Can circumcision prevent STDs later in life?

Deciding whether or not to circumcise an infant can be a difficult decision for new parents.

Research shows that having your baby boy circumcised, the surgical removal of the penis foreskin, has health benefits. The risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, such as genital herpes or HPV, is reduced in men who are circumcised.

How does circumcision prevent STDs?

  1. By removing the foreskin, the skin covering the head of the penis becomes tougher. This may protect against “microtears” during sex that con provide a point of entry for germs.
  2. The mucosal lining of the penile foreskin may provide a moist environment for herpes and HPV to survive and penetrate cells on the skin’s surface.
  3. After sex, the foreskin may prolong the time that skin is exposed to germs.

Some argue against circumcision, stating that it is an unnecessary surgical procedure that may pose risks, including reduce sexual sensitivity in adulthood. However, with today’s advanced medical technology, the risks of circumcision are minimal.

Circumcision remains a personal decision, whether it is the parents of a newborn or an adult male himself, and prior to the procedure the benefits vs. the risks should be examined.

Please remember that circumcision alone is not a way to prevent STDs, safe sex practices, such as condoms, are still necessary to provide protection.