When Should Circumcision Take Place?

When circumcision takes place depends entirely on why you are looking to undergo the procedure. Circumcisions are completed for a number of reasons, including religious and medical reasons, whilst many more individuals (including older boys and men) have a circumcision to unlock a series of advantages, such as the reduced risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and penis cancer.

Here we explore when circumcision should take place so you can make an informed decision for either yourself or your child.

Religious circumcisions

In many cases, circumcisions are sought for non-medical purposes to satisfy religious or cultural beliefs. For example, in the Jewish community, circumcision is completed at eight days old, whilst in some Islamic communities, circumcision is carried out on babies and young children between the ages of 7 days and 4 years.

If a circumcision is completed for religious reasons, then both parents must consent to the procedure. The Plastibell method is an excellent technique for use on babies and young children, and takes just 10 minutes to complete under local anaesthetic. Discomfort is minimal and recovery is also quick.

Medical circumcisions

Circumcisions for medical reasons can be completed at any time, however, it is rare for doctors to complete the procedure on children under 5 years of age as a result of a medical issue. If however a baby or young child has continuous problems and infections then the decision may be made to surgically remove the foreskin to provide a long term solution. Scarring at the opening of the foreskin may also result in a circumcision.

Paraphimosis is a medical emergency, where the foreskin is too tight and begins to restrict blood flow. Without immediate treatment the penis tissue will die, and medication, circumcision or both are used.

Useful websites regarding circumcision