Recent studies estimate that just under 60% of South African men are circumcised, counting both medical and traditional methods. However, while there are many benefits of medical circumcision, the risks associated with traditional methods can be extremely high – and sometimes life-threatening.
In this info sheet, we will outline some of the benefits of medical circumcision, and the dangers of traditional circumcision, allowing you to make the right choice for your health by opting for medical circumcision.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin (which is the tissue covering the head or glans) of the penis. The practice has its roots in religious and traditional rites, but has many medical benefits when done professionally.
The key benefit of circumcision is the proven reduction in transmission of HIV/AIDS, with some studies showing a risk reduction of female-to-male transmission of 60%. This is a large motivator for various health initiatives to encourage circumcision in South Africa specifically, as well as other high-risk countries.
Other benefits of circumcision include:
At Unjani Clinic, we utilise the Unicirc Circumcision instrument, a surgical assist male circumcision device designed and developed in accordance with the WHO Framework of Evaluation of Male Circumcision Devices. The Unicirc is the first non-necrotising and disposable circumcision instrument in Southern Africa, and was developed as a safe and cost-effective solution for upscaling male circumcision.
Many South African cultures see circumcision as a rite of passage to manhood. Yet traditional male circumcision has a dramatically increased risk of complication that could lead to sepsis, genital mutilation, gangrene, excessive bleeding, renal failure and even death. These issues almost always require medical care in a hospital setting, and can even result in the amputation of the penis.
The main causes of these complications include a lack of hygienic practices and basic medical training in the circumciser, and a lack of hygiene in the place of circumcision (as these are often done in natural settings).
Circumcision is just a ‘cosmetic’ procedure
Circumcision offers clear and proven lifelong medical benefits, such as reduced risk of HIV/AIDS transmission and reduced risk of penile cancer for men and cervical cancer for women.
Circumcision limits your sexual function.
Circumcision does not affect your ability to have and maintain an erection, nor does it limit your pleasure or ability to have children. Circumcised and uncircumcised men do not have different sexual experiences or abilities.
You should wait until a child is older / can decide for himself before circumcising.
Circumcision offers significant benefits for children, especially in the first year of life, including reduced risk of UTIs and reduced risk of phimosis – a condition in which the foreskin cannot be pulled back from the head of the penis.
Circumcision can always lead to injury.
Traditional methods have a high risk of injury, but medical circumcisions are generally safe, with a very small percentage experiencing negative results. When done in a sterile environment using the correct tools, circumcision is exceedingly safe.
Choose medical circumcision today for massively reduced risk (compared to traditional methods) and proven health benefits.