A baby boy is born with skin covering the tip of the penis. This foreskin is what’s removed during circumcision. Certain faiths celebrate circumcision as a religious ritual. But many parents not of those faiths struggle with whether or not to circumcise their child.
Marget Lubega, MD, of First Pediatric Care in Gastonia, North Carolina performs in-office circumcisions just days after your baby’s birth. She can help you determine if it’s a step you want to take.
Here are some health benefits your baby will experience if you opt to have him circumcised.
What happens during circumcision?
Circumcision is done right in our office at First Pediatric Care, usually within 10 days after birth.
Dr. Lubega thoroughly cleans the penis and surrounding area and applies a local anesthetic so your baby will be comfortable. She places a special clamp or ring around the penis and removes the foreskin. Then she covers the surgical area with a topical antibiotic and wraps it loosely with gauze. The procedure is quick and simple for infants.
Why would I circumcise my baby?
Of course, you may circumcise because of your religious beliefs or family tradition. There are also several health reasons you might consider circumcision for your newborn boy.
These benefits include:
When the foreskin is removed, it’s much easier to keep the penis clean and sanitary. It takes extra effort to clean under the foreskin.
Fewer urinary tract infections
Boys with uncircumcised penises are more vulnerable to developing urinary tract infections. Recurrent infections can lead to kidney problems later in life. Circumcised boys rarely experience urinary tract infections.
Protection against sexually transmitted diseases
Circumcised men are less likely to catch sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) when they become active. This includes HIV. An intact foreskin is more likely to lead to HIV infection because it contains immune system cells to which HIV cells cling.
Also, during intercourse, the foreskin experiences small microtears, which serve as pathways for HIV to enter the bloodstream. When a man is circumcised, these risk factors go away.
A circumcised male is also less likely to pass along STDs, particularly herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV), on to their partners. Some strains of HPV cause cervical cancer in women. Female partners of circumcised males are less likely to develop cervical cancer. This doesn’t mean your child can skip safe sex measures when they get older, however.
When the foreskin is left intact, it has the potential to develop infections as well as a rare condition known as phimosis. Phimosis means it’s difficult or impossible to retract the foreskin, causing pain and inflammation.
Less chance of cancer
Cancer of the penis isn’t very common, but it’s least commonly found in circumcised men.
Ultimately, the decision whether or not to circumcise your baby boy is up to you. If you do decide to wait and let him decide later, know that older children and adults can be circumcised, but the process is more involved, requires a longer recovery, and can be painful.
But, if you have a family history of bleeding disorders or your child has hypospadias, where the tube that empties urine is in the wrong place, Dr. Lubega may recommend you put off circumcision.
Dr. Lubega and our team at First Pediatric Care are ready to provide all the newborn care you and your baby need. She can help you make the right decision about circumcision for your family.
Call our office in Gastonia, North Carolina, or use the online tool to book your appointment.