Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin, which is the skin that covers the tip of the male sexual organ. In the United States, it is often done before a new baby leaves the hospital. There are medical benefits and risks to circumcision. Possible benefits include a lower risk of urinary tract infections, penile cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. The risks include pain and a low risk of bleeding or infection. The practice of circumcision dates to ancient times. In ancient Egypt, prior to biblical times, circumcision was performed to improve male hygiene. Later, routine circumcision of male infants was part of the Abrahamic covenants with Jehovah, giving rise to religious circumcisions that continue to this day in the Jewish and Muslim faiths.
In Africa, attitudes towards circumcisions are changing from traditional beliefs into health and preventive measures. Until recently, the lines of circumcisions were clearly defined by cultures and traditions.
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