Are you wondering if you should get your newborn circumcised or not? Read on for evidence-based information that can help you with your decision.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin (aka prepuce), the tissue covering the head (glans) of the penis. This procedure has ancient origins but is still practiced for religious or cultural reasons.
Some religions such as Judaism, Islam, and SOME Christian denominations practice circumcision “as a token of the covenant”.
Culturally, circumcision is done shortly after birth as a rite of passage into manhood, a test of bravery & self-control, or a sacrificial ritual. It can, and is, sometimes done in older children and adult men for medical reasons.
Pros of circumcision:
- Less risk of UTI’s & some STI’s
- Protection against penile cancer & lower risk of cervical cancer in female partners
- Easier to keep the penis clean
Cons of circumcision:
- Risk of reoperation if not enough skin was removed
- Too much skin is removed
- Pain or infection of the incision
- Hemorrhaging post-op
Circumcision usually takes 1-2 weeks to heal if cared for properly. Clean the area with mild soap and water (do NOT use baby wipes), apply petroleum jelly & gauze, and loosely apply a clean diaper. This should be done until COMPLETELY healed. Also, administer pain medication as directed by your child’s physician.
If you notice any of the following:
- Unusual smell
Contact your child’s physician immediately!
Parents should talk with their doctor about the benefits and risks of the procedure before deciding whether to circumcise a male child.
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