If you’re having a male child, one of the first questions you will likely be asked is if you want to circumcise him.
Although especially popular in the United States, circumcision rates have fallen since the post-war years, from 83% in the 1960s to 77 percent in 2010. While some of this drop is due to cultural changes and norms, others have turned down the procedure because they see it as unnecessary or disfiguring. Despite these claims, there are actually several benefits to circumcision that you should consider carefully before making your final decision.
When your mind is made up, come see us at First Pediatric Care Center. Margaret Lubega, MD, and the rest of our team will work hard to make sure your child receives the best care possible. Dr. Lubega is an expert pediatrician and is dedicated to your child’s well-being and safety. A circumcision may well go a long way toward keeping your baby boy healthy for years to come.
What is circumcision?
Put simply, circumcision is the surgical removal of the skin covering the head of the penis. During the procedure, the foreskin is freed from the head of the penis and the excess foreskin is clipped off.
When performed on a newborn, the small surgery takes 5-10 minutes. To avoid any pain, Dr. Lubega will use a topical numbing solution or injectable medicine to effectively numb the area. With good care and daily washing, the wound should heal in 5-7 days.
Circumcision has a basis in both Jewish and Islamic religious traditions and became a mainstay of modern medicine in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Furthermore, circumcision remains the most common surgery in America.
These numbers are boosted by approval for the surgery from two of the largest medical organizations in the country, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Both institutions found that the benefits of circumcision outweigh any potential risks.
The benefits of circumcision
Circumcision comes with many health benefits, including:
Without circumcision, boys must be taught to wash beneath the foreskin. This is unnecessary after a circumcision.
Decreased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Although already low in males, UTIs are more likely to occur in uncircumcised males. UTIs contracted during early childhood can lead to kidney problems later in life.
Decreased risk of sexually transmitted disease infections
The CDC’s recommendation came on the heels of an HIV study conducted in sub-Saharan Africa. Clinical trials demonstrated that circumcision reduces HIV risk by 50 to 60% and reduces HPV and herpes risks by 30 percent. Lowered HPV risk also lowered the risk of cervical cancer in circumcised men’s partners.
Decreased risk of penile cancer
Cancer of the penis is rare, but rates are lower for circumcised men. Circumcision has been shown to be beneficial for your child’s health during childhood and their adult life. Dr. Lubega and our team at First Pediatric Care Center will make sure the procedure is done in a healthy and safe manner. Call or book and appointment at our Gastonia office today.