On the (B)log

August 22, 2013

To Circ or not to Circ, That is the Question!

So the folks at NPR just tweeted:

Via @nprnews: Popularity Of Circumcision Falls In U.S., Especially Out West

The chart above shows the % of male newborns undergoing the procedure.

Shortlink to story is here: http://n.pr/185oKYH 

We like to attack these issues "head-on" so we ask:

To Circ or not to Circ, That is the Question!

Newborn circumcision always sparks a lot of controversy in the media. I have always wondered why removing a pretty useless piece of skin gets people so worked up? Let me try to clarify this issue for everyone because the media can complicate a cup of coffee.

The penis does NOT need a foreskin. It's not like an eyelid which is actually a necessary piece of equipment. One eyed Willey can live a normal life without being covered by a hoodie. Some men feel that a foreskin gives them more sensitivity and pleasure during sex. But, if the foreskin is removed at birth how would you know the difference? You won't of course.

Having a foreskin DOES increase the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease and developing cancer of the penis. Take it from a urologist when I tell you that either one of those will be a big downer.

So why not remove the foreskin? Well, surgery has risks and may cost a few bucks. Generally, a circumcision is a very low risk procedure but shit happens, right? Bleeding, infection, removal of too much skin or even penile injury can occur in RARE cases. Some parents feel that the procedure causes unnecessary pain for their child. I was circumcised shortly after birth and don't remember a thing. My penis is certainly not upset about being snipped, and quite frankly, seems pretty happy most of the time.

The cosmetics of a circumcised penis may also play a role in the decision making process. Some parents like a hoodie and some do not. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I can't help you here. Mom often wants her son's penis to look "normal" which usually means she wants it looking like daddy's penis. Some people choose to have a circumcision for religious reasons which is another valid reason.

So, don't complicate such a simple issue. A circumcision is a low risk procedure that can reduce the risk of STDs and penile cancer. It's ultimately up to the parents and there is not a right or wrong answer here. It's simply a personal preference and I encourage parents to discuss the issue with their pediatrician if they need help making a decision.

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