Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves partial or complete removal of the foreskin (prepuce). The procedure is commonly performed shortly after birth or around puberty.
How common is circumcision?
About one-fifth of men worldwide have been circumcised, mostly for religious and cultural reasons when the procedure is commonly performed shortly after birth or around puberty. Although adults are occasionally circumcised as an act of religious dedication, adult circumcision is most commonly performed for medical reasons.
Non-retractable foreskin in children
Contrary to common belief, the foreskin cannot be pulled back (retracted) in almost all newborn babies. About 50 per cent of one-year-old boys will have a non-retractable foreskin, 30 per cent of two-year-olds, about 10 per cent of four-year-olds and about 5 per cent of 10-year-olds. It's not necessary to try cleaning under the foreskin until it has become fully retractable of its own accord because attempts to pull back a non-retractable foreskin can result in pain and possibly injury.
Reasons for circumcision fall into three broad groups:
- for an medical indication
- to prevent future disease
- as an act of religious dedication.
An appointment should be booked with either Dr Gildenhuys or Dr Higham, to discuss whether a circumcision is right for you and your baby.