Understanding male infant circumcision in Chicago
Pregnancy comes with many considerations. Parents who are expecting a baby boy have an additional decision to make, whether to circumcise their newborn. For patients in Chicago, Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. offers information to help patients in their decision-making process.
Circumcision of male infants is a widespread practice in many parts of the world, including the United States. Each year 55-65 percent of newborn boys are circumcised in the United States. This procedure involves the surgical removal of the foreskin or the fold of skin covering the head of the penis. Generally, this procedure is done within ten days of birth, unless the baby is born prematurely or has medical concerns. Circumcision may be performed in the hospital, in a religious institution, or at home.
A personal decision for each family
Reasons circumcision may be performed include:
- Religious or cultural beliefs
- Family tradition
- Personal hygiene
- Preventative care
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics states that the health benefits outweigh the risks, the procedure is not recommended for all male infants. Ultimately the choice is left to the parents as it is a personal decision.
Health benefits of circumcision may include:
- Easier to keep clean
- Less chance of urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, or penile cancer
- Avoiding penile problems that can occur if the foreskin becomes difficult to retract
Post-care instructions are given to new parents. However, as with any procedure, there are risks involved. The most common risks involve bleeding or infection or scarring that could require it to be redone in hospital setting. Reactions to the anesthetic used are possible as well. Rarely, problems with the foreskin may occur.
It is important to discuss your options early to make an informed decision that is appropriate for your child and your family. Contact Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. for an appointment. (312) 440-9400