Risks of circumcision
â€¢ For 1 in 500 circumcisions there may be either a
little bleeding â€“ easily stopped by pressure or, less
commonly, requiring stitches (1 in 1000), the need for
repeat surgery (1 in 1000), or a generalized infection
that will require antibiotics (1 in 4000). Although there
can be a local infection, often what seems like a local
infection is actually part of the normal healing process.
â€¢ Serious complications (requiring hospitalization) are
rare â€“ approximately 1 in 5000.
â€¢ Mutilation or loss of the penis, and death, is
virtually unheard of with circumcisions performed by a
competent medical practitioner. Ensure your doctor is
â€¢ If a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia runs
in the family, then the doctor needs to be advised
as circumcision may require special preoperative
â€¢ Anesthetic is imperative, preferably a local, since a
general anaesthetic carries risks, and is unnecessary.
For age 0-4 months a local, not general, and for older
children or teenagers a mild sedative might be
considered in addition to the local. Young children who
wriggle can be gently restrained. For pain after the
anesthetic wears off , an oral analgesic medication is
â€¢ Delay means stitches being used for circumcision of
older children, teenagers and men.
â€¢ So if circumcision is delayed past 4 months, total
cost will become increasingly greater.
Benefits of circumcision
â€¢ Eliminates the risk of phimosis, which affects
1 in 10 older boys and men. This condition refers to
a tight foreskin that cannot be pulled back fully, so
making cleaning under it, and passing urine, difficult.
Phimosis also greatly increases the risk of penile cancer,
and is the cause of foreskin and catheter problems in
â€¢ Reduces by 3-fold the risk of inflammation
and infection of the skin of the penis. One in 10
uncircumcised men get inflammation of the head
of the penis and foreskin. This rises to 1 in 3 if the
uncircumcised man is diabetic. (Diabetic men also
have other severe problems.) In contrast only 2% of
circumcised men get this condition.
â€¢ Over 10-fold decrease in risk of urinary tract
infections in infants. Whereas risk of this is only 1 in
500 for a circumcised boy, 1 in 50 uncircumcised male
infants will get a urinary tract infection. This very
painful condition is particularly dangerous in infancy,
and in 40% of cases can lead to kidney inflammation
and disease; blood poisoning and meningitis can also
â€¢ Over 20-fold decrease in risk of invasive penile
cancer, which has a high fatality rate. One in 600
uncircumcised men get penile cancer, which often
requires penile amputation.
â€¢ Uncircumcised men have 1Â½ â€“ 2 times the risk of
prostate cancer, which affects 1 in 6.
â€¢ Reduces by approximately 3-fold the risk of getting
HIV (AIDS), during sex with an infected woman. HIV
enters via the vulnerable inner lining of the foreskin of
a healthy penis, but can also infect via sores anywhere
on the penis (caused for example by genital herpes). In
countries such as the USA that have a low prevalence
of HIV the risk of a heterosexual man being infected
with HIV sexually is generally low. His risk, especially
if uncircumcised, will be much greater if he engages
in unsafe sex with people of countries in which HIV
â€¢ Circumcision also affords substantial protection
against sexually transmitted infections such as
papilloma (wart) virus, syphilis and chancroid.
â€¢ Circumcision reduces by up to 5 times the risk of
the manâ€™s female partner being infected by chlamydia
or getting cervical cancer (which is caused by human
papillomavirus). The load of infectious bacteria and
viruses that accumulate under the foreskin is delivered
into the female genital tract during sex. Chlamydia has
more than doubled over the past 5 years and can cause
infertility (in both sexes), pelvic inflammatory disease,
and ectopic pregnancy.
â€¢ If not circumcised soon after birth, up to 10% will
later require one anyway for medical reasons.
â€¢ Credible research shows that most women prefer
the appearance of the circumcised penis. They also
prefer it for sexual activity. Hygiene is one reason.
â€¢ Most studies reveal no significant difference in
sensitivity between a circumcised and uncircumcised
â€¢ In general, sexual function is the same or better.
I hope this was helpful for all!