Circumcision is the surgical removal of the penile foreskin. The procedure is not required by hospitals before your baby is discharged, so you have time to decide if the procedure is right for your son.
If you’re of the Jewish or Muslim faith, circumcision is part of your culture and there’s no debate as to whether or not to have it done for your baby boy. But many parents struggle with the idea of circumcision and wonder if it’s the right thing for their child.
Removing the foreskin can help with hygiene, as it’s easier to keep the head of the penis clean after circumcision.
The procedure is common, too. Between 60% and 90% of boys in the United States are circumcised. This means your child will look like most other boys and not feel self-conscious about the look of their private parts.
Circumcision’s benefits don’t stop there. The procedure offers many notable health effects, making circumcision a good idea.
Here are three reasons why Margaret Lubega, MD, and our team at First Pediatric Care Center in Gastonia, North Carolina, recommend circumcision for your baby boy.
1. Reduced risk of urinary tract infections
Men are less likely to develop urinary tract infections as compared to women. But, in males who do get them, they disproportionately show up in uncircumcised men and boys.
Urinary tract infections are uncomfortable and, if severe and frequent early in life, these infections can lead to kidney problems later. Research shows that circumcision helps reduce your son’s risk.
2. Fewer sexually transmitted diseases
It may be hard to imagine your infant as a grown adult with an active sex life, but it is likely to happen one day!
Medical and traditional (religious) circumcision may reduce your son’s risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) later in life. These include HIV, human papillomavirus, trichomoniasis, and syphilis.
This protection, in turn, protects your son’s future partners from STDs, too. This doesn’t give your circumcised adult son freedom to forego safe sex practices, but it does afford extra protection.
3. Decreased risk of penile cancer
Penile cancer is rare, and cases are even rarer in men who are circumcised. Cervical cancer is less common in women who are partners of circumcised men, too.
What’s it like to have my baby circumcised?
Often, circumcision is performed in the hospital 24-72 hours after birth. But you can bring your baby to our office within his first 10 days of life to have the circumcision done by Dr. Lubega.
Dr. Lubega cleans your baby’s penis and foreskin and applies a light, topical anesthetic. She attaches a special clamp to the penis and the foreskin is then gently cut and removed.
She’ll cover the penis with petroleum jelly to protect it from rubbing against your baby’s diaper.
The entire procedure takes about 10-20 minutes, and you are with your baby the whole time.
If you have more questions about circumcision or wonder about possible side effects, please contact our office. You can also call to schedule your baby’s circumcision or use the tool here to book your child’s appointment right now.