In the U.S., the American Urological Association (AUA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) each have a policy statement on circumcision. Both groups recommend that it be offered as a choice to parents.
You should talk with your child's doctor about the health risks and benefits, and decide what will work for your family.
If you decide to have your son circumcised at the hospital, your pediatrician, family doctor or obstetrician will perform the procedure before you bring your baby home.
In some instances, the doctor may suggest the procedure be delayed or not done at all. Premature babies who still require medical care in the hospital nursery may not be circumcised until they are ready to go home. Circumcision might not be an option if certain blood-clotting disorders exist or if the baby is born with physical abnormalities of the penis.
Benefits of Circumcision
Circumcision might have various health benefits. Circumcised males have easier hygiene, as it is simpler to wash the penis, but boys with uncircumcised penises can be taught to wash under the foreskin. Circumcision also lowers the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), especially in the first year of life. Once they mature into adult males, circumcised males may have a lower risk of contracting some sexually transmitted diseases.
Circumcision doesn't affect fertility. It also is not thought to enhance or lessen sexual pleasure for men or their partners.
Risks of Circumcision
Problems from circumcision are rare. When there are problems, they are often minor and easy to treat. Mild bleeding may occur, but this rarely requires further intervention. Make sure to inform your doctor if there is a family history of a bleeding disorder. Circumcision may cause discomfort or pain, but there are safe and helpful pain relief choices your doctor can discuss with you ahead of time.
While not common, the penis could become infected. Signs of infection are redness or swelling that do not go away. These signs may be accompanied by a fever. If you see any signs of infection, call your doctor right away. When caught quickly, these problems are easy to treat.