What is circumcision?

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis. It is one of the oldest forms of surgery and has been practised for millennia as a religious and cultural rite.

Judaism, Islam, the Coptic, Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Churches all require circumcision.

Many cultures and nationalities also practise circumcision for cultural and/or health reasons. The United States has a high circumcision rate, as does South Korea. In the Philippines, circumcision is performed between the ages of 8 and 12 as a rite of passage called Tulì.

Whilst the majority of circumcisions are performed on infants, circumcision can also be performed on adult males. In some instances it is performed out of medical necessity in the case of phimosis, paraphimosis or recurrent balanitis.

Since 2007 the World Health Organisation has recommended circumcision as a preventative measure for heterosexually-acquired HIV infections in men in countries with high rates of HIV transmission.

Some men may also choose to undergo circumcision for personal reasons.

There are many different styles and methods of circumcision.

In circumcision, part or all of the foreskin is removed. The remaining skin is fused together onto the shaft creating a single, flat surface along the shaft of the skin with no significant overhang.

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