Circumcision doesn't reduce sexual satisfaction and performance, says study of 4,500 men

Jan 07, 2008

More than 98 per cent of men who are circumcised can enjoy the same levels of sexual satisfaction and performance as men who are not, according to a study of nearly 4,500 males published in the January issue of the UK-based urology journal BJU International.

The randomised trial, carried out by researchers from Uganda and the USA, was undertaken because previous studies showed that the procedure – which is now recommended as an efficient way to reduce HIV transmission - showed conflicting results.

“Previous studies have been problematic and shown contradictory results” points out co-author Professor Ronald H Gray from the Bloomberg School of Health at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA.

“Studies focusing on men circumcised in adulthood were highly selective, because there were medical indications for surgery, circumcised infants can’t provide before and after comparisons and in most studies sample sizes were small and follow-up was short.

“This study, carried out as part of an HIV prevention initiative, enabled us to compare two groups of men with the same demographic profiles and levels of sexual satisfaction and performance at the start of the study.”

The research team looked at 4,456 sexually experienced Ugandan men aged from 15 to 49 who did not have the HIV virus. 2,210 were randomised to receive circumcision and 2,246 had their circumcision delayed for 24 months.

They followed up both sets of men at six, 12 and 24 months and then compared the information on sexual desire, satisfaction and sexual performance for the circumcised men and the control group.

Their research showed that:

  • 98.6 per cent of the circumcised men reported no problems in penetration, compared with 99.4 per cent of the control group.
  • 99.4 per cent of the circumcised men reported no pain on intercourse, compared with 98.8 per cent of the control group.
  • Sexual satisfaction was more or less constant in the circumcision group – 98.5 per cent on enrolment and 98.4 per cent after two years – but rose slightly from 98 per cent to 99.9 per cent in the control group. This difference was not felt to be clinically significant.
  • At the six-month visit there was a small, but statistically significant, difference in problems with penetration and pain among the circumcised group, but this was temporary and was not reported at subsequent follow-up visits.

    There was considerable consistency between the men in each group when it came to age, religion, marital status, education and number of sexual partners in the last year. The majority of the men were Catholic, married, had one sexual partner and were educated to primary school level.

    “Our study clearly shows that being circumcised did not have an adverse effect on the men who underwent the procedure when we compared them with the men who had not yet received surgery” concludes Professor Gray.

    “Other studies have already shown that being able to reassure men that the procedure won’t affect sexual satisfaction or performance makes them much more likely to be circumcised.”

    “BJU International was very keen to publish this large-scale study as there has been a lot of conflicting evidence about the effects of circumcision” says the journal’s Editor, Professor John Fitzpatrick from University College Dublin, Ireland.

    “We believe that these findings are very important as they can be used to support public health messages that promote circumcision as an effective way of reducing HIV transmission.”

    Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

    Explore further: US judge orders HIV-positive man to stop infecting others

    add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Amanda Todd suspect linked to dozens of cases

16 minutes ago

A prosecutor says a Dutch man suspected of possessing child pornography and blackmailing and harassing victims over the Internet with naked images of themselves—including possibly Canadian teenager Amanda Todd—may have ...

Chinese tech giant Huawei on Europe recruitment drive

39 minutes ago

Controversial Chinese technology giant Huawei—which has been condemned as a security risk in the US and Australia—is to recruit hundreds of research and development staff in Europe, the president of its French subsidiary ...

High Flux Isotope Reactor named Nuclear Historic Landmark

42 minutes ago

The High Flux Isotope Reactor, or HFIR, now in its 48th year of providing neutrons for research and isotope production at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been designated a Nuclear ...

Cutting congestion on the data network highway

46 minutes ago

Perhaps no other consumer-driven technology has made such incredible advances in such a relatively short space of time as the mobile phone. Today's smartphones are used to stream videos, access social media ...

Recommended for you

Long acting HIV drugs to be developed

Sep 11, 2014

HIV drugs which only need to be taken once a month are to be developed at the University of Liverpool in a bid to overcome the problem of 'pill fatigue'.

Puerto Rico partners on US HIV vaccine project

Sep 10, 2014

Puerto Rico's governor says the island's largest public university is partnering with federal agencies to oversee a U.S.-funded project aimed at trying to develop a prophylactic vaccine for the HIV virus that causes AIDS.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

HarryStottle
not rated yet Jan 07, 2008
Well that's a relief! I always felt I wasn't suffering, but then, having been snipped at birth, I had nothing to compare it with. I'm grateful to the Ugandan volunteers for settling the issue.
mariajylight
not rated yet Jan 09, 2008
that would be great! well, people living with herpes alway feel despressed in the world. Got Herpes? Did you know that 1 in 4 people are looking for herpes dating because they have herpes? Stop feeling you're the only one.... If you have an STD, dating can be daunting...relax, we can help. http://herpesmates.com--the large std community for people with std!