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Help me Dr Lwazi - Is adult circumcision any good at 44

by Dr Lwazi
31 Mar 2012 at 21:21hrs | Views
Dr Lwazi

Hello, I'm a 44-year-old man with issues with my foreskin. I've been considering adult circumcision. I'm beginning to research it and wanted to know what you think about it, is it safe to do at 44.

Thanks in advance

- Tafara

Dear Tafara

Recently we've had female MPs campaigning for male circumcision claiming its another way to reduce female-to-male sexual transmission of HIV.

According to an article in the December 2011 Journal of Law and Medicine there are flaws in African studies that claim male circumcision reduces transmission of HIV  (read this).

Adult circumcision can be a difficult decision because of factors like psychological impacts, emotional difficulties and, in less common cases, physiological difficulties associated with foreskin.

Here are some facts: Research has shown that foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis. It has one of the highest concentrations in the body of super sensitive nerve endings called Meissner corpuscles, which help increase penile sensitivity and they don't grow back if you get circumcised. There are also claims that circumcision protects against penile cancer and many STIs, which studies have shown this to be inconclusive. I'm patiently waiting for the long-term studies to challenge the short-term data that claims circumcision reduces the HIV transmission rate, which is the flavour of the month with circumcision claims currently.

I rarely jump on bandwagons, including the HIV/circumcision one, especially with all the questionable testing variables in the African and Indian HIV/circumcision research that came out a few years ago. In addition, the rate of circumcision has been dropping as a result of doctors and people understanding there are few reasons, aside from less common medical difficulties and religious reasons, for male circumcision. Last year, the rate of male infants getting circumcised was approximately one out of every three -- 33%! You and your foreskin will be the majority in no time.

With all the research you're doing, please check out NoCirc.org for some information on why you should keep your foreskin. Here's a last little piece of info that makes me appreciative of foreskin: The majority of women rate intercourse with an intact male (uncircumcised) as more pleasurable than with a circumcised male. If we're playing basketball and the teams are shirts and skins... Score one for the skins.

Dr Lwazi



Dr Lwazi can be contacted at drlwazi@bulawayo24.com


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