Does Circumcision Hurt?
For years, doctors believed that newborns couldn't feel pain and didn't advise the use of medication during the procedure. But the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledges that babies do feel pain and recommends the use of medication. Most often, a baby is given a sugar-water solution to suck on (which causes an infant's natural endorphins to increase) in combination with a numbing cream applied to the tip of the penis or a shot of lidocaine at the base of the shaft. Most experts believe that when a circumcision is performed correctly and pain medication is used, discomfort can be minimized quite effectively.
Complications such as bleeding and infection occur only about 3 percent of the time. "Disfigurement from complications is extremely rare," says Dr. Reiff.