The number of newborns who are circumcised changes each year and varies significantly across the United States. Though the national rate is reported to be 60%, the number varies from 12% to 87%, depending on the state.
In other words, if you’re a man, there’s a decent chance you were circumcised.
Men who weren't circumcised as infants may consider having the procedure during their adult years. When they do, their reasons tend to fall into two categories: It’s a personal choice or they have medical problems.
At Gulf Coast Urology, board-certified urologist John Bertini, MD, FACS, and James Harris, MD, have years of experience performing safe circumcisions in adult men. They’re available to talk with you about the circumcision procedure, the benefits and risks of getting circumcised, and what to expect during your recovery.
Keep reading to learn more about why men choose to become circumcised.
You may convert to a religion that encourages or requires circumcision. Some cultural traditions also prefer men to be circumcised. For some men, removing the foreskin is simply a personal choice that may be motivated by many reasons, from better hygiene to appearance.
Removing the foreskin though a circumcision may reduce your risk of developing penile cancer, some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and recurrent urinary tract infections.
You may also need a circumcision to prevent or treat conditions such as:
Phimosis occurs when you can't retract the foreskin because the tissue tightens around the end of your penis. Paraphimosis is the opposite problem. If you have paraphimosis, the foreskin rolls back (or you push it back) and the roll of tissue is so tight you can't pull it back over the tip of your penis.
Both conditions may develop due to an infection, scarring, and in some cases, poor hygiene.
Paraphimosis requires immediate medical care. The rolled up foreskin causes swelling and can cut off blood flow to the penis. Without emergency treatment, the loss of blood results in tissue death and gangrene.
Uncircumcised men can develop inflammation and infections under and around the foreskin. When the inflammation only affects the foreskin, the condition is called posthitis. Balanitis refers to inflammation in the head of your penis. When both areas are inflamed, you have balanoposthitis.
A buildup of bacteria most often causes an infection, but you can also develop a viral or fungal infection. Penile infections increase your risk of developing phimosis, paraphimosis, penile cancer, and a skin condition called lichen sclerosus.
Infections cause inflammation, but you can also have foreskin inflammation due to STDs, allergic reactions, poor hygiene, and skin conditions such as contact dermatitis and psoriasis.
In addition to inflammation, you may experience symptoms such as swelling, a sore, itchy penis, discharge from under the foreskin, and pain when you urinate.
Since the foreskin goes over the end of your penis, it can sustain a painful injury. Any injury that tears the foreskin may also damage the surrounding skin and the urethral opening.
We may recommend removing a damaged foreskin rather than repairing it, depending on the severity of the injury and whether you have personal or religious objections to circumcision.
If you have questions about circumcision, call our Houston or Nassau Bay, Texas, location or request an appointment through our online system today.