Circumcision Pros and Cons

By | 03/05/2017

What is circumcision, when should it be done, who does it, why should my baby boy be circumcised, is it necessary, what are the circumcision pros and cons?   These are the questions young parents ask when they know their baby is a boy.

Circumcision Pros and Cons


What Is Circumcision?

The doctor will remove free the foreskin from the head of the penis then snip off the excess foreskin.  The remaining skin is tucked under and stitched.   The head or glans of the penis is exposed and not covered by the foreskin.

It is a very simple procedure that is performed on the first or second day after your baby is born to avoid complications that can arise in older children.

What Are The Risks

There are not many complications when performed on newborn babies.   some of the risks include

  • bruising and bleeding.
  • If too much skin is removed it can cause cosmetic concerns and scarring.
  • infection that can cause swelling.

complications can arise in adult males who resent being circumcised at birth.

  • The penis can be buried in scar tissue if the too much or too little skin was removed.  The only treatment for this is surgical.
  • Most men are not concerned about their circumcision but a small number complain of reduced sensitivity because the foreskin has been removed.

Before getting their baby circumcised parents should discuss the procedure with their doctor as it is not painless and parents need to discuss the type of anesthesia the doctor will use.   They also need to ask how to care for the baby to prevent infection after the procedure.

What Are The Benefits Of Circumcision?

Even though it is thought that circumcision can reduce the incidence of some conditions it has not been proven.

  • Sexually transmitted diseases.  This has not been proven but there does seem to be a reduced risk of STD’s in circumcised males.  It is also thought that it helps prevent cervical cancer in women.
  • Reduced risk of cancer of the penis in circumcised men.  Not proven but seems to be more prevalent in uncircumcised males.
  • Hygiene is one of the main reasons parents get their little boys circumcised.  It makes it much easier to clean the penis.
  • Urinary tract infections are unusual in men and boys but these infections are greatly reduced in circumcised boys

Circumcision Pros and Cons

The Circumcision Controversy

There are widely held opinions about circumcision with valid arguments on both sides of the debate.  For many parents, it is considered an unnecessary mutilation of their child.  They argue that hygiene can be maintained by gently pulling back the baby’s foreskin when they are being bathed.  They will also argue that retraction of the foreskin will occur naturally as they grow and mature.

Those who believe circumcision should be performed argue that it is far less traumatic for a child to be circumcised and it will prevent trauma later in life if the need for the operation occurs.

Although the health benefits of circumcision are unproven it is something that parents take into consideration before making their decision.  It may be a simple procedure but it is a very big decision that needs to be made with all the facts available to you.


If you are struggling to make the decision on whether or not your baby should be circumcised and would like more information I will send you a fact sheet on circumcision that will help you make the decision.  Just fill out the form below.

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4 thoughts on “Circumcision Pros and Cons

  1. Lauren Kinghorn

    Hi Margaret, thanks for a great article outlining the pros and cons of circumcision. When my son was born it wasn’t really a consideration. We did discuss it but I did some research and found that in South Africa, where I live, circumcision of babies, in fact, of all male children under the age of 16, is banned unless parents can give valid religious or medical reasons. (The Children’s Act 2005).

    1. Margaret Kennedy

      Hi Lauren,

      I did not realize circumcision was banned in South Africa and was surprised to learn that. Most of the health benefits listed have not been proven but it is food for thought.

      In Australia, where I live many doctors are reluctant to do it and ,like you when my babies came along it was not something we even considered. It is painful for the baby and many doctors were refusing to do it. Personally I could not see any point in having it done.

      Thank you for sharing your comment with us.


  2. Liz

    This post could not be more timely. This is something my husband and I go back and forth on all the time. He feels that as a man circumcision is best for a boy for cosmetic reasons and to make them cleaner. But, after I seen a video on a little baby boy getting it done I just burst into tears. This is seriously not needed unless it was effecting their health or hurting them. I just hope these fact will get my husband to reconsider. Thanks for the info!

    1. Margaret Kennedy

      Dear Liz,

      I am so sorry you have this difference of opinion. Circumcision is a very personal decision and I would like to help you and your husband come to an agreement you are both happy with. I don’t normally send anything to anyone unless they specifically ask for it but in your case I am making an exception and sending you the fact sheet on circumcision. I hope it helps you both with what seems to be a very difficult decision you are making.

      My very best wishes to you and your family



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