Circumcision is a minor surgical procedure in which the foreskin is removed from the top of the penis. Circumcision is usually performed in the first few days after birth by special pediatric surgeons. Usually no anesthesia or painkiller is given for this short operation. The baby generally will become quite irritable and cry, but is quickly comforted afterwards, being held and offered something to drink. Some swelling is natural; as long as your baby continues to wet diapers there is no reason for alarm. If there is abnormal bleeding, signs of infection, or if there is anything about which you are concerned, do not hesitate to call your doctor.

If you are carrying a boy, you will be asked before you deliver whether you want circumcision after delivery. In order to make a decision, you may want to consider reasons for and against circumcision.

Reasons for Circumcision

  • If the foreskin opening is too small to allow urine to flow easily, your surgeon may feel it necessary to have the foreskin removed
  • Some proponents believe that the penis is easier to clean when the foreskin is removed. With better hygiene, fewer infections occur
  • Some proponents believe that there is a lower risk of cancer of the penis in circumcised males
  • You may want your son to have the same appearance as other males in your family
  • You may have religious or other social reasons to perform circumcision on your son

Reasons for No Circumcision

  • There are generally no medical reasons that necessitate a circumcision. Many experts feel that good cleaning beneath the foreskin is possible without circumcision. Since cancer of the penis is so rare, many physicians feel it is not worthwhile to do a circumcision for this reason alone
  • There are some rare complications with circumcisions, including bleeding, infection, and very rarely a deformity
  • Some opposed to circumcision believe that uncircumcised males have a more complete sexual experience
  • Some opposed to circumcision believe that removing the foreskin is an unnecessary mutilation of a male’s body