Let's discuss circumcised and uncircumcised penises and the 20,000 nerve endings.
circumcised vs uncircumcised

Who would have thought that a bit of foreskin or a lack of it would cause such an uproar of conflicting opinions.

From sexual health, hygiene and sexual function, and penile sensitivity to better sexual satisfaction, there are many questions and opinions about circumcised and uncircumcised penises.

We have gathered expert thoughts, opinions and scientific evidence from peer-reviewed studies and mixed it with common sense to answer these ever-present questions.

Read on as we explore the differences between a circumcised vs. uncircumcised penis and whether one is better.

In this article:

Note: Read the whole article or scroll down to the KEY TAKEAWAYS section at the end of this article for a short summary.

Circumcised vs Uncircumcised: What's the Difference?

During arousal, the rush of blood flow to the penis will cause the uncircumcised penis to enlarge. As a result, the foreskin retracts and nearly disappears.

There are two types of penises in regards to circumcision:

  • circumcised
  • uncircumcised

The difference between a circumcised and uncircumcised penis is the absence or presence of foreskin.

What's foreskin?

Foreskin is a sleeve/hood of skin covering the head (glans) of the penis.

Note: Foreskin contains a large number of nerve endings. Up to 20,000 to put it into perspective. To compare it, the penis head (glans) has roughly 5,000 nerve endings.


On a circumcised penis, the foreskin was removed during a surgical procedure known as circumcision.

In most cases, baby boys have undergone a circumcision procedure typically a few days after birth.

Some uncircumcised men decide to get circumcised as adults.


On an uncircumcised penis, the foreskin remains, or the frenulum is slightly surgically altered to allow the foreskin fully retract from the penis head (glans).

What's frenulum?

The frenulum is tissue on the underside of the penis head (glans).

The frenulum is very sensitive and plays a part in the arousal process.

Note: Frenulum is, also the tissue that anchors your tongue.

During arousal, the rush of blood flow to the penis will cause the uncircumcised penis to enlarge. As a result, the foreskin retracts and nearly disappears.

Reasons for Male Circumcisions

Some of the most common reasons for male circumcisions include:

  • Religion reasons (commonly practiced in Jewish or Muslin faith)
  • Cultural reasons Family history
  • Personal preference

Circumcision Statistics

According to a 2016 study on the global prevalence of male circumcision, 37-39% of males worldwide have a circumcision.

The American Urological Association reported the top three areas with the highest circumcision rates to be the Middle East, South Korea, and the United States.

In 2020, the World Health Organization estimates that circumcision rates in the states will be as high as 76-92%. As these numbers continue to climb, it's essential to understand the pros and cons of either opinion.

Circumcision and Sexual Sensations

This same theory also assumes that an uncircumcised penis may be slightly more sensitive during sex.

The theory behind male circumcision and sensitivity is that removing the foreskin can cause the penis to become less sensitive to physical stimuli, such as that intercourse or oral sex.

This same theory also assumes that an uncircumcised penis may be slightly more sensitive during sex.

Though plenty of research looks into this topic further, the studies explain that circumcision does not play a role in penile sensitivity, sexual pleasure, or conditions such as premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, circumcised men experience no benefit or advantage regarding their sexual function or performance.

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Health Benefits of Circumcision

it all comes down to personal hygiene habits

There are many opinions and many may be biased on the health benefits of circumcision, but the truth is that it all comes down to personal hygiene habits.

For many individuals, the decision to have a circumcision performed on themselves or their child originates is the conviction in potential health benefits or their religious beliefs as mentioned earlier.

The health benefits of circumcision mainly apply to newborns and young children.

Some of the conditions may include:

Bacterial and Viral Infections

A urinary tract infection is relatively common in toddlers and young males due to the build-up of dead skin cells, oil, and other fluids under the foreskin of the penis, also known as smegma.

According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, newborn male circumcision plays a beneficial role in reducing the incidence of urinary tract infections in their first year of life.


Due to poor hygiene, smegma build-up can cause some uncircumcised males to experience inflammation within their penile tissues. As a result, uncircumcised penises may be more prone to balanitis (sore or swollen penis) which can cause itchiness, discomfort, tenderness, or rashes.

Note: These health issues are rare in adult men and mostly caused by poor hygiene.

Hygiene for Uncircumcised Penises

it all comes down to personal hygiene habits like taking a regular shower.

Another common concern men tend to have is whether their uncircumcised penis is less hygienic than a circumcised penis.

The short and simple answer to this is NO.

Instead, as mentioned above, it all comes down to personal hygiene habits like taking a regular shower.

It does not imply that one penis is more hygienic than the other.

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Does it hurt to push the foreskin back?

It should not hurt. Forced retraction or even inability to retract the foreskin altogether is a sign of a medical issue. Proper foreskin retraction

Does getting circumcised reduce your penis size?

Generally speaking, no. Though a circumcised penis may appear less bulky due to the absence of foreskin covering the head of the penis, this is only the case while the penis is flaccid.

With an erection, the rush of blood flow to the penile tissues will cause the uncircumcised penis to enlarge to the same degree as a circumcised penis. As this happens, the foreskin retracts and nearly disappears.

Penis size depends more on genetics, health, hormones, lifestyle, and other environmental factors.

Are uncircumcised penises really less hygienic?

The simple answer is no!

Although uncircumcised penises are no less hygienic than circumcised penises, it comes down to regular personal hygiene habits.

Does circumcision reduce sexual sensations?

Though there are some conflicting opinions in research, the studies suggest that male circumcision has no adverse effect on sexual function, penile sensitivity, or overall sexual satisfaction.

Regardless of any study, theoretically, unless a man has a sexual experience having an uncircumcised and circumcised penis, the debate will continue.

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  • Male circumcision is a standard medical procedure that surgically removes the penis foreskin.
  • Though circumcision is available to people of all ages, parents usually opt for this surgical procedure in the first few days or weeks of a newborn's life.
  • Hygiene is important, so keeping the penis clean and dry, including wearing clean underwear, is good for any penis, regardless of circumcision.
  • Unless there is a conclusive study involving a large enough sample size group of men who underwent uncircumcision as adults after having sexual experiences with and without foreskin, we will never know with certainty whether a sexual experience with a circumcised or uncircumcised penis feels better.
  • Simple logic suggests that since the foreskin contains roughly 20,000 nerve endings, removing it could affect the penis sensitivity and overall sexual experience in contrast to an uncircumcised penis.
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Medical Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to give medical advice or substitute for the medical advice of a physician.

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