A study in the journal The Lancet this week reports a finding that circumcisions could provide a protective benefit for partners against the human papilloma virus.
The highly-contagious HPV (which has a dozen different strains) is the primary cause of cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, according to Reuters. It “is expected to kill 328,000 this year, mostly in developing countries.”
Studies have previously found that circumcisions could lower the risk for men of contracting HIV.
Here’s what the current study found about the benefits of circumcision:
The researchers, including those from Johns Hopkins University, studied men and women in Uganda. They gathered health data on 1,000 women and looked at the circumcision status of their long-term sexual partners and husbands.
After two years, 27.8 percent of the women whose partners were circumcised had HPV infections, compared to 38.7 percent of the women with uncircumcised partners.
“Circumcision removes the foreskin of the penis, which is rich in immune system cells targeted by HIV and perhaps other viruses. Taking off the foreskin likely makes the penis less likely to carry a range of microbes,” wrote the research team.
Do studies like these factor into your thinking and choices around circumcision and your family?