To circumcise or not to circumcise

Circumcision means removing the foreskin—a layer of skin that covers the tip of the penis. Circumcision usually is done soon after birth and before the baby leaves the hospital. It can be done as a religious ritual or as a matter of family tradition. In some babies, young boys and men it can become medically necessary to circumcise the penis.

While there is little medical evidence to support the routine circumcision of all baby boys, there are some studies that show slight medical benefits including a decreased risk of urinary tract infections during the first year of life; a lower risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease, and a lower risk of infection of the foreskin.

But don’t stress out too much about the decision. It is a relatively safe procedure with few complications and we use a good local anesthetic along with comforting sugar water to suckle -many babies don’t even cry. Whatever you decide, you are not likely to regret your decision.

We are often asked what other patients in our practice are doing and it seems that a majority of parents decide in favor of circumcision. This is not what the hospital reports for the larger patient population, however.

Your insurance may or may not pay for circumcision so check ahead of time to help you make your decision.


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1725 Montgomery Street
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San Francisco, CA 94111

Tel: (415) 666-1250
Fax: (415) 398-2696