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What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Male Circumcision?

When parents have baby boys, they often discuss whether or not they want the baby to be circumcised. Circumcision refers to the surgical removal of the foreskin, which is the tissue covering the head of the penis. While not every male is circumcised, many are for religious reasons, especially in the Jewish and Muslim cultures. 

The circumcision procedure is typically done within the first week of birth (most commonly within the first few days). It can be done when the child is older, but it becomes more complicated. It also takes longer, with a newborn circumcision taking 5-10 minutes vs. one hour for an adult male.

However, circumcision is not necessary. In fact, it has become a hotly debated topic in recent years, often compared to mutilation. Male circumcision does come with many benefits and these benefits are said to outweigh the risks. However, the benefits are not enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision.

Before any surgical procedure, it’s best to make an informed decision. Before choosing circumcision, here are some advantages and disadvantages you should know about.

Advantages of Circumcision

Circumcision offers many benefits. One of the biggest ones is hygiene. Circumcisions make the head of the penis easier to clean. Boys who are uncircumcised need to be taught to wash under the foreskin. Still, good hygiene can help prevent infections, swelling, and other problems with the penis. 

Some other benefits include:

  • Reduced risk of urinary tract infections
  • Reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases 
  • Protection against penile cancer 
  • Prevention of common penile infections such as balanitis and balanoposthitis, which refer to inflammation of the head of the penis
  • Prevention of phimosis and paraphimosis, which are problems with the foreskin

Disadvantages of Circumcision

While not many men regret getting circumcised, circumcision — like any surgical procedure —does come with some risks. While the risks are low, it’s still a good idea to know what to expect. Some risks include:

  • Pain
  • Risk of bleeding and infection 
  • Irritation of the forehead of the penis
  • Higher chance of inflammation at the penis’ opening 
  • Possibility of too much foreskin removal, causing penile damage
  • Restricted urinary opening, causing urinary tract infections
  • Cosmetic issues
  • Additional correction surgeries

However, keep in mind that minor complications occur in less than 3% of circumcisions and are often cleared up with antibiotics. Also, some parents want their children to make the decision when they’re older. While this may seem like a good idea, circumcisions are more complex as a boy gets older. The procedure takes longer and complications are more likely to occur. Plus, the recovery period is longer, requiring a male to abstain from sexual activity for 4-6 weeks, which can be a huge inconvenience. 

Contact Us Today

Circumcisions come with a lot of benefits, but there are some cons as well. A New York doctor from Lazare Urology will help you understand the risks and benefits so that you can make an informed decision. Schedule a consultation by calling (718) 568-7516 or filling out the online form. We serve the Brooklyn area.

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