Circumcised Men Less Apt to Transmit Chlamydia
November 17, 2005
A new study suggests that women whose male sexual partner is circumcised are less likely to contract Chlamydia trachomatis than those whose partner is uncircumcised.
Dr. Xavier Castellsague, of Institut Catala d'Oncologia in Barcelona, and colleagues studied the relationship between male circumcision and C. trachomatis infection in the female partner. They examined data on 300 female subjects and their male partners enrolled in studies in Colombia, Spain, Brazil, Thailand, and the Philippines, testing blood samples from the women for the infection.
Overall prevalence of circumcision among the men was 37 percent, ranging from 1.8 percent in Spain to 92 percent in the Philippines. Across all five countries, the researchers found that women whose partner was circumcised were significantly less likely to be infected with C. trachomatis. The association was found among all women except younger participants and those with a history of consistent condom use.
The researchers speculated that a penis with intact foreskin may be more likely to retain infection for a longer time than a penis with the foreskin removed, "subsequently increasing the likelihood of infection to the penile urethra and transmission to the vagina during intercourse."
The full report, "Chlamydia trachomatis Infection in Female Partners of Circumcised and Uncircumcised Adult Men" was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2005;162(9): 907-916).
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.