Circumcision,?one of the oldest surgical procedures in existence, may be performed for cultural, religious, or health-related reasons, or simply reflect personal preference.
Adult circumcision is an option for men who were not circumcised as infants.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 79 percent of American men report that they are circumcised.
Reasons for Adult Circumcision
Some men may choose to get circumcised because they think that a circumcised penis will be more sensitive and enhance their sexual experience. Studies on this are conflicting.
Although some circumcised men do report an improvement in sexual functioning, most studies actually suggest a slight decrease in penis sensitivity after circumcision.
Here are some medical reasons why a man might choose to get circumcised:
Phimosis:?This is a medical condition in which the foreskin covering the penis is too tight and is hard to retract.
Penile cancer:?Although rare, penile cancer is less common in a circumcised penis.
HIV transmission:?Several international studies show that circumcision lowers the risk of HIV transmission.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that men consider circumcision as an additional measure, along with safe sex, to prevent HIV.
Adult Circumcision Risks
Adult circumcision is a surgical procedure, so it does carry certain risks as well as possible side effects; these include pain, bleeding, and infection.
Although these health risks are low, they are higher than for infant circumcision.
Unless adult circumcision is being performed for specific medical reasons, such as infection or phimosis, it will probably not be covered by insurance, so it may be expensive.
The cost of adult circumcision varies, but it will be higher if you have general anesthesia instead of local anesthesia and if you have the procedure done in a hospital instead of an ambulatory care center.
Discuss your options with your insurance provider.
If you are considering an adult circumcision, talk to your doctor and go over all the risks and benefits carefully.
What to Expect
If you decide to get circumcised, here is what you should expect:
- You will be given local or general anesthesia.
- Your doctor will retract the foreskin and trim it off.
- Small, absorbable sutures will be used to close the incisions.
- You will be able to go home on the day of surgery.
- In the first few days after surgery your penis may be swollen, bruised, and painful.
- A dressing is usually placed over the entire circumcised penis that you will remove at home by soaking in a warm bath.
- Swelling goes down after about two weeks, but you may be instructed to avoid intercourse and masturbation for up to six weeks.
A good argument in support of adult circumcision can be made from the standpoint of reducing the risk of STDs and HIV.
The CDC supports this option, but cautions that adult circumcision is no substitute for other proven safe sex measures.
On the other hand, there are the costs, the temporary discomfort, and the possible risks associated with the procedure to consider, and a circumcised penis will probably not add anything to your sexual experience.