When you discovered that you were having a boy, you probably started to consider the option of circumcision. The choice to have your son circumcised is not an easy one to make, and can include a number of factors based on your culture, religion, and personal preferences.
Remember that boys are born with skin that covers the head of the penis, referred to as foreskin. During circumcision, that foreskin is surgically removed. Circumcision is generally done within the first one to three weeks after the baby’s born.
Despite the potential benefits and risks, note that circumcision is neither crucial nor detrimental to your son’s health.
Usually the decision to circumcise has to do with religious beliefs, concerns regarding hygiene, preventive health care, or various other cultural or social determinants. Circumcision is common among the United States, Canada, and the Middle East. More specifically, for centuries it has been a religious or cultural ritual for many Jewish and Islamic families. Circumcision is less common in Asia, South America, Central America, and most of Europe.
Circumcision reduces the bacteria that can live beneath the foreskin. With that being said, it may decrease urinary tract infections in infants, penile cancer in adult men, and may also lower the threat of sexually transmitted infections. Some people feel that it eases hygiene by making it simpler to clean the penis. Even so, boys with uncircumcised penises can still be taught to wash regularly under the foreskin.
In most cases, the skin should heal in roughly 7–10 days. You may notice that the tip of the penis is slightly red and there might be a small amount of yellow fluid. Don’t worry — this typically is a normal sign of healing. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding post-procedure care and signs when you should call.
There are rare occasions where circumcision can result in problems with the foreskin, such as it being cut too short or too long, failing to heal properly, or the leftover foreskin reattaching to the end of the penis, which would require minor surgical repair. Some risks include bleeding, infection, or scarring.
Circumcision should only be performed when the newborn is stable and healthy. A few reasons to temporarily delay the procedure would be if the baby is born very early, has certain issues with his blood or a family history of bleeding disorders, or if the baby has congenital abnormalities.
At the end of the day, it is your call whether or not to have your son circumcised. Because circumcision is an elective procedure, it might not be covered by your health insurance policy. Make sure to call your health insurance provider to find out if your policy covers the procedure.
If you have any questions or concerns about circumcision or other women’s health tips, contact Dr. Ghea, a female OBGYN in Plantation, and set up an appointment in her office at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011 or filling out an online request. She will give you all the information you need about circumcision and answer any of your questions and concerns.