Circumcision means cutting off the foreskin, or ring of tissue, that covers the head of the penis.
Fewer children in the US are being circumcised now than several years ago. In 1980, 90% of American males were circumcised. In 2010, about 60% of American males are circumcised. Discuss the issue with your family and healthcare provider before your baby is born.
The following information should help you decide what is best for your son.
Followers of the Jewish and Muslim faiths perform circumcision for religious reasons. Nonreligious circumcision became popular in English-speaking countries between 1920 and 1950. At this time it was thought that circumcision might help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Circumcision never became a common practice in most parts of the world. Only 20% of the men in the rest of the world are circumcised.
The foreskin on the penis is not some cosmic error. The foreskin has a purpose.
Some of the reasons you may want to circumcise are:
Some of the reasons not to circumcise include:
The circumcision is normally done on the day your newborn goes home from the hospital. It will be postponed if your baby is premature or has medical problems. It will not be done if your baby has any abnormal findings of the penis. Examples are a urine opening in the wrong place or a penis that is curved or twisted. Such problems will be referred to a pediatric urologist.
Circumcision of boys for religious purposes will continue. The need to circumcise other boys is a parent decision. The American Academy of Pediatrics 2012 policy now states that the preventive health benefits of elective circumcision outweigh any risk of the procedure. Parents need to decide whether circumcision is in the best interests of their male newborn. The benefits are a lower risk of some urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases. Discuss the issue with your family and doctor before your baby is born.