Reasons

What are the medical reasons for circumcision ?

Phimosis; Balanitis; Painful sex due to tight foreskin; and overwhelming evidence now exists for a role of circumcision in reducing the transmission of HIV.Phimosis, In babies, the foreskin and the glans develop as one, only separating during childhood. As a result the infant foreskin is frequently tight and inelastic. Some doctors may suggest circumcision in these circumstances. Others say that generally the foreskin loosens by the age of three and that true phimosis, which affects fewer than 1% of boys, is very rare before the age of five.

If possible, watchful waiting is sensible in suspected phimosis because the vast majority of foreskins loosen themselves naturally. While only 4% of baby boys have a retractable foreskin, 98-99% of 18 year-olds do. The figures are from the British Medical Journal, 1993, the same article that revealed that many surgeons simply cannot tell the difference between an everyday tight foreskin and true phimosis.

Balanitis, In Balanitis the glans and/or the foreskin become inflamed. It can affect men of all ages including boys (most commonly around the age of three or four).
Poor hygiene, a tight foreskin, skin disorders, allergy to products such as soap or washing powder or to the latex or spermicides in condoms can all damage the skin and, if this becomes infected, balanitis can develop. Balanitis is not transmitted sexually but bacteria called candida can cause it. Sex may also damage the skin. It is best avoided by keeping the penis clean, especially under the foreskin but in recurrent cases circumcision might be offered.

Painful sex due to tight foreskin, If an adult is finding sex increasingly painful as a result of non-retractile foreskin, having a circumcision can be one of the most satisfying treatments they can undergo that will result in painless and enjoyable sex. It has to be remembered that following a circumcision you do need to abstain from penetrative sex for about a month.

Overwhelming evidence now exists for a role of circumcision in reducing the transmission of HIV, One of the first randomised controlled trials (RCT) undertaken was at The University of Versailles, in South Africa, in Orange Farm, a community with a low rate of circumcision and a high prevalence of HIV infection, showed that circumcision reduced the rate of HIV infection among heterosexual man by 60%