Circumcision - What to Think About
As a parent, you will decide whether you want to keep
your son's penis natural or want him to be
circumcised. This decision often is a personal one based on your own values and religious or cultural beliefs.
good idea to think about your decision before your baby is born. If you wait,
the excitement and fatigue of the delivery can affect your ability to carefully
consider the benefits and risks of each choice.
- Circumcision: Should I Keep My Son's Penis Natural?
Your son's values
Circumcision is not just done in newborns. Keep in mind that your son can
decide on his own later in life if he wants a circumcised penis.
Circumcision and STIs
Some studies have shown that circumcised men are a little
less likely than men who have not been circumcised to get a
sexually transmitted infection (STI), including
Any man, especially if he has
high-risk sex, can get STIs or HIV. The best way to
prevent STIs is to teach people about risk factors and the importance of
avoiding high-risk sex.
Some people have concerns that circumcision can decrease sensation in the
penis. Some people also wonder if circumcision disrupts the bonding that occurs
between mother and son during breast-feeding. But there is not a lot of
research about these concerns.
Keeping your son's penis clean may
help prevent infection and other problems. It's important to keep your son's
penis clean whether he has been circumcised or not. When
cleaning a natural (uncircumcised) penis, be careful
not to force the foreskin to retract.
If you decide that you would like to
have your baby circumcised, talk with your doctor about concerns you may
have about pain and your preferences for
anesthesia. Ask your doctor about giving your baby
acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) for pain relief after
When is circumcision not done?
Your doctor may not do circumcision if your baby has a medical
condition that makes him more likely to have problems from the surgery, such
- Your baby is sick or unstable (such as not
eating well, having trouble passing urine or stool, or having a hard time
maintaining his body temperature).
- Your baby has an abnormality of
the penis, such as having the opening of the
urethra on the side of the penis shaft instead of on
the tip of his penis (hypospadias or epispadias). Your baby may need to have an
intact foreskin so that this problem can be fixed with surgery when he is
- Your baby has swelling or protrusion of the spinal cord
- Your baby has an abnormal
opening of the rectum (anus).
- Your baby has a family history of bleeding problems.
- Your baby was born early and is not yet able to go home.