Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the tissue covering the head of the penis. It is an ancient practice that has its origin in religious rites. Today, many parents have their sons circumcised for religious or other reasons.
How is the procedure done?
During the procedure, the foreskin is freed from the head of the penis, and the excess foreskin is clipped off. If done in the newborn period, the procedure takes about five to ten minutes. When performed on an adult, the procedure takes about one hour. The circumcision generally heals in five to seven days.
Is it necessary?
The use of circumcision for medical or health reasons is an issue that continues to be debated. The American Academy of Paediatrics found that the health benefits to newborn males outweigh the risks, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision. The procedure may be recommended in older boys and men to treat phimosis or to treat an infection of the penis.
Parents should talk with their doctor about the benefits and risks of the procedure before making a decision regarding circumcision of a male child. Other factors, such as your culture, religion, and personal preference, will also be involved in your decision
What are the Benefits of Circumcision?
There is some evidence the procedure has health benefits, including:
- A decreased risk of urinary tract infections
- Reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases in men
- Protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners
- Prevention of balanitis and balanoposthitis
- Prevention of phimosis and paraphimosis
- It’s far easier to keep the end of the penis clean.