Benefits and Drawbacks
According to the AAP, research suggests that there may be some medical benefits to circumcision. Boys who have been circumcised are at reduced risk for:
- Foreskin infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Penile cancer
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Phimosis, a condition in uncircumcised males that makes foreskin retraction impossible
Here are some of the reasons parents may decide not to have their baby circumcised:
- Surgical risks: As with any surgery, circumcision has some risks. Complications are rare and usually minor. The most common complications are bleeding and infection.
- Penile damage: Very rarely, the foreskin may be cut too short or too long. Equally unlikely is improper healing from the circumcision. These complications may require another circumcision or -- in extreme cases -- penile reconstruction.
- Alteration of penile sensitivity: Some people claim that circumcision may lessen the sensitivity of the tip of the penis, decreasing sexual pleasure later in life. However, this hasn't been proven to be true.
- Fear of pain: Some parents choose not to circumcise their sons because they are worried about the pain the baby may feel.
- Protection of the tip of the penis: When the foreskin is removed, the tip of the penis may become irritated, causing the urinary opening to become too small. This could lead to urination problems that may need to be surgically corrected.