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According to an estimate provided by the BBC in 2012, around 8.5 percent of men in the UK are circumcised, although a more recent study from 2016 places that figure to just over 20 percent.

ThePopulation Health Metricsstudy shows the UK lagging behind many parts of the world when it comes to male circumcision, methotrexate and leflunomide side effects including the US, where over 70 percent of men are said to be circumcised.

In many countries across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, the percentage of men who had undergone the operation to remove their foreskin was in the mid to high 90s.

While male circumcision is largely based on cultural and religious customs, research has shown that it does come with some sexual health benefits that you might not know about. Here are four to note.

READ MORE:'I got circumcised at 25 as it hurt when I masturbated – now my penis looks bigger'

1. Reduces risk of infection for men

Multiplestudiescited by Aaron A. R. Tobian (MD, PhD) and Ronald H. Gray (MD, MSc) in their paper ‘The Medical Benefits of Male Circumcision’ have shown that heterosexual men who are circumcised are 51-60 percent less likely to contract HIV.

In addition to that, trials have also demonstrated that circumcision reduces the likelihood of men contracting genital herpes by 28 to 34 percent, while the risk of developing genital ulceration decreased by 47 percent.

2. Reduced risk of infection for women as well

Naturally, better sexual health in heterosexual men also leads to better sexual health in their female partners. The same study found that the female partners of circumcised men were 28 percent less likely to catch a high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV).

Their female partners were also 40 percent less likely to develop bacterial vaginosis, and 48 percent less likely to contract trichomoniasis.

3. Makes sex more satisfying for women

Around 40 percent of women have said they were more satisfied with sex after their partners got circumcised compared to before they were snipped,researchersin Uganda found, with only 3 percent complaining of reduced satisfaction.

Another 2014studyshowed that circumcised men lasted on average 20 seconds longer in bed than their uncircumcised counterparts, with researchers saying a reduction in penile sensitivity meant that circumcised men would take longer to ejaculate.

4. Makes sex more satisfying for men

If the prospect of pleasing their partners isn’t enough of an incentive for men to go under the knife, one survey cited inWebMDnoted that 97 percent of men said their level of sexual satisfaction was either unchanged or better after they were circumcised.

Otherresearchfound that 64 percent of men said their penis was ‘much more sensitive’ after getting circumcised, while 54.4 percent said they found it ‘much more’ easier to reach an orgasm.

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