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Circumcision in Adulthood

Circumcision is a surgical procedure to remove the excess foreskin from the penis. Elective circumcision is performed in about 65% of newborn boys in the U.S., often performed for religious or cultural reasons. The procedure is typically performed in the hospital one or two days after birth, or before the mother and baby go home.

Circumcision is not a medically necessary procedure and many male babies go uncircumcised. If proper hygeine is taught early, there are rarely any long-term effects to not being circumcised.

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Facts About Circumcision

  • Uncircumcised penises are as easy to keep clean as a circumcised penis when proper hygiene is practiced, starting at a young age
  • Circumcision may decrease incidences of urinary tract infection and may offer protection against penile cancer, but only for those who do not practice proper hygiene

Urologists typically advise adult circumcision only when a man is experiencing recurrent health problems (inflammation or infection of the head of the penis, difficulty retracting the foreskin) and conservative treatments (antibiotics, antifungals, improved hygiene) have not produced the desired outcome. These problems are more prevalent in men with poorly controlled diabetes. When a consistent infection is a problem, talking to a urologist about circumcision is an option. Adult male circumcision is an outpatient procedure. It does not affect sexual function. As with any surgical procedure, risks include infection or bleeding.