Circumcision is a surgical procedure in which the skin covering the end of the penis is removed. Circumcision is usually performed by a doctor in the first few days of life. An infant must be stable and healthy to safely be circumcised.
Scientific studies show some medical benefits of circumcision. However, these benefits are not sufficient for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to recommend that all infant boys be circumcised. Parents may want their sons circumcised for religious, social and cultural reasons. Since circumcision is not essential to a child’s health, parents should choose what is best for their child by looking at the benefits and risks.
Many parents choose to have their sons circumcised because "all the other men in the family were circumcised" or because they do not want their sons to feel "different." Others feel that circumcision is unnecessary and choose not to have it done. Some groups, such as followers of the Jewish and Islamic faiths, practice circumcision for religious and cultural reasons. Since circumcision may be more risky if done later in life, parents may want to decide before or soon after their son is born if they want their son circumcised.
As noted above, research studies suggest that there may be some medical benefits to circumcision. These include the following:
Just as there are reasons parents may choose circumcision, there are reasons why parents may choose NOT to have their son circumcised:
Almost all uncircumcised boys can be taught proper hygiene that can lower their chances of getting infections, cancer of the penis, and sexually transmitted diseases.