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Circumcision is performed for many reasons as religious, cultural, family and tribal tradition, personal hygiene, preventative health care, medical need and to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. However, the AAP doesn't recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns and leaves the circumcision decision up to parents.

Circumcision may have various health benefits, including:

  • Easier hygiene.
  • Decreased risk of urinary tract infections
  • Decreased risk of sexually transmitted
  • infections.
  • Prevention of penile problems.
  • Decreased risk of penile cancer.
  • The overall risk of urinary tract infections in males is low, but these infections are more common in uncircumcised males. Severe infections early in life can lead to kidney problems later on.
  • Circumcised men have a lower risk of certain sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Still, safe sexual practices remain essential.
  • Occasionally, the foreskin on an uncircumcised penis can be difficult or impossible to retract (phimosis). This can lead to inflammation of the foreskin or head of the penis.
  • Although cancer of the penis is rare, it's less common in circumcised men. In addition, cervical cancer is less common in the female sexual partners of circumcised men.
  • Circumcision doesn't affect fertility, nor is circumcision generally thought to affect sexual pleasure for men or their partners.

Community Circumcision is not suitable

Circumcision might not be an option if

  • certain blood-clotting disorders are present
  • premature babies who still require medical care in the hospital nursery.


The most common complications associated with circumcision are

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • Side effects related to anaesthesia are possible as well.
  • Rarely, circumcision might result in foreskin problems. For example:
    • The foreskin might be cut too short or too long
    • The foreskin might fail to heal properly
    • The remaining foreskin might reattach to the end of the penis, requiring minor surgical


During the procedure

For newborn circumcision, your son will lie on his back with his legs restrained. After the penis and surrounding area are cleansed, an anaesthetic will be injected into the base of the penis or applied to the penis as a cream. A special plastic ring will be attached to the penis, and the foreskin will be removed. The procedure generally takes about 10 minutes.

Circumcision is similar for older boys and adults but performed with a different technique called “open method”. Plastibell is not used in adults. The local anaesthetic is injected at the base of the penis. Extra foreskin is cut with a special electric forceps (bipolar). The cut layer of skin are usually glued, but rarely sutured for approximation. A local antibiotic ointment is recommended to apply for 5-7 days.    

After the procedure

It usually takes about seven to 10 days for the penis to heal. The tip of the penis is likely to be sore at first, and the penis might look red, swollen or bruised. You might notice a yellow crust on the tip of the penis as well.

If your newborn is fussy as the anaesthetic wears off, hold him gently and use pain killers as advised by the surgeon. You can make the newborn sit in pleasantly warm water to sooth the area.

You will change the nappy as before circumcision. Change your baby's diaper often, and make sure the diaper is loosely fastened. If there's a plastic ring, it will drop off on its own — usually within about a week. Once the penis heals, wash it with soap and water during normal bathing. Please make sure, you bath the circumcision area every day for 10 minutes starting on the next day after circumcision. This helps the plastic ring to fall.

For older children and adults, who had circumcision with open method, please rest for 2-3 days and avoid running around. Do not soak the area. You can have gentle shower after 2 days and bath after day 5.

Problems after circumcision are uncommon. Contact the doctor if:

  • Normal urination doesn't resume within 12 hours of the circumcision
  • There's persistent bleeding or redness around the tip of the penis
  • There's foul-smelling drainage from the tip of the penis
  • The plastic ring remains in place two weeks after the circumcision
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