Circumcision is a small operation to entirely or partly remove the foreskin from the penis.
After circumcision, the skin of the glans becomes a bit thicker. Sometimes the glans becomes a bit darker in colour.
Reasons for circumcision
Circumcision can be done for several reasons:
- The foreskin is too tight and cannot be pulled back. Urinating, erection or having sexual intercourse are often painful;
- for religious reasons;
- for hygiene;
- in some African countries circumcision is used as protection against HIV. In Europe, circumcision is not recommended as protection against HIV.
Some women are also cut. Because this is harmful to women, it is called female genital mutilation.
Circumcision is a medical procedure. There is a risk of medical problems. For example: bleeding, infections and narrowing of the urethra. Medical organisations in Belgium understand that some parents want to have their son circumcised for religious reasons. They recommend considering the risks to health.
More information or help needed?
You can talk to a family doctor about almost every intimate issue. If necessary the family doctor can refer you to a specialised health professional. Find a family doctor in your neighbourhood:
Community health centre (wijkgezondheidscentrum)
You can visit a family doctor in a community health centre. Other care professionals such as nurses and social workers also work at community health centres. Care is provided free of charge. Find a community health centre in your neighbourhood:
CAW - Centrum Algemeen Welzijn
Centre for general well-being - Help with all kinds of issues: a difficult relationship, medical, financial, administrative, legal or material problems, family problems,... CAWs also provide assistance to victims of violence and abuse. Find a CAW in your neighbourhood: