Circumcision is the surgical removal of the skin covering the tip of the penis. Circumcision is fairly common for newborn boys in certain parts of the world, including the
Circumcision after the newborn period is possible, but it's a more complex
procedure. United States
For some families, circumcision is a religious ritual. Circumcision can also be a matter of family tradition, personal hygiene or preventive health care. For others, however, circumcision seems unnecessary or disfiguring. After circumcision, it isn't generally possible to re-create the appearance of an uncircumcised penis
Circumcision is a religious or cultural ritual for many Jewish and Islamic families, as well as certain aboriginal tribes in Africa and
. Circumcision can also be
a matter of family tradition, personal hygiene or preventive health care.
Sometimes there's a medical need for circumcision, such as when the foreskin is
too tight to be pulled back (retracted) over the glans. In other cases,
particularly in certain parts of Australia Africa,
circumcision is recommended for older boys or men to reduce the risk of certain
sexually transmitted infections.
of Pediatrics (AAP) says the
benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. However, the AAP doesn't recommend
routine circumcision for all male newborns. The AAP leaves the circumcision
decision up to parents — and supports use of anesthetics for infants who have
the procedure. American Academy
Circumcision might have various health benefits, including:
Easier hygiene. Circumcision makes it simpler to wash the penis. Washing beneath the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis is generally easy, however.
Decreased risk of urinary tract infections. The overall risk of urinary tract infections in males is low, but these infections are more common in uncircumcised males. Severe infections early in life can lead to kidney problems later on.
Decreased risk of sexually transmitted infections. Circumcised men might have a lower risk of certain sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Still, safe sexual practices remain essential.
Prevention of penile problems. Occasionally, the foreskin on an uncircumcised penis can be difficult or impossible to retract (phimosis). This can lead to inflammation of the foreskin or head of the penis.
Decreased risk of penile cancer. Although cancer of the penis is rare, it's less common in circumcised men. In addition, cervical cancer is less common in the female sexual partners of circumcised men.
Circumcision might not be an option if certain blood-clotting disorders are present. In addition, circumcision might not be appropriate for premature babies who still require medical care in the hospital nursery.
Circumcision doesn't affect fertility, nor is circumcision generally thought to enhance or detract from sexual pleasure for men or their partners
The most common complications associated with circumcision are bleeding and infection. Side effects related to anesthesia are possible as well.
Rarely, circumcision might result in foreskin problems. For example:
- The foreskin might be cut too short or too long
- The foreskin might fail to heal properly
- The remaining foreskin might reattach to the end of the penis, requiring minor surgical repair
Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision or female genital cutting, is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as "all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons".
The procedure is traditionally carried out by an older woman with no medical training. Anaesthetics and antiseptic treatment are not generally used and the practice is usually carried out using basic tools such as knives, scissors, scalpels, pieces of glass and razor blades. Often iodine or a mixture of herbs is placed on the wound to tighten the vagina and stop the bleeding.
Types of Female Genital Mutilation
The World Health (WHO) classifies FGM into four types:
involves the excision of the prepuce with or without excision of part or all of the clitoris.
excision of the prepuce and clitoris together with partial or total excision of the labia minora.
excision of part or all of the external genitalia and stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening, also known as infibulation. This is the most extreme form and constitutes 15 per cent of all cases. It involves the use of thorns, silk or catgut to stitch the two sides of the vulva. A bridge of scar tissue then forms over the vagina, which leaves only a small opening (from the size of a matchstick head) for the passage of urine and menstrual blood.
includes pricking, piercing or incision of the clitoris and/or the labia; stretching of the clitoris( this is practiced in
) and or the labia;
cauterisation or burning of the clitoris and surrounding tissues, scraping of
the vaginal orifice Zimbabwe
Consequences of FGM
Depending on the degree of mutilation, FGM can have a number of short-term health implications:
- severe pain and shock
- urine retention
- injury to adjacent tissues
- immediate fatal haemorrhaging
Long-term implications can entail:
- extensive damage of the external reproductive system
- uterus, vaginal and pelvic infections
- cysts and neuromas
- increased risk of Vesico Vaginal Fistula
- complications in pregnancy and child birth
- psychological damage
- sexual dysfunction
- difficulties in menstruation
Surely the two (Male Circumcision and Female Genital Mutilation) can not be compared. Female Genital Mutilation is a punishment for life to the women and girls who go through it. While there is a case for male circumcision, there is clearly none for FGM. Let’s end it together.
By Abigal Muchecheti