Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis. In the most common procedure, the foreskin is opened, adhesions are removed, and the foreskin is separated from the glans. After that, a circumcision device may be placed, and then the foreskin is cut off.
Recent research suggests that circumcision may bring medical benefits such as:
- a 10 times lower risk of a baby getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) in his first year of life (remembering that only one per cent of babies are at risk of a UTI, so 1,000 circumcisions are needed to prevent one UTI).
- no risk of infants and children getting infections under the foreskin.
- easier genital hygiene.
- much lower risk of getting cancer of the penis (although this is a very rare condition and good genital hygiene also seems to reduce the risk. More than 10,000 circumcisions are needed to prevent one case of penile cancer).
Circumcision may be performed in the first few days after birth under local anaesthetic or after six months of age under general anaesthetic. Parents and their doctor should make sure that the person performing the circumcision is experienced and competent, uses appropriate anaesthetic and has the skills to deal with any potential complications.
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