Sexual Health Q&A

Why might an adult male be circumcised?

Adult men might choose to be circumcised for cultural or religious reasons.

However, adult men are often circumcised for medical reasons. Circumcision may help the following problems:

• Phimosis, when the opening of the foreskin cannot be retracted behind the glans penis. This may be caused by poor hygiene or an underlying medical condition like diabetes mellitus.

• Paraphimosis, when the foreskin is retracted behind the glans penis and cannot be moved back to its normal position, creating a tight, constricting ring. Paraphimosis is a medical emergency and should be tended to immediately.

• Acute balanoposthitis, or swelling and inflammation of the foreskin, sometimes accompanied by a discharge of pus. Sometimes, the whole penis is affected.