The Circumcision Debate
To circumcise or not to circumcise? That’s certainly the question. There are many different viewpoints and facts to the debate and it’s hard to make a decision. If it’s your first baby, this is one of the first decisions you’ll ever have to make as a parent. It can be daunting to make that first decision. Of course, if you’re having a girl baby, you wouldn’t have to worry about circumcision. Instead, I’m sure you’ll have lots of other first concerns. But for parents of boy babies who have this crucial issue hanging over their heads, read on.
What Is Circumcision?
First, it’s important to discuss what circumcision is. Circumcision is the removal of the male foreskin from the penis. In 2010, 58 percent of baby boys born in a hospital were circumcised. It’s a tradition with many religious, cultural, and medical reasons behind it.
However, health experts are pretty divided are whether it’s a good idea. So they’re just as conflicted as you are.
Complications with Circumcision
There are few reported complications following a circumcision in the first years of a baby’s life, which is good news. But the bad news is that the older the child is when he’s circumcised, the more complications there are. It’s best to do it in that first year of life if at all possible.
Will They Remember Circumcision?
The other reason to do it when they’re still in the first year of life is that they won’t remember it. Doctors numb the area, too, so they won’t be able to feel it. It may seem harsh to you as a parent, especially as a mother following giving birth, but it’s comforting to know that at least the child won’t remember it and it’s not a traumatic experience for them.
Complications with Not Circumcising
Research shows that men who are not circumcised are more likely to get STDs like herpes and HPV. Children who are not circumcised may have a more difficult time cleaning themselves than children who are, leading to infections and other complications.
A recent study showed that men who were circumcised early in life were 15 percent less likely to have prostate cancer than men who weren’t circumcised or were circumcised as an adult.
All of those factors are certainly something to think about.
Reasons Not to Circumcise
There’s also the other side of the debate, who say that circumcision is an unnecessary surgery that no medical organization currently endorses. The foreskin is a natural part of the body, not a birth defect, say these people, and therefore it should be allowed to be kept. Other people say that circumcision is a religious practice and serves no purpose for secular people. Still others say that it should be the boy’s choice to do it when he’s old enough.
There are certainly no easy answers here, but before you make a decision, remember to educate yourself on all the possibilities first.