Should my Baby be Circumcised?
Having a baby boy is exciting and brings joy. You’ll need to decide whether the child should be circumcised. Making a decision can be difficult and its a good idea to decide and research early to make sure you are happy, so you don’t have to decide when fatigued and excited after delivery.
Circumcision has been practiced for thousands of years and if not new. It has been part of religious rites for many thousand years however in many countries now boys are circumcised for religious, social reasons or for health reasons (as below).
There are many medical benefits as well as risks. A recent analysis by the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that the medical benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. Studies have concluded that circumcised infants have a slightly lower risk of urinary tract infections, although these are not common in boys and occur less often in circumcised boys mostly in the first year of life. Neonatal circumcision also provides some protection from penile cancer, a very rare condition.
Some research also suggests a reduced likelihood of developing sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infections in circumcised men, and possibly a reduced risk for cervical cancer in female partners of circumcised men. However, while there are potential medical benefits, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision of all boys. We recommend that the decision to circumcise is one best made by parents in consultation with a doctor, taking into account what is in the best interests of the child, including medical, religious, cultural, and ethnic traditions and personal beliefs.
Although the evidence also is clear that infants experience pain, there are several safe and effective ways to reduce the pain. If the baby is born prematurely, has an illness at birth, or has congenital abnormalities or blood problems, he should not be circumcised immediately. For example, if a condition called hypospadias is present, in which the infant’s urinary opening has not formed normally, your doctor will probably recommend that your baby boy not be circumcised at birth. In fact, circumcision should be performed only on stable, healthy infants.