Circumcision can lead to better hygiene and a lower risk of disease

A story in the Bible says that when God promised to make Abraham the father of all nations, he also ordered the Jewish patriarch to circumcise his sons and all male descendants. In the Koran, Ibrahim – the Muslim equivalent of Abraham – was told to do the same. The practice of cutting off the foreskin dates back thousands of years, and continues today as a religious duty among Jews and Muslims alike.

In more recent times, circumcision – removal of the foreskin, the excess skin covering the penis – has become an option for men who want better personal hygiene or for medical reasons, including prevention against cancer of the penis. Then there are others who turn to this procedure in the belief that circumcision leads to greater sexual pleasure.

Distinguishing myth from fact

A circumcised penis will not lead to greater sexual pleasure, but circumcision can lead to better hygiene and a lower risk of disease, said Dr Valerie Gan Huei Li, Registrar (AST), Department of Urology, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.

“Some men ask for circumcision because they have the idea that the procedure will result in a lengthening of the penis or an increase in sexual pleasure,” said Dr Gan. “These are myths, and in fact, studies suggest that sensation at the penile glans may be diminished after circumcision.”​

Read on to learn about why circumcision is justified and how it prevents other diseases.