Why You Shouldn’t Circumcise Your Baby
When you give birth to a baby boy, there are a lot of different opinions about a crucial issue: what to do about the foreskin of the penis. Pediatricians don’t always agree: there are those who think it’s necessary to circumcise the foreskin with a single medical procedure. However, there are also those who believe that you should wait to let it fall off naturally and simply leave it be.
For mothers, this is a serious question. They can choose to resolve it at birth with circumcision or they may decide to wait for it to occur naturally.
For any mother, however, this is a topic that causes a lot of concern thanks to the many differences of opinion between mothers and doctors.
In this article, we’ll take a look at this issue.
A Baby’s Penis
The glans of the penis is protected by the foreskin.
In a newborn, it is attached to the glans and is not possible to remove. This is normally known as a preputial adhesion. As the baby grows, the foreskin separates and leaves the glans exposed.
Preputial adhesions form between the skin of the foreskin and the mucosa of the glans. They prevent the skin from lowering. These are a defense mechanisms of the body to protect the penis from infection. Over time, they will disappear by age three or four.
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Should I Circumcise my Baby?
Until recently, pediatricians recommended removing the foreskin quickly and at one time, when a baby is around three to four months old. Some would refer children to a urologist to perform this procedure.
With a little local anesthesia, the doctor moves the foreskin. This can still be painful for the baby and cause a lot of bleeding. In addition, an abrupt removal of the foreskin can also cause difficulty with healing.
Today, more pediatricians recommend gradually lowering the skin of the penis, very gently and during bath time. There are only a few cases of children who reach three years of age and still have the original adhesions in tact.
In these cases, a pediatrician or a urologist will teach parents how to gently lower the skin using an ointment or corticosteroid cream. However, they may also need to circumcise if this technique does not work.
Respect Your Baby’s Development
It’s normal for the foreskin to be attached to the glans at birth. In very rare cases, the penis may be retracted at birth.
Preputial adhesions normally disappear between three and four years of age, although some may be up to five years old when this happens.
A baby typically graduates from diapers around age two. Then, a child will begin to explore their own body. They may begin to lower the foreskin themselves, which becomes thinner and more flexible as they grow.
If your pediatrician recommends that you detach the foreskin as soon as they are old enough, you should remember that this is a painful procedure for your baby and has questionable benefits.
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It’s easy to get carried away based on the opinions of specialists, especially for first-time parents. A doctor’s opinion is valuable and has plenty of benefits. However, you should also be well informed about these procedures so you can respect your baby’s natural changes.
A diagnosis of phimosis cannot be performed until your child is three years old. Take your time to consider your doctor’s assessment of any adhesions. Don’t be afraid to talk with another specialist if you need to.
If the foreskin has not lowered by age five or six, you may need to result to surgery. Depending on how severe it is, you can even wait until they older for circumcision. Don’t make drastic decisions to circumcise if they are not needed.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Gracia Romero J, González Ruiz Y. (2017). El pediatra ante los procesos más frecuentes de Urología pediátrica. En: AEPap (ed.). Curso de Actualización Pediatría 2017. Madrid: Lúa Ediciones 3.0; 2017. p. 183-94. [En línea] Disponible en: https://www.aepap.org/sites/default/files/183-194_urologia_pediatrica.pdf
- Bermúdez, Á. M. T. (2016). El prepucio en pediatría. Revista Cubana de Urología, 5(2). https://www.medigraphic.com/pdfs/revcuburol/rcu-2016/rcu162e.pdf
- Varela, B. (2001). ¿ Cuál debe ser el manejo del niño con estrechez prepucial?. Revista chilena de pediatría, 72(4), 354-355. https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?pid=S0370-41062001000400012&script=sci_arttext&tlng=e
- Ginarte, G. M., Domínguez, E. G., & Pérez, J. J. M. (2009). FÍMOSIS. REVISIÓN BIBLIOGRÁFICA. 2008. MULTIMED, 13(2). http://www.revmultimed.sld.cu/index.php/mtm/article/view/1703/1804