Circumcision: the procedure, its benefits, and risks

Things you need to know about Circumcision

What is circumcision?

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin. The foreskin is a skin flap covering the head of the penis (also called the glans penis). Circumcision is a fairly common practice across the world, where it may be done due to cultural, religious, or medical purposes. It is typically performed on newborn males, although even adults may undergo it. 

What are the benefits of circumcision?

Some circumcision benefits are: 

  • Better hygiene – Due to the removal of the foreskin, cleaning the penile area becomes easier.
  • Decreased risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) – Due to improved hygiene, the risk of contracting these is reduced. 
  • Prevention of penis problems – Possessing a foreskin may lead to phimosis, a painful condition (which is when the foreskin does not separate from the head and cannot be retracted).
  • Decreased risk of penile cancer – Again, improved hygiene reduces the risk of penile cancer.

What are the risks of circumcision?

Circumcision has its benefits but also has risks. Some are:

  • Bleeding and infection due to botched surgeries.
  • The foreskin is not trimmed appropriately, leading to the partial presence of the foreskin.
  • Failure of the foreskin to heal properly can lead to sepsis or gangrene.

How is circumcision performed?

Circumcision is typically performed on newborn males. In the surgical procedure, 

  1. The patient is anesthetized
  2. The area of the foreskin and penis is cleaned with a topical antiseptic.
  3. A special clamp is placed on the penis, and the foreskin is removed.
  4. The penis is then covered with an antibiotic ointment and covered with a bandage.

If an adult chooses to undergo circumcision, the same procedure is followed. The amounts of anesthesia administered may differ.

How to prepare for a circumcision?

Before opting for a circumcision, consult with a doctor who specializes in men’s health issues. The doctor will explain the risks and benefits of the procedure to you, and you can then decide on your plan of action. 

How do we care for a circumcised penis?

After the procedure, the circumcised penis will require a bit of stringent aftercare. The area will be extremely sore and may cause severe discomfort. The doctor will explain everything you need to take care of when you opt for circumcision. Once the incision has healed, you can go back to caring for it like before. Regular hygiene is a must.

How do we care for an uncircumcised penis? 

As a general rule of thumb, for uncircumcised men, it is imperative to practice good hygiene to keep foreskin infections at bay. It is also recommended to wear loose clothing that reduces friction and prevents the buildup of smegma under the foreskin. Showering regularly and cleaning the foreskin carefully, allowing it to dry out, is also necessary to prevent fungal infections. To prevent zipper trauma, it is recommended to wear underpants at all times.

How To Tell If a Guy Is Circumcised?

You will be able to determine whether a penis is circumcised or not by its appearance. A circumcised penis does not possess a foreskin, which makes the head of the penis (glans) visible with and without an erection.

How to Tell if a Guy is Uncircumcised?

You can make out if a guy is uncircumcised by the visible foreskin on the penis. The foreskin retracts and reveals the head of the penis (glans) only when a man achieves an erection. 

Is circumcision good or bad?

Circumcision has its own benefits and risks. It reduces the risks of contracting UTIs, STDs, and penile cancer. However, it may cause complications if the circumcision surgery is not successful. Consult a doctor to make the better choice for you. Get a free second opinion at Yashoda Hospitals today!

Is circumcision painful?

Circumcision is mostly performed under anesthesia. Hence, it is not painful during the actual removal. However, the recovery period may entail severe discomfort. The doctor may recommend painkillers for the same.

Does circumcision improve performance?

While most studies have not reported any difference in the performance between circumcised and uncircumcised men. Pleasure achieved by circumcised men is reported to be heightened by almost 8%. (Kim D, Pang MG., 2007)

Does circumcision increase size?

Circumcision has no impact on the size of the penis. The foreskin is merely a flap of the skin that covers the head of the penis. It is anyway retracted during erections. Hence, circumcision does not increase or decrease the size. 

What is female circumcision?

Female circumcision, unlike male circumcision, is an extremely painful procedure that entails the removal of some or all of the external female genitalia or other injuries to the regions. It is also called female genital mutilation. It has virtually no medical benefits and is performed to prevent females from indulging in certain kinds of behavior. 

Is circumcision compulsory?

Circumcision is not compulsory. Most of the circumcisions are mandated by religious or social reasons. Some men opt for it due to its medical benefits. If chosen, it is usually performed on newborn males. Hence, its requirement is usually decided by the parents of the newborn male.

What Feels Better Circumcised or Uncircumcised?

Most studies do not report any change in the pleasure achieved by women with a circumcised or an uncircumcised penis. However, it has been reported that men may experience heightened pleasure by up to 8% after circumcision. 

What age is best for circumcision?

Circumcision is typically performed on newborn males. Most doctors recommend that, if desired, it must be performed within 7-8 days of the delivery of the newborn. However, it can be availed at any age but may entail different risks than the newborn. 

What is the circumcision average cost in India?

The cost of circumcision in India averages around Rs 30,000. The circumcision cost depends on differing infrastructure and facilities provided by the hospital. To know more about the procedure and its cost, reach out for a free second opinion at Yashoda Hospitals today!

  • Kim, D. S. and Pang, M. G. (2007) ‘The effect of male circumcision on sexuality, BJU international, 99(3), pp. 619–622. DOI: 10.1111/J.1464-410X.2006.06646.X.
  • Circumcision: Pros vs Cons, Benefits, Risks, Procedure Overview (no date). Available at: https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/guide/circumcision 
  • Circumcision: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment – Urology Care Foundation (no date). Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/c/circumcision 
  • Circumcision: Preparation, Procedure, and Pros and Cons (no date). Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/circumcision 
  • Circumcision | Circumcision Benefits | MedlinePlus (no date). Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/circumcision.html 
  • Circumcision: Treatment, Risks, Benefits, Recovery (no date). Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/16194-circumcision 
  • Circumcision in men – NHS (no date). Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/circumcision-in-men/ 
  • Circumcision (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth (no date). Available at: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/circumcision.html
  • Circumcision (male) – Mayo Clinic (no date). Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/circumcision/about/pac-20393550 
  • How much does foreskin surgery cost in India? – Circumcision Doctors (no date). Available at: https://www.circumcisiondoctors.in/how-much-does-foreskin-surgery-cost-in-india/
“The content of this publication has been developed by a third party content provider who is clinicians and/or medical writers and/or experts. The information contained herein is for educational purpose only and we request you to please consult a Registered Medical Practitioner or Doctor before deciding the appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.”


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