What is circumcision?
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the tissue covering the head of the penis. It is usually performed on the first or second day after birth. (In the Jewish tradition, circumcision is performed on the eighth day.)
During a circumcision, the foreskin is freed from the head of the penis (glans), and the excess foreskin is clipped off. The procedure takes about five to ten minutes and generally heals in five to seven days.
What are the benefits of circumcision?
There is some evidence that circumcision has health benefits, including a decreased risk of urinary tract infections; a reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases in men; protection against penile cancer; and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners. Circumcision also makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean.
What are the risks of circumcision?
Like any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with circumcision. However, these risks are low. Problems associated with circumcision might include:
- Bleeding and/or infection at the site of the circumcision
- Irritation of the glans
- Increased risk of meatitis (inflammation of the opening of the penis)
- Possible injury to the penis
Parents should talk with their doctor about the benefits and risks of the procedure before making a decision regarding circumcision. Other factors, such as culture, religion, and personal preference, may also have an impact.