“To be or not to be”, this phrase from 'Hamlet', by Shakespeare, aptly described the dilemma of the protagonist. Today, this very phrase suits the question that is baffling many parents who want to decide on best way for their child - “To circumcise their child or not”. Circumcision, in simple terms, means the removal of the foreskin surrounding the glans of the penis. Every normal man is born with a prepuce or foreskin covering the tip of the penis. This foreskin is supposed to protect the sensitive tip and keep it moist and clean. Circumcision has existed for thousands of years and also forms an intricate part of many religious faiths, mainly for Muslims and Jews. However, in the later part of 19th century people from other religions too started this process, especially when germ theory of disease gained prominence, as a circumcised penis was considered cleaner. The decision to circumcise the baby or not is mainly in the hands of parents. If you are in a quandary of what to do, read the pros and cons of circumcision given below, weigh them according to your preference and then take a decision.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Circumcision
- A circumcised child is at a lesser risk of penis cancer and UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). Some studies have also shown that a circumcised child may have lesser risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- The foreskin of a penis catches more infection and a circumcision rules out this risk, makes for easier hygiene, and in most cases, get rid of the foul odor as well.
- Circumcision prevents penile problems. Sometimes, the foreskin of a boy's uncircumcised penis may be difficult to retract, which may lead to inflammation of the head of the penis, a situation known as Balanitis, and create complications.
- Many men who go through prostrate or bladder gland problem in later life are seen to develop difficulties with their foreskin. Early circumcision can help them avoid this problem.
- In women, the cancer of cervix is caused by the viruses which thrive on and under the foreskin of a man and thus, can be easily transmitted during intercourse. Circumcision helps in decreasing the possibility of this cancer.
- Uncircumcised babies are at a 10 percent greater risk of kidney infection than the circumcised ones. In addition, uncircumcised babies run more risk of urethra problems as well.
- Studies have also shown that circumcised babies tend to have fewer problems with erection, at puberty.
- Arguments have been put forward that there is no medical reason for circumcision. In addition, as with any surgery, risks are certainly involved in circumcision as well.
- The foreskin of penis protects it and keeps it moist and clean as well. Circumcision will rob it of all these benefits.
- Because of circumcision, a guy might face urination difficulty or some other surgical problems.
- It is widely believed that the tip of the penis toughens up without its protective cover (which is removed in case of circumcision) and the sensitivity might also reduce.
- Sometimes, circumcision may fill a guy with apprehension and he may not be able to enjoy his sex-life, mainly owning to self-consciousness.
- If it is done without anesthesia, the pain of circumcision is unbearable. Also, if the circumcision is not done in infancy, the memory of the pain lasts for a long time and in some extreme cases, may put the child off sex itself.