What is circumcision?
This must be a term that most of you are already familiar with. For a better understanding, here is what you need to know. The surgical removal of the skin that covers the tip of the penis is known as male circumcision. The foreskin is the name given to this section of skin. Circumcision is not something you consider on a daily basis. Unless, of course, if you are expecting a new baby boy to join your family.
You may be still confused about it. Even if it is something you have always wanted to do or something you are still hesitant about, most of you might want to learn more about how the operation is and everything that comes with it.
Circumcision may be practiced by some households for cultural or religious purposes. Others do so for the sake of cleanliness or attractiveness. Some people may also not want to be circumcised.
You are certain that circumcising your son is the right decision for you, or you may be still thinking about the prospect of having a medical procedure performed on your newborn. Whatever it is, it is always best to know about the benefits, risks you must face, how to treat your baby after the operation, etc, and then make a decision.
Circumcising the penis is not medically or legally mandatory for any child. When considering whether or not to circumcise your kid, there are a lot of medical, religious, and social concerns you need to consider.
Mostly all the circumcisions are done during the first 10 days of the baby’s life (typically within the first 48 hours). They can be performed by a pediatrician, a family doctor, or an obstetrician in the hospital or even at their home for religious ritual circumcisions. With the baby’s parents, the doctor will go through all the details about the operation and any risks. Premature babies and those with any unique medical problems may require additional time before being circumcised. If a baby is born with physical issues regarding the penis, that can also be treated surgically, doctors may not circumcise them, as they use the foreskin as part of the reconstructive procedure.
Why is circumcision done?
Circumcision is a religious or cultural ritual that is practiced by a lot of Jewish and Islamic families, as well as several African and Australian aboriginal tribes. Circumcision may be performed for a variety of reasons, including somebody’s family custom, their hygiene, or even preventive health care.
Doing this is sometimes necessary for some people due to medical reasons, such as when the foreskin is too tight to be pushed back (retracted) over the glans. Circumcision is suggested for older boys or men in some circumstances, mostly in parts of Africa, to lower the risk of certain sexually transmitted illnesses.
What are the benefits of circumcision?
Circumcision may offer a lot of health advantages, and some are:
- Personal hygiene– Keeping your hygiene will be a lot easier. It is easier to wash the penis after circumcision. Boys with uncircumcised penises, on the other hand, can be trained to wash behind the foreskin on a frequent basis.
- Urinary tract infection– The risk of urinary tract infection can be reduced. Males do have a minimal risk of urinary tract infections, but those males who are uncircumcised are more likely to get them. Infections that are severe even in your early childhood can lead to kidney difficulties later in your life.
- Sexually transmitted infections– These are less likely to occur. Certain sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, maybe a lot less likely among those who have circumcised. You still must practice safe sexual behaviors. They are necessary.
- Penile issues– You can avoid any penile issues. The foreskin of an uncircumcised penis can be difficult or even impossible to retract at times (phimosis). The foreskin or head of the penis may become inflamed because of this.
- Penile cancer risk can be reduced- Although penile cancer is quite uncommon, it is more likely seen in circumcised men. Cervical cancer is also less likely among circumcised men’s female sexual partners.
Risks of Circumcision:
Circumcision, like any other surgical operation, carries a lot of risks. These are not that common, but they do include:
- Normally only a little amount of bleeding occurs. So, if there is any kind of bleeding disorder in the family, it should be disclosed to the doctor, since these can result in more severe bleeding following circumcision.
- The formation of scar tissue
- If the skin is removed, then needed
- Having an infection, which is usually moderate and easy to cure
According to some, circumcision may reduce the sensitivity of the tip of the penis, reducing sexual pleasure later in life. This has yet to be proven through research. Circumcision also has a well-known drawback: pain and discomfort. Giving pain medication to newborn babies for circumcision was not practiced in the past. But nowadays, for comfort purposes, it is recommended for babies. This might be a cream applied to the penis before the circumcision or any kind of drugs injected into the area to numb it. Both forms of painkillers wear off quickly, so you can give your baby acetaminophen to keep him or her comfortable following the treatment. Swaddling and giving a pacifier dipped in sugar water can also help soothe and relax your newborns.
Already decided on circumcising your baby. Here is what you need to know.
So, the sooner your baby’s circumcision can be scheduled, the better. Make sure that the procedure is performed by a qualified specialist. In certain places, an obstetrician is the one who performs the procedure in the hospital within 24-48 hours after the birth of the baby and before the patient is quickly discharged. Pediatricians in some other states do it at the patient’s initial office visit. Another alternative to consider is hiring a religious leader who has been trained in the process of circumcision.
The process of circumcision does not have to be as unpleasant as it may appear to be. As we got to know earlier, there are a lot of pain management techniques that can help your newborn feel less pain when the operation takes place. Before the operation, make sure you inquire and get a clear understanding of your choices for easing your baby’s pain. Make sure you learn about when and how will the circumcision be performed, what are the potential hazards and how frequently do they occur, how to take care of your son’s newly circumcised penis, etc. Also, remember to keep in mind that there is no such thing as making a good or wrong decision. Whatever decision you make, your baby is going to be fine.
What exactly happens during the operation?
When circumcisions are conducted in a hospital by a pediatrician or an obstetrician, mostly they take place around 24–72 hours after the baby’s delivery. Within the first 10 days of your baby’s life, you can take him to the pediatrician’s office and get his circumcision done there.
Getting the circumcision done in a medical environment is considered the safest option. If you are of the Jewish faith and want your circumcision done at home as part of a bris, it is also typically recognized as safe to have it done by a qualified mohel (a Jewish ceremony of circumcision).
It normally takes around 10 to 20 minutes to complete the treatment. parents are usually welcome to stay with their children throughout the procedure.
First, your kid (together with you or your spouse) will be taken to a room where they conduct the operation and will be placed on a special table with gentle straps to hold their arms and legs. Because newborns will have that startle reflex, this is beneficial in making the infant and the doctor more at ease during the treatment.
They can inject an anesthetic (pain-relieving drug) into the base of the penis with a needle or administer it to the skin as a topical lotion. Depending on the method your doctor wants (and you can discuss this with them before your baby is born) they will place a plastic ring or a special clamp around the foreskin to cut off the blood flow before removing it.
What are the best ways to take care of a circumcised penis?
After the operation, you need to maintain the circumcised area as clean as possible thereafter. Do not use diaper wipes; instead, gently clean with warm water. If necessary, soapy water can also be utilized.
For the first few days, if there is a dressing on the incision, make sure to apply a new one (with petroleum jelly) every time you change a diaper. Put a dab of petroleum jelly on the penis or the front of the diaper until the penis gets healed, even if the dressing is no longer needed. This can assist prevent rubbing or sticking of the penis to the diaper, which can cause discomfort.
The healing time for a circumcised penis is normally 7 to 10 days. The tip may appear slightly swollen and red at the beginning, and there may be some blood on the diaper. After a few days, you may detect a small yellow discharge or crust. This is a natural component of the healing process.
When to call your doctor
If your baby has bleeding that is lasting a long time or blood on the diaper (more than quarter-sized). If there is Increased redness, fever, and other indicators of infection, such as worsening swelling or discharge, or pus-filled blisters that are not peeing regularly within 8 hours of the circumcision.
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