Baby

Should I Circumcise my Baby?

“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

Breakdown

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?

 

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Moni
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Moni

Hi Nicole, thank you for an interesting article. Currently, I am living in a Muslim country and here I would say nearly all boys are circumcised. The celebrations for circumcision are more important than weddings here. People tend to spend a lot of money when the boys are circumcised and here it seems to happen when the boys are around the age of 8-10 years. I have seen so many arguments for and against circumcision. Personally, I would not have my boys circumcised. I am not circumcised and I don’t feel I am missing out on anything but at the… Read more »

Andrew
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Hi Nicole. It’s scary to realize that so many boys between the age of 8 to 10 have to endure this procedure. I imagine it would be very traumatic at that age to have such a sensitive (physically and emotionally) part of your body changed! We were born uncircumcised and nature does not get it wrong. So even though I am circumcised I would probably tend to allow the wisdom of nature to reign if I was ever to have sons. Thanks for sharing.

Shane Black
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Shane Black

Hi Nicole, 

Thanks so much for sharing this very informative article. 

As a parent to a one year old boy, I have personal experience with this subject. My wife and I thought long and hard about whether we should get our son circumcised. It’s important to consider this subject and take the most appropriate action that you decide. The lists you provide will help parents make this decision. 

Cheers, 

Shane

admin
Admin
admin

It is an important decision and can be difficult to make. I’m glad you guys took your time with it so you could make an informed decision.