What is circumcision?
Circumcision is a surgical procedure to remove the foreskin, the skin that covers the tip of the penis. In the United States, it is often done before a new baby leaves the hospital. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there are medical benefits and risks to circumcision.
What are the medical benefits of circumcision?
The possible medical benefits of circumcision include
- A lower risk of HIV
- A slightly lower risk of other sexually transmitted diseases
- A slightly lower risk of urinary tract infections and penile cancer. However, these are both rare in all males.
What are the risks of circumcision?
The risks of circumcision include
- A low risk of bleeding or infection
- Pain. AAP suggests that providers use pain medicines to reduce pain from circumcision.
What are the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations on circumcision?
The AAP does not recommend routine circumcision. However, they said that because of the possible benefits, parents should have the option to circumcise their sons if they want to. They recommend that parents discuss circumcision with their baby's health care provider. Parents should make their decision based on the benefits and risks, as well as their own religious, cultural, and personal preferences.
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Circumcision (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish