Deciding About Circumcision

Circumcision is a surgery that removes the skin that covers the end of the penis often called the “foreskin”. Most often, a circumcision is done in the first few days of a baby’s life, if they are healthy.

There may be some health benefits to circumcision. Still, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend that all baby boys be circumcised. Since circumcision is not essential to a child’s health, parents should choose what is best for their child. Discuss circumcision with your pediatrician.

Benefits of Circumcision:

  • Lower risk of urinary tract infections (UTI).
    • 1 out of 1,000 baby boys who are circumcised will get a UTI in their first year of life.
    • 1 out of 100 baby boys who are not circumcised will get a UTI in their first year of life.
  • Lower risk of getting cancer of the penis. This cancer is very rare in both circumcised and uncircumcised males.
  • A slightly lower risk of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HPV, HIV, and AIDs viruses.
  • Prevention of foreskin infections.
  • Easier to keep the genital area clean.

Risks of Circumcision:

  • Complications are rare and most of the time minor. Bleeding, infection, cutting the foreskin too short or too long, and improper healing are some of the complications.
  • When the foreskin is removed, the tip of the penis may become more irritated. This can cause the opening of the penis to become too small. Rarely, does this cause urination problems that need to be corrected with surgery.
  • Some people believe circumcision makes the tip of the penis less sensitive, causing a decrease in sexual pleasure later in life. This has not been proven by any medical study.