Should I have My Child Circumcised?

Erin Benjamin 

One of the biggest decisions facing parents of a newborn son is rather or not they should have him circumcised. There are reasons both for and against having it done and it is something that must be considered carefully. That’s because this is a decision that will have repercussions for the rest of his life.

Parents considering circumcision in Perth will need to understand the procedure better before making a decision. There are quite a few factors that will go into it. Knowing what these are will help make the decision easier. Here is some important information to know when considering having your child circumcised.

When should a Child be Circumcised?

child Circumcised

A child should be more than six months of age before undergoing circumcision. While some hospitals can perform the procedure on newborn babies, the environment is not as controlled and there is higher risk involved. By waiting until the child is six months or older, the circumcision can take place in a safe environment since a general anaesthetic can be used.

Why do Parents have their Son Circumcised?

Health benefits, both long and short term, are the primary reason to have a child circumcised. Children who undergo the procedure are less likely to have a urinary-tract infection during the first few years of their life. In adulthood, circumcised males have a reduced chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease as well as cancer of the penis. Studies have also shown that the risk of contracting HIV is also significantly less for men who have been circumcised as opposed to those who did not have the procedure done.

There is also a chance that uncircumcised males will contract a foreskin infection and need to have the procedure done later on in life. Performing circumcision on teens or adults is a more complicated process that requires an operation with a general anaesthetic which can be painful, not to mention expensive. However, doing this early on in life eliminates these risks.

What are the Reasons Against Circumcision?

The most common reasons parents opt to not have their child circumcised are based on religious considerations or lifestyle concerns while some families simply make a decision against circumcision based on instinct or gut feeling once their son is born. There are a few concerns about complications from the procedure with bleeding or skin infections possible if the wound is not properly cared of. However, the chances of these occurring are actually quite small, especially if the circumcision is done between the ages of six months and one year.

Deciding to have a child circumcised is an important choice parents will have to make early on in their son’s life. It is good to speak with a medical professional who can help answer questions and better explain the reasons for and against the procedure. Dr. Jill Orford is Perth’s leading paediatric surgeon and can advise parents on whether or not circumcision is right for their son.