Spanish men are circumcised

What happens with circumcision?

During circumcision, a movable flap of skin that surrounds the glans of the male member (foreskin) is completely or partially removed in a small surgical procedure. This procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia.

Circumcision for traditional / religious reasons


In many cultures, male circumcision is an integral part of their lives. In ancient Egypt, male circumcision was a tradition and this fact has been confirmed by extensive photographic material. In Judaism, circumcision has a mainly religious meaning. On the day of circumcision, the eighth day after the birth, there is a great festival. The circumcision here is often carried out by a so-called mohel, a circumcision specialist. In Islam there are more traditional reasons for circumcision. The young are circumcised between the ages of 7 and 14. With the spread of Islam, circumcision is being carried out more and more on the African continent. In the USA, too, circumcision is very common for reasons of tradition and cleanliness.

Circumcision for medical reasons

Age plays a key role in deciding whether to have a child circumcised. Adhesion of the foreskin is a normal finding (physiological) in early infancy and childhood. Up to the end of the first year of life, the foreskin can be pushed back in about half of the cases. After the 3rd year of life, this rate increases to 90%, in 16 to 17 year old adolescents even up to 99%.

Medical reasons for an early intervention can be:

  • Recurring inflammation.
  • Formation of a "balloon" on the foreskin when urinating.
  • Recurring inflammation of the lower urinary tract and when no other cause can be found.

Other reasons that may make circumcision necessary:

  • The foreskin cannot or only partially be withdrawn when the limb is stiffened.
  • The stiffening of the limb can lead to pain due to the narrowed foreskin.
  • When urinating, the urine stream can be weakened or twisted by the narrowed foreskin.
  • A "balloon" may form on the foreskin when urinating.
  • Urinary retention - you cannot pass water at all (rarely).
  • After the foreskin is continuously pulled back over the glans, a lace ring appears (so-called "Spanish collar" or paraphimosis).

Is Circumcision Beneficial For Health?

The fact that the limb can be cleaned more easily after circumcision offers a certain advantage. Other reasons given include reducing the risk of lower urinary tract inflammation, sexually transmitted diseases, and skin diseases. According to an Australian study, circumcised men are much less likely to develop penile cancer than uncircumcised men.

What types of circumcision are there?

Depending on the findings and the wishes of those affected, the following surgical procedures can be considered:

  • Circumcision by completely removing the foreskin.
  • Incomplete circumcision. Part of the foreskin is retained.
  • Plastibell method. The circumcision is carried out by constricting on a plastic bell. The constricted foreskin residue falls off after 8 to 10 days. However, this procedure cannot be performed in all cases.
  • Extension plastic. The foreskin is not significantly shortened by this technique, only the opening of the foreskin is widened.

Is there any danger to circumcision?

As with any medical procedure, an operation on the foreskin performed by a urologist can lead to unexpected difficulties. Most of the time, these complications are harmless and respond well to treatment. Possible complications can be:

  • Allergic reactions to e.g. B. Narcotics
  • Pain
  • Secondary bleeding
  • Swelling in the surgical area
  • Renewed narrowing of the foreskin due to tissue shrinkage
  • Injury to the glans, etc.

frequently asked Questions

For adults: what tests will be done before the procedure? Laboratory tests, blood clotting status, possibly an electrocardiogram (EKG)

Is there severe pain after the procedure? The pain is usually bearable. Mild pain relievers can be taken if necessary. Pain relieving suppositories can be given to children.

How can healing be favorably influenced? Disinfecting hip baths from the first day after the procedure with additives containing tannins can have a beneficial effect on healing. Attention should be paid to the appearance of redness, increasing swelling, or fever.

When is bathing / showering allowed after the procedure? You can take a shower three days after the procedure; a bath is only indicated after the sutures have dissolved (between 7 and 12 days).

How long does the healing process take? As a rule, the healing process for a complete circumcision is completed after two weeks.

When is sexual intercourse possible again? If the healing process is good, sexual intercourse is usually possible again after three weeks. However, caution is advised at the beginning.

Does circumcision affect love life? Some men report increased climaxes during sexual intercourse (orgasms). Increased endurance during sexual intercourse is also reported.

Who pays the cost of circumcision? A medically justified circumcision is covered by the health insurance. Cosmetic or religious circumcision is not a health insurance benefit.

Author: Karin Janke


© Professional Association of German Urologists and the German Society for Urology