Before we proceed to the main topic of late-life circumcision, let us first make sure we are all on the same page about the basics. This procedure involves the foreskin, i.e., the tissue that covers the head of the penis, being surgically removed by a doctor. The original reason behind this practice was most likely religious. While many parents still have their sons circumcised for this reason, cultural, social, and medical reasons nowadays also often play a role.
As a general rule, medical circumcision is typically carried out on the first or second day after the baby’s birth. However, in Jewish communities, what is known as Jewish traditional circumcision is performed on the eighth day after birth.
Next, we will proceed to answer the question: “Can a man get circumcised at any age?”
Can You Get Circumcised at Any Age? Why Should You?
Sometimes adult men who were not circumcised during their childhood opt for getting circumcised at an older age. Because there is such a massive amount of disinformation on this topic, both on and off the internet, we would like to stress that adult circumcision is indeed quite possible right from the start. In fact, it is performed daily at medical centers throughout the United States. The answer to the question “Can you get circumcised at any age?” is, therefore, a resounding yes.
What Are the Benefits of Adult Circumcision, Sometimes Also Referred to as Late-Life Circumcision?
As we will see below, the question “Can a man get circumcised at any age,” should perhaps rather be whether or not there are good reasons for late life circumcision.
It so happens that there are many great reasons. Some of the most common adult circumcision benefits include:
The same religious, cultural, social, and medical reasons cited above for children also apply to late circumcision. In this regard, it is interesting to note that nearly 79% of US males report that they have been circumcised, according to data released by the CDC. Many of them underwent the procedure during childhood, but a significant percentage decided on getting circumcised at an older age. When asking one of these gentlemen the question: “Can a man get circumcised at any age?” you will undoubtedly get a positive answer. Many of them opted for late-life circumcision, and they are pleased they did.
Penile cancer: Although this is not a very common type of cancer, it is nevertheless believed to occur less where the penis has been circumcised.
Phimosis: In someone who suffers from this condition, the foreskin that covers the tip of the penis is difficult to retract because it is too tight. This is a common reason why some men decide on late circumcision.
HIV transmission: A number of international studies have confirmed that the risk of getting infected with HIV is reduced in circumcised men. This is why the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends adult male circumcision,i.e., getting circumcised at an older age (along with safe sex), to help prevent HIV.
STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases): According to some sources, the risk of getting syphilis, HPV (Human Papillomavirus), type 2 herpes, chlamydia, and genital ulcers is reduced in males who have been circumcised. This is a significant benefit of late-life circumcision.
Balanitis: is an infection or irritation of the head of the penis, causing the latter to become swollen and inflamed. Circumcision can help to prevent this condition.
Sexual functioning: Men sometimes decide to get circumcised at an older age because they believe this will make the penis more sensitive and thus boost sexual enjoyment. Various studies on this topic have, however, come to conflicting conclusions. Although many circumcised males experience improved sexual functioning, other studies found that penis sensitivity is slightly decreased by circumcision. Therefore, whether or not this should motivate you to undergo a late circumcision is largely a matter of personal opinion.
What To Expect During Adult Circumcision Surgery
When doctors are asked the question, “Can you get circumcised at any age?” they often have to deal with a lot of ignorance and disinformation. It will make things easier for both the doctor and yourself if you already know the basic facts about late circumcision before asking them about this.
While circumcising a baby is a relatively quick process, this type of surgery is somewhat more involved in the case of an adult. You should prepare for anything between 30 minutes and 1 hour before the procedure is completed. Everything will start with a qualified anesthetist administering either localized or general anesthesia to sedate you. Luckily you usually get to choose which of the two you prefer.
During the surgery, the doctor will retract the foreskin before they trim it off with a scalpel. Before that happens, they will first measure precisely how much of the skin needs to be removed. During adult circumcision, the next step is to stitch the skin back to the shaft of the penis with dissolving sutures.
Next, the doctor will wrap the penis in a protective dressing. And finally, you will be pushed to the recovery room in a wheelchair. Provided no complications arise, the vast majority of patients can go home the same day.
Now that you know what to expect when you ask your doctor, “Can you get circumcised at any age?” you are undoubtedly better prepared to have an intelligent discussion on the topic with your doctor.
What To Expect in the Days After Your Adult Circumcision
During the hours (and possibly even a few days) after the procedure, it’s normal to experience bruising and swelling around your penis.
You are unlikely to experience severe pain, though. The doctor will most likely give you a prescription for fairly mild pain tablets, but a non-prescription pain reliever should also do the job quite well.
Call the doctor straight away if you need a more potent pain killer for the pain but do not take more than one type of pain mediation unless your doctor gives the green light. It will also help if you use an ice pack on your groin for up to 20 minutes at a time every 2 hours. Just don’t put the ice pack on your bare skin – put a piece of fabric in between.
In the first couple of days after the procedure, it’s crucial to prevent infection by keeping the dressings around the penis dry and clean. Therefore, the doctor might ask you to visit the office again so they can replace the dressings. They might also prescribe an antibiotic to prevent any possible infection.
Important: It is vital that, if your doctor prescribes antibiotics, you take the total dose.
Don’t Be In Too Much of a Hurry
The circumcision healing process usually takes between two and three weeks. You might not be able to go to work for a week or even longer.
Depending on how happy the doctor is with the speed of your recovery, you should be able to resume exercising and similar activities about a month after the circumcision. But having sex and even masturbating will have to wait for up to six weeks. All of this depends on your general health condition and how fast you heal. Let your doctor guide you in this regard.
The type of underwear you wear after the procedure can also make a huge difference. Wearing loose-fitting underwear that allows things down there to move around too freely can increase pain, discomfort, and swelling. The best option is to wear supportive yet comfortable underwear that ensures the head of the penis is held toward your belly button when you lie down flat.
You should start trying to walk within one or two days after the procedure. Just keep things slow and low-impact. Don’t even think of resuming normal physical activities without first discussing the matter with your doctor.
As soon as your doctor removes the bandages, you will be able to start showering again. But do not use any scented gels or soaps the first few weeks because the chemicals and fragrances these contain could irritate the wound. It’s also not recommended to use a towel or washcloth (particularly a coarse one) on the incision soon after the surgery. Simply pat-dry the region with a soft cloth or similar.
As we’ve seen above, the answer to the question “Can a man get circumcised at any age?” is without any doubt a yes. What we’ve also learned is that whether he should be circumcised depends on a variety of factors. In the end, it is a very personal decision to make.
This article aimed to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about being circumcised during adulthood. Did we answer all your questions, or is there something we missed? You are welcome to visit the blog section on our website for more information. Otherwise, feel free to call us at 954-722-2002 right now and book an appointment with our Dr. Andrew Krinsky.