Does male circumcision reduce women's risk of sexually transmitted infections, cervical cancer, and associated conditions?

Journal Article
(Published January, 2019)
Morris, B.J. (Author),
Hankins, C.A. (Author),
Banerjee, J. (Author),
Lumbers, E.R. (Author),
Mindel, A. (Author),
Klausner, J.D. (Author),
Krieger, J.N. (Author)
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Male circumcision (MC) has been proven to substantially reduce men's risk of a number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). To determine the relationship between MC and the risk for STIs and associated conditions in women, the authors conducted a detailed systematic review. Their review showed that:

  • Partner MC is associated with a reduced risk in women of being infected by oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes and of contracting cervical cancer.
  • Partner MC reduces women's risk of Trichomonas vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis, and possibly genital ulcer disease.
  • Evidence was mixed for risk of herpes simplex virus type 2, Chlamydia trachomatis, Treponema pallidum, HIV, and candidiasis.
  • Partner MC did not reduce risk of gonorrhea, Mycoplasma genitalium, dysuria, or vaginal discharge in women.

The reduction in risk of these STIs and cervical cancer adds to the data supporting global efforts to deploy MC as a health-promoting and lifesaving public health measure for both men and their female sexual partners.

Program implications: The authors concluded that scaling up MC beyond HIV prevention programs is warranted and should be accompanied by increased investments in efforts to raise public awareness of its protective power.

Downloads for this Resource

Morris BJ, Hankins CA, Banerjee J, Lumbers ER, Mindel A, Klausner JD, et al. Does Male Circumcision Reduce Women's Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Cervical Cancer, and Associated Conditions? Frontiers in Public Health. 2019.