Being a healthy individual takes effort. For the majority of us it will sadly not just happen naturally. For example, you need to be proactive about eating the right foods and need to make time to exercise.
For men, another proactive step towards optimal health is through medical circumcision.
Health24 defines medical male circumcision as the surgical removal of the foreskin. Circumcision is performed for cultural, religious or medical reasons.
An example of a culture which practises circumcision is the Xhosa people, where young men are circumcised as part of their initiation process into manhood. Jews and Muslims include routine neonatal (new-born) circumcision as part of their religion.
However, many men who do not fall into these categories also opt for circumcision. This is known as medical male circumcision as it is done purely for medical reasons. There are many benefits to getting circumcised, not only for you but your sexual partner as well.
Some reasons you should consider getting circumcised:
- Decreases the risk of HIV
- Decreases the risk of STIs
- Lowers risk of prostate cancer
- Maintaining hygiene is easier
- No chance of tearing and bruising during sex, which may lead to infection
- Reduces women's risk of cervical cancer
Brothers for Life explain that in the skin of the foreskin are unique cells, called Langerhans cells, which attract the cells that produce HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). This is why there is a higher risk of HIV and STIs when the foreskin is present.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), because the inner mucosal area of the foreskin is not keratinised and hosts a wealth of Langerhans' cells, it is very susceptible to HIV.
During heterosexual intercourse the foreskin is pulled back along the shaft of the penis, and the entire inner surface of the foreskin is exposed to vaginal secretions, providing a large area where HIV transmission can take place.
It advisable to get an HIV test before the actual procedure. The surgical procedure is done by a doctor or trained nurse and takes about 30 minutes.
Diagram of a male medical circumcison.
Medical male circumcision is offered free of charge by government clinics and hospitals. You can find the list of all government and partner facilities that offer the service here.
Image credits: Istock and Wikiimages