The Circumcision Decision

You're having a boy!

One of the most important decisions you'll need to make is whether you'll have your newborn circumcised. You will be asked to sign a surgical consent form before the surgery, but you should educate yourself about the reasons and risks of the procedure early in your pregnancy.

You might want to circumcise your baby if...

  • You have religious reasons
  • Your baby was born with a genetic defect or malformation which requires removal of the foreskin
  • Your child has had frequent urinary tract infections with no explanation
  • Someone has forcibly retracted the foreskin, leading to scar tissue, inflammation and chronic infection of the tip of the penis
  • You're concerned about preventing sexually transmitted disease in adulthood

You might not wish to circumcise your baby because...

  • There is probably no medical need
  • Even with anesthetic, babies feel pain
  • The foreskin protects the delicate surface skin of the penis and may serve a sexual function in later life
  • You feel no one has the right to give permission to forcibly remove healthy sexual body parts from another individual
  • Male children who are circumcised have exaggerated responses to pain throughout infancy compared with those who have not been circumcised
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