What Are the Benefits of Circumcision?

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What Are the Benefits of Circumcision?

When you’re the parents of a newborn boy, you may consider circumcision. Perhaps your religion or culture promotes circumcision. Or, the father is circumcised and wants his son to be, too. Still, is it the best choice for your baby? It might be.

Circumcision, a surgical procedure that removes the foreskin (aka prepuce) from the penis, is an ancient practice that spans many cultures throughout history. In the United States, circumcising baby boys in the hospital was nearly universal; about 80% of infant boys had their foreskins removed in the hospital during the 1960s.

Social attitudes toward circumcision have shifted over the decades. From 1979 to 2010, the rate of newborn circumcision declined from 65.5% to 58.3%. Both lay people and doctors questioned whether the procedure confers any health or medical benefits to the child. 

At Academy Park Pediatrics, PC in Lakewood, Colorado and Highlands Ranch, Colorado, we support your decision to circumcise, whether due to cultural, religious, cosmetic, or health reasons. In the hands of our expert pediatric team — headed by Neil Goldberg, MD — your baby’s circumcision is comfortable and safe.

If you’re considering circumcision, but aren’t quite sure about it yet, read on. Following are some of the many benefits of male circumcision, especially when performed as early as possible.

Circumcision reduces the risk of a UTI

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are rare in males, and yet are extremely painful. They also tend to recur. Circumcised boys and men are much less likely to develop a UTI than are uncircumcised boys and men. In fact, circumcision reduces the risk for a UTI by:

If you do decide to leave your baby’s foreskin in place, our team shows you how to care for his penis to reduce the risk of a UTI. Untreated or chronic UTIs can cause scarring and kidney disease.

Circumcision reduces the risk of STDs

Thinking forward to your newborn’s adult life may be difficult, but someday he will be sexually active. Circumcised males are less likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and are also less likely to pass an STD to an intimate partner. Circumcised males are less likely to develop or pass on:

  • High-risk human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Genital ulcer disease (GUD)
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Syphilis
  • HIV/AIDs

Of course, even circumcised males must practice safe sex techniques to keep themselves and their partners STD-free.

Circumcision prevents other conditions, too 

A foreskin is a natural part of a male’s anatomy. However, its presence may increase a male’s risk for non-STD conditions and diseases, too. Circumcised boys are less likely to develop:

  • Balantitis (i.e., inflammation of glans)
  • Irritation
  • Adhesions (i.e., scar tissue)
  • Penile cancer

A circumcised penis is easier to care for and keep clean.

Circumcision may be medically necessary

If your baby boy was born with a foreskin that’s too tight, your doctor may recommend removing it, even if it’s not in alignment with your personal or religious choices. If the foreskin can’t easily be moved off the head of the penis for cleaning (a condition called phimosis), your child’s at increased risk for serious infections and complications.

Another foreskin issue, called paraphimosis, occurs when the retracted foreskin can’t be rolled back down over the penis head. This is an emergency situation that could cause swelling and gangrene and even necessitate amputation of the penis unless immediately corrected.

In the hands of an expertly trained pediatrician, circumcision is a safe procedure for your baby boy that could bring him a lifetime of health benefits. To book a circumcision or to find out if it’s the right choice for your family, contact our team today by phone or online form.