Circumcision no reason for multiple partners

Doctor, I have heard that if a man goes for circumcision, he should have sex with another woman, not his wife.

The idea is that this other woman, rather than his wife, gets constant desire to have sex (akasagazi). What is the essence of this custom and is it true? And what measures should be taken to heal faster after circumcision?


Dear Prima,

Circumcision or the removal of prepuce in men is a widely practised procedure in many Ugandan tribes and beyond. In some cultures, it’s a right of passage into manhood while in others, it’s a religious obligation. There is yet another growing group of persons that do it purely for medical reasons.

Circumcision has been found to decrease incidence of STIs especially syphilis, chancroid as well as local inflammatory processes of the penis. In addition, circumcision reduces the risk of cancer of the penis in men as well as risk of cancer of the cervix in partners of circumcised men.

A strong association has been found between HIV transmission and circumcision with evidence showing up to 60% protection in circumcised men compared to their uncircumcised counterparts. This has prompted the ministry of Health to roll out the Mass Male Circumcision programme in its fight against HIV.

However, circumcision, like any other procedure, carries risks although to a small extent. Immediate complications like bleeding, pain and infection are possible. The risk of infections is higher when wounds/scars are fresh. It’s, therefore, advisable that sexual intercourse should resume at least six weeks after, but can be longer if the wound healing process goes wrong or any other complications arise. Safe sex practices using a condom are highly advised in the immediate time after circumcision.

Unless for cultural reasons, there is no known benefit from sleeping with different women after circumcision and medically, it predisposes to risk of HIV and STDs. Socially, it could potentially break your family but I advise that you talk at length with your partner to understand his perspective and solve it with your family elders, a pastor, Sheikh or LC chairman.

A visit to your family doctor may help; circumcision is only considered safe under medical supervision.


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