Myths and Facts About Circumcision

Circumcision is a minor surgical procedure done to remove the foreskin from the hood of the penis. The procedure is commonly performed on infants, usually before your baby leaves the hospital.

You, as a parent, are given a choice as to whether or not to circumcise your child. The decision to circumcise is based on religious, ethical, and personal reasons. From a health perspective, however, it’s pretty clear that the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Margaret Lubega, here at First Pediatric Care Center in Gastonia, North Carolina, has extensive experience in caring for newborns, infants, and children. Here are the myths and facts she says you should know about circumcision.

Myth: Circumcision is just a “cosmetic” procedure

Removing the foreskin is sometimes called just a cosmetic change to the penis. But circumcision actually offers clear medical benefits to a male child and adult, especially when compared to a cosmetic procedure like tattooing or piercing. Circumcision provides life-long health protections, including reduced risk of penile cancer.

Fact: Circumcision leads to better male hygiene

A circumcised penis is easier to clean, which reduces instances of urinary tract infections and inflammatory skin conditions. Adolescents and men who have not been circumcised are more likely to develop infection due to the accumulation of smegma under the foreskin. Plus, zipper injuries, in which the foreskin gets caught and torn, are more likely in uncircumcised males.

Myth: Circumcision negatively affects sexual function

Circumcision does not affect the ability of your son to reach an erection in the future, and being circumcised does not change his ability to experience pleasure or have children. Sexual sensation, pleasure, and function are the same whether a man is circumcised or not.

Fact: Circumcision can reduce instances of STDs later

Circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men. It also protects against syphilis, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV). Women partners of circumcised males also benefit. They have a reduced risk of cervical cancer due to protection against certain strains of HPV.

Myth: You should wait until your child can decide for himself

Some people argue that you should wait until your child is old enough to decide for himself whether or not to circumcise. Teen or adult circumcision is possible, but it carries greater risk and long recovery, and it’s expensive.

Fact: Early circumcision offers benefits

Circumcision offers significant benefits for children, including prevention of urinary tract infections, especially in the first year of life, and phimosis – a condition in which the foreskin can’t be pulled back from the head of the penis. When you circumcise early, your infant may experience some bleeding and bruising, but Dr. Lubega offers aftercare instructions and ointments to expedite healing.

Myth: Circumcision can lead to injury

It’s very rare for a circumcision to cause injury or disfigurement of the penis, especially when performed by a trained and competent provider like Dr. Lubega. When done in a sterile environment using the appropriate tools and pain management, circumcision is quite safe.

If you’re having a baby boy, consult with our office when making the important decision about circumcision. We’ll also communicate with your labor and delivery team about your choice and let them know that Dr. Lubega will do the procedure at the office of First Pediatric Care Center. Call us today to discuss your options or use the online tool to make an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Warning Signs of Asthma

The first step in managing your child’s asthma is getting an accurate diagnosis. If you see warning signs in your child, get a breathing evaluation. An early asthma diagnosis helps your child avoid triggers and prevent complications.

How to Know If Your Child Has a Food Allergy

One in every 13 children has a food allergy. Food allergies range in severity from mild stomach distress to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Here are some tips to help you figure out if your child has a food allergy and what to do.

Tips to Get Your Child to Stop Scratching an Insect Bite

Your child just can’t keep their hands off the site of an insect bite, and who can blame them? It’s uncomfortable. Here’s some tips as to how to prevent your child from scratching so much that it causes inflammation and possible infection.

Summertime Skin Care Tips for Your Child With Eczema

You know weather can cause flare-ups in your child’s eczema. As summer approaches, the heat, humidity, sweat, and sun can irritate your child’s delicate skin. Here are some tips to help keep your child comfortable this summer.

How Do Vaccines Work?

Vaccines protect your child from devastating and deadly diseases. Learn how they do this and why it’s important to get your child vaccinated on schedule.