“Should I Circumcise my Baby?” is a common question for male baby parents. Circumcision is when the foreskin on the penis is surgically removed.
It is a common practice in the US and other parts of the world. Studies have been done showing it is beneficial. However, the research is not enough for the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend circumcision for all boys.
It is risky for circumcision to be done later in life. If someone is going to have it done, it is best done the days following birth.
It is a parent’s decision. So let’s discuss the pros and cons. These two lists come from two different pediatricians and so some of the information contradicts.
Pro Circumcision: (2010 data)
- Complications from the surgery range from .2% to .6%
- Analgesia (pain blocker) during circumcision is the standard
- Lower risk of UTI during the first year of life
- Prevents foreskin infection
- Maintaining genital hygiene is easier
- decreased risk of penile cancer- although the risk is already rare
- Religious Reasons
- Some research suggests STIs do not transfer as well to a circumcised male (but definitely still transferable)
- healing time of 7-10 days
Against Circumcision: (2013 data)
- Cleaning an intact penis is not difficult, wipe it like a finger. No need to pull the foreskin back until about age 5 when the foreskin has detached on its own.
- Sometimes foreskin leftover scars and will need treatment later in life
- Pain medication not effective 100% of the time, the procedure usually proceeds even if pain meds don’t work
- After surgery, pain from open wound rubbing against the diaper
- Possible complications: bleeding, infection, injury or amputation
- Bleeding occurs in 1-2% of circumcised boys
- Avoidance of risky sexual activities and using condoms are more effective ways to avoid STIs
- Risk of UTIs in the first year of life is 1% and easily treatable for those who get it
This is a brief breakdown on circumcision. To see more details, visit the links above. An additional source of info is Healthline.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you as the parent. If you need more information, speak to your child’s health care provider.
When information have you taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to circumcise?