Newborn Circumcision FAQ

Newborn Circumcision FAQ

As a new parent of an infant, the number of decisions you must make can be overwhelming and maybe even a little scary.

While newborn circumcision is a common decision, it is a choice to make. Should you circumcise your male newborn baby? What are the reasons to go through with this medical procedure?

Of course, you want to make the best decision for your infant. Take a look at the frequently asked questions about circumcision to help you decide whether it’s right for your family and your baby.

Questions About Circumcision

1. What are the reasons people choose to circumcise their baby?

BC circumcision clinic babyWhile there are some who oppose circumcision, a large percentage of the population chooses newborn circumcision. People choose to circumcise for a variety of reasons.

Many choose circumcision for societal reasons, meaning it is common and parents opt for it because it has become a sort of standard practice.

Others choose infant circumcision because of religious reasons. Finally, some do it because of medical reasons.

2. What are the medical reasons to choose circumcision?

Many doctors believe in the health benefits of circumcision. This may be why many parents opt for newborn circumcision over waiting until a male is an adult.

One recent influential study on infant circumcision found that “A risk-benefit analysis shows that benefits vastly exceed risks” (Mayo Clinic Proceedings article).

The benefits include:

  • Avoiding phimosis and balanoposthitis which is the inflammation of the glans and foreskin
  • Less likelihood of urinary tract infections
  • Less likelihood of penile cancers or penile retraction disorders
  • Decreased chance of spread of human papillomavirus-related diseases
  • Decreased likelihood of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Genital hygiene is more easily managed

The American Academy of Pediatrics did a study and, in their report, released in 2012, the medical benefits of circumcision outweigh the decision to not circumcise.

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3. What are the reasons some oppose circumcision?

newborn circumcisionThere are some who oppose the circumcision of infants for a variety of reasons. The opposition believes there is not a reliable medical reason to do this procedure on an infant.

Some believe that circumcising a baby takes away the infant’s right to decide whether this is personally right for them. They believe it’s a decision that should be made by an adult male because it can be considered a cosmetic procedure.

Those who oppose circumcision also believe it is an unnecessary procedure for an infant to go through. While there isn’t much substantiated medical evidence to back this up, some believe that circumcision on the penis can later diminish sexual pleasure.

4. What procedure is used to circumcise?

There are a variety of techniques for circumcision. The most common ones being the Gomco circumcision clamp, the Mogen circumcision clamp, or the PlastiBell circumcision device.

The Pollock Technique™ is used for infant circumcision at Pollock Clinics. It is a circumcision procedure using the Mogen clamp and long-lasting anesthetic. A circumcision done on a baby in just one minute using this method causes a minimal amount of pain for the baby.

5. What is used to prevent pain for the baby during the procedure?

While historically some circumcisions were done without pain meds, that is not the case in modern medicine.

In most cases, a combination of analgesic cream, penile ring block, or dorsal nerve block is used. Often a combination of local anaesthetics is used to numb the circumcision site and prevent pain during and after the procedure.

6. What is the best time for a baby to be circumcised?

In most cases, a baby boy is circumcised as an infant. Infant circumcision is one that is typically done anytime in the first four months of a baby’s life.

Most medical personnel believe that the earlier the circumcision is done on a baby the easier it is. The baby will have a smaller penis at a younger age. Likewise, the younger they are, the less likely they are to be aware of their surroundings. In most cases, a local anesthetic on a baby makes the procedure quick and easy.

7. For what reasons might an adult choose to get circumcised?

There are a variety of reasons an adult male might choose to be circumcised. While he might not have had the procedure done as a child, he might as an adult prefer it.

Some males choose to have the procedure done for cosmetic reasons. Other might choose it because of an overly tight foreskin (phimosis).

Most adult circumcision can be performed without a general anesthetic. Instead, a combination of local anesthetics is used to simplify the procedure. More information on adult circumcision if available here.

Is Newborn Circumcision Right For Your Baby?

While no new parent wants to imagine doing anything to their baby that will cause them pain, newborn circumcision does not need to be a difficult choice.

It can be a simple and easy process, with the best pain management available for your baby. For more information about our use of the Pollock Method and why it’s the right choice for your baby, contact us today.

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By |2019-09-10T13:39:23-07:00September 10th, 2019|Circumcision|Comments Off on Newborn Circumcision FAQ

About the Author:

Jack Chang, MD, is a graduate of Yale University and the University of British Columbia Medical School. After completing his postgraduate training in Prince George, BC, he started his career serving rural and remote communities in BC, Yukon, and Nunavut before joining Pollock Clinics in 2014.Dr. Chang is a veteran of multiple No-Scalpel Vasectomy International (NSVI) medical missions, providing free vasectomies in developing countries such as Haiti, Kenya, and the Philippines to alleviate poverty through family planning. Dr. Chang also trains international physicians from around the world as part of the NSVI missions.He performs circumcisions using both the Pollock Technique™ and the Shang Ring technique. Dr Chang trained in China with the developers of the Shang Ring method and directed the licensing of the Shang Ring through Health Canada and performed the first case of Shang Ring circumcision in Canada. He continues to lead the introduction of this adult circumcision method in North America.He is a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine and is actively involved in teaching medical students and residents.
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