Cutting Through: On the Issue of Circumcision at Birth
Whether expecting a baby boy or having just welcomed a new little guy into the world, there’s already an important decision to make before taking him home: whether to circumcise him or not. This procedure was once thought of as routine based on religious beliefs and cultural or social reasons. However, subjecting an infant to such a procedure has become a hotly debated topic among parents and even some pediatricians. For this reason, it makes its double-edged benefits worth going through.
Circumcision has become one of the most controversial parenting topics due to the conflicting data on its advantages.
Normal secretions accumulate beneath the foreskin. In turn, taking a few seconds of extra hygiene through retraction to gently clean the area during a bath is necessary. The removal of the foreskin means care of the penis is streamlined. At the same time, it alleviates the rare risk of infection.
Many theories and studies claim that circumcision can prevent and lower the risks or development of certain illnesses and diseases. Such as urinary tract infections, penile cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, phimosis, and irritation and inflammation of the area to name a few. Some even claim that leaving the foreskin may also protect the penis from such infections.
Some evidence has reinforced that circumcision could lessen the sensitivity of the top of the penis, decreasing sexual pleasure later on in life. On the other hand, intact men experience more due to additional stimulation from the foreskin.
Is circumcision at birth a good idea?
Although it does appear the pros outweigh the cons, the procedure itself may also carry potential risks. As does any surgical procedure, complications like minor bleeding and local infection are common. However, penile damage and alteration of sensitivity can be possible drawbacks. Even with anesthesia, you have to think about the pain the baby will feel.
Parents really need to examine medical evidence, as well as social and cultural norms to decide whether they feel this is right for their child.
Ultimately, circumcision is an elective procedure coming down to the parents’ personal preferences. They need to think about the reasons why they would want to have their son circumcised or not. If they’re still unsure, they can further discuss this with their doctor to help them make the choice that’s right for their son.