Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin (prepuce) on the penis. It is a commonly performed surgical procedure and is practiced worldwide. In some religions it is practiced as a routine. In my last Dr X show on Sun TV, I was asked about the beneficial effects of circumcision which actually prompted me to write this blog.
General belief is that Circumcision can improve male sexual dysfunction. Common indications are a tight painful foreskin during sex, fungal infections in the prepuce, pain while having sex, difficulty in ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and so on. Also, there is a thought that circumcision can cause male sexual dysfunction. This could be due to pain, decreased sensitivity of glans, erectile dysfunction and disordered ejaculation and so on. However, it is key to understand, that these conclusions are not evidence based and hence there is no consensus in medical literature to offer circumcision to all men either to enhance sexual function or to relieve sexual dysfunction.
Medical literature is also abound with studies talking about how circumcision can prevent the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections. However, these studies are done in various populations across different continents and have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Many young men present to my office saying that they are not able to roll back their foreskin with ease. This is more during erection they say. However, on examination, contrary to their belief, the foreskin rolls back easily. The doubt that many of them have is whether they will have pain free sexual intercourse with their partners.
A tough question I must admit as there is no way to certify this. The only way to find out is after the sexual act. Circumcision is a simple procedure for the surgeon. However for a man in his early to late twenties this procedure can be quite discomfiting as the healing takes two to three weeks. All this time, the glans which was never exposed before is exposed and hypersensitive.
I would sum this up by saying that circumcision has very specific indications and is not to be attempted for improving sexual function.