The decision of whether or not to circumcise your newborn boy is a significant responsibility. There is no real medical basis for circumcision. Most of the time the procedure is opted for based on hygienic, sexual or religious reasons. In rare situations, a medical issue can deem it necessary. In North America currently, greater than 60% of male newborns will be circumcised compared to the worldwide of about 30%.

Circumcision is the surgical procedure that removes the foreskin covering the head of the penis. The medical professional will numb the area with a cream or an anesthetic injection. Next a specific clamp is fastened to the penis, then the foreskin is removed. Ointment and gauze are applied to the area for about 7 to 10 days to allow it to heal. This surgery is frequently performed prior to mother and her newborn leaving the hospital. Jewish boys, have the procedure done when the baby is eight days old. (A number of cultures carry out circumcision in older boys.) Circumcisions performed in the hospital are usually done by an obstetrician but could possibly be completed by a urologist, pediatrician or other clinician.

For hundreds of years, circumcision has been exercised as a religious ceremony of infancy in the Muslim and Jewish traditions, which is really the primary basis for circumcision. During the early 20th century, circumcision was recognized by the medical industry as a means for a healthier culture, and by the 1970s, approximately 90% of boys in the U.S were circumcised. Since that time, the need for circumcision has been argued and the surgery is not regarded as necessary.

A number of parents decide to get their sons circumcised for healthier hygiene; then again, a boy can certainly be trained within his daily bathing habit to correctly clean his penis to clear out any discharge. Research indicates a reduced risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs) with circumcised boys, although the UTI rates in boys is low already. A somewhat small reduction in the risk for cancer of the penis, penis infections, and certain sexually transmitted diseases has also has been documented. Some parents decide not to circumcise due to the pain the newborn will experience or because of the general risk involved with surgery.

There is no doubt that circumcision is a painful process. Because of this, the penis is numbed prior to the procedure, plus the infant receives pain medication both before and after. Circumcision is a safe practice, however there are inherant risks with all surgeries. Infection, bleeding and injury to the penis are some rare issues.

Be sure to have your questions and concerns addressed by your medical care professional at some point during your pregnancy. Circumcision is an optional procedure, and you need to be able to make a knowledgeable decision.