosexual men. Many of the studies on the effects of circumcision and HIV rates were conducted in Africa, where there is a high risk of HIV among heterosexuals. Research indicates the circumcision significantly reduce the rates of HIV contamination among men. Carroll asserts that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection by 60% (167). The foreskin contains the Langerhans cells, which have HIV receptors; it is quite possible that these cells are the main point of viral entry to the male organ. The foreskin pulls back to the shaft of the penis during sexual intercourse, and it uncovers a large area sensitive to HIV infection, once the inner surface of the foreskin is exposed to the vaginal excretions.
Circumcision reduces the chances of sexually transmitted diseases among men and their female partners. Circumcised men have lower chances of incurring herpes and HPV, and their female partners have a reduced chance of incurring vaginal infections. The inner surface of the foreskin contains frenulum, which acts as a viral entry and a site for sexually transmitted infections (Szabo, and Short 1592-1594). Today, HIV is one of the most common and dangerous diseases, especially in Africa. It is an avoidable disease, but it has no cure. Although patients are able to live longer when they have the virus, they often suffer a lot, because of many infections. The situation worsens if the person cannot afford the necessary medical treatment as he or she has to live with the disease and associated pain. Therefore, it is only rational that people consider using whatever preventive measures they can, in order to avoid the risk of HIV infections.
addition, circumcision is necessary for the prevention of cancer. The high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) is more common in pre-malignant and malignant lesions, which are associated with cervical cancer, and other types of cancer including penis, vagina, and anal cancers (Auvert et al. 14-19). Even though penile cancer is one of the rarest cancers in the world, studies indicate that circumcised males have fewer chances of getting it as most of the cases of the cancer occur in men, who are not circumcised. In addition, circumcised men lower the risk of their female partners having cervical cancer. Cervical cancer affects many women worldwide, especially in developing countries. Researchers have associated most of the cervical cancer in women with genotypes 16 and 18 of the high risk HPV. Uncircumcised men have a high risk of acquiring oncogenic HIV infections (Auvert et al. 14-19).
Circumcised men, on the other hand, have reduced chances of acquiring multiple HR-HPV infection. Male circumcision also increases clearance of HR-HPV among men, who are HIV negative (Gray et al. 1455-1462). Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases because of the suffering, experienced by the victims. Penile and cervical cancers are especially painful to the victims, because of the intimacy issues they associate with the disease. These cancers reduce the chances in both men and women of bearing their own children and becoming parents. Many people have conducted a lot of research on cancer, and they have found ways of increasing the survival rates of the patients. Such research has led to the development of reducing the chances of getting penile and cervical cancer, through circumcision. Male circumcision is cheap as compared to the treatment and therapies that a person will undergo if he or she gets cancer. People, therefore, should consider cancer as a form of penile and cervical cancer prevention.
Male circumcision is beneficial and essential for hygiene purposes. The male sex organ contains preputial glands in the foreskin and under the corona. These glands produce hormones after a man reaches puberty. The glands produce an oily substance, which needs to be removed. Failure to remove it will cause smegma, which is created from the oily substance combined with the dead skin. When a man does not remove this smegma effectively, it causes irritation to the penis and much discomfort. Smegma can also cause infections because of the presence of dirt in the penis. A person can remove the smegma by washing the penis. Uncircumcised men have to retract the foreskin manually so that they can reach the glans penis and remove the smegma effectively. This manipulation can be especially difficult and cumbersome for children (Greenberg, Bruess, and Conklin 134). Children and many teenagers do not take enough time to shower and clean as they always seem to be in a hurry. Therefore, it is important to find ways that will encourage them to wash carefully. One such way is to find a possibility to shorten their time in the bathroom, and they can do this if they do not spend a lot of time trying to clean their foreskins.
Some people believe that circumcision does not reduce the risk of HIV transmissions, claiming that it depends solely on the characteristics and prevalence of infection. This perception is not right as revealed from numerous studies. Some of the elements in the male foreskin are an entry of the virus. The presence of the Langerhans cells in the body increases the risk of HIV transmission and infections. Moreover, the difference in rates of HIV infection among circumcised and uncircumcised men is a clear indication that there is substantial value in male circumcision. Circumcision is not meant to be a cure for HIV, but it is rather a precautionary measure, which people should consider. When people use male circumcision together with other HIV preventive measures, such as responsible sexual behavior, reduces the chances of getting HIV, thereby contributing to the reduced rates of the disease.
Male circumcision offers numerous benefits, especially in avoiding, and reducing the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases, and other infections, which affect sex and reproductive organs. This surgery is extremely important in reducing HIV transmission rates and other sexually transmitted infections, among heterosexual couples. In addition, it helps in prevention of the penile cancer. It also assists the man in protecting his female sexual partner against cervical cancer, and against incurring sexually transmitted infections. This way, male circumcision helps in preventing the two most dreaded diseases in the world: HIV and cancer. Moreover, male circumcision is essential for proper hygiene. It enables the person to clean his sex organs effectively; hence, reduce discomfort, chances of getting infections, and associated embarrassment.