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Research: Circumcision can result in problems

Danish research suggests circumcision can result in physical and sexual problems.

News in English

The five per cent of Danish men who are circumcised can experience problems in having orgasms, and their partners may find it more difficult to fulfil their sexual needs, according to a new Danish survey of 5,000 men and women.

“Problems of reaching orgasm are more frequent among circumcised men than those who are not circumcised. And the men’s partners also have more difficulty in reaching orgasm. Even worse, women have four to eight times more problems with pain during intercourse if their partners are circumcised,” says Consultant Physician Morten Frisch of Statens Serum Institute who carried out the survey.

Religious circumcision has raised heavy debate in recent days after a court in Cologne banned the circumcision of under-age boys.

In a debate article in today’s Politiken, journalist and author Kjeld Koplev takes a recent editorial in Politiken to task for defending circumcision as an element of religious freedom. Mosaisk Trossamfund also believes that the state should refrain from regulating a religious practice.

“A ban would be a clear contravention of religious freedom. If you ban circumcision in Denmark, you end 400 years of Jewish population in Denmark. Jews would, of course, move out of the country,” Chief Rabbi Bent Lexner says.

Lexner says he has circumcised some 1,000 young boys and that none of them have had complications.

Sometimes, however, things do go wrong in Denmark. New figures from the patient insurance Patientforsikring show that between 1996 and 2012 there were 65 reports of injuries in connection with circumcision. Although the procedure is not a complicated one, there are risks.

“(Circumcision) is certainly not without risk. The complication rate is 2 to 10 per cent, depending on what is included,” says Prof. Jørgen Thorup of the children’s surgical unit at Rigshospitalet.

“The most frequent complications are bleeding, infection and that too much of the foreskin has been removed. We also see more serious cases in which boys lose part of their penis,” Thorup says.

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Edited by Julian Isherwood

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