View Full Version : 5 things you need to know about circumcision

26th October 2011, 02:54 AM
1. Circumcision presents few complications
Male circumcision is a surgical procedure to cut away the foreskin of a boy's peniis and expose the glans, or the head of the peniis-. Circumcision usually happens in the first day or two of a child's life and comes with few, if any, complications. The most common risks of circumcision are bleeding, infection or irritation of the newly exposed skin. Your doctor can suggest simple solutions to each, such as coating the area with petroleum jelly to lessen contact between the newly exposed area and urine trapped in a diaper.

2. Some don't think it's necessary
Arguments against circumcision include the idea that a person should choose for himself to alter any part of his body. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that the benefit of circumcision (a lower chance of contracting a urinary tract infection) isn't justification for the procedure. Circumcision may lower a man's chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), but safe sex practices are a better way to reduce the risk. Men should always use a condom and try to limit their number of sexual partners in order to avoid STDs.

3. Removing the foreskin may be rite
Different cultures practice circumcision as a rite of passage. The Jewish ceremony, called a bris, occurs on the eighth day of a baby boy's life. The bris usually happens at the baby's home, with friends and family in attendance. A book called the Hadith, which includes works of the Muslim prophet Mohammad, states that circumcision is a way to purify the body. Called khitan, the practice of circumcision by Muslims predates the religion of Islam. Muslims don't have a set age for circumcision, but they believe it should take place before puberty. Khitan is the name for circumcision in both boys and girls. Although it isn't required, Muslims view circumcision in girls as a grand feat.

4. Taking care of the circumcised peniis
If your baby has a fever of at least 100.4 degrees F, or if you notice a discharge or redness in the area of the circumcision, contact your pediatrician. Washing your son's genital area gently every day helps in healing from the procedure. Changing bandages at every diaper change keeps the wound as clean as possible. Note that the little plastic ring used in the circumcision and attached to the peniis should fall off within 2 weeks. You should wash an uncircumcised peniis daily also. Never force the foreskin back, as this can damage the peniis. Foreskins naturally pull back to reveal the glans sometime before a boy reaches age 5. Once this happens, teach him to clean the exposed area as well.

5. Female circumcision is controversial
Female circumcision, often called female genital cutting or female genital mutilation, is against the law in the United States. Many people in countries in Africa and the Middle East still practice female circumcision, but Americans view the cutting away of a young girl's external sexual organs as a violation of her rights to physical and mental health.