Circumcision – a procedure that removes the foreskin from a baby’s penis – can be a hot topic in conversations.
Many people feel very strongly about whether or not circumcisions should be done on infant males, and it can be confusing for parents to decide what is best for their son.
Medically, what do physicians say about the procedure?
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics reviewed all information available and concluded that the benefits to circumcisions outweigh the risks. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorsed this statement, as well.
The pros to circumcision include prevention of urinary tract infections and penile cancer. Circumcision can also prevent some sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
Another pro to circumcision is avoiding specific conditions that can happen to an uncircumcised penis, including:
- Phimosis – A congenital narrowing of the opening of the foreskin so it cannot be retracted.
- Paraphimosis – The foreskin is pulled back forcibly and gets stuck, unable to allow blood flow to the head of the penis.
- Balanitis – Another issue from the foreskin being pulled back forcibly, causing tears, microabrasions and infections.
All three of these conditions are treatable, but can be painful.
On the flip side, there are cons to circumcision, similar to any surgical procedure. There could be bleeding and infection, and there is no way to do it completely painlessly.
There are certain individuals who think of circumcision as a brutal practice akin to genital mutilation. Some also think it can decrease sexual pleasure long-term or prevent masturbation, but both of those facts are not true.
How do you decide what’s best for your baby? It’s up to you!
Medically, the benefits outweigh the risks long-term, and typically, the choice is made based on religious and social reasons.