Circumcision for newborns services - Greenberg Circumcision Centre
Considering Circumcision for Your Infant? Here’s What You Need to Know Dr. Mark Greenberg June 14, 2024

Considering Circumcision for Your Infant? Here’s What You Need to Know

Deciding whether to circumcise your newborn can be a challenging and emotional choice. Cultural, religious, and personal beliefs often influence the decision. Understanding the procedure, the benefits and risks, and what the process entails is essential.

The Basics of Circumcision

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the tissue covering the head of the penis. The procedure has a long history and is common in many parts of the world, often performed on newborns. Parents choose circumcision for various reasons, including religious beliefs, cultural practices, and/or perceived health benefits. It’s important to note that circumcision is usually done within the first few months after birth in a hospital or clinic setting by a qualified healthcare professional. The optimum time is between 7-21 days after birth.

Before deciding whether to have your infant son circumcised, it’s crucial to understand what the procedure involves and its implications for your child’s health and well-being. Gathering all the necessary information will help you feel more confident in your choice.

How is a Circumcision Performed?

There are a variety of methods used for newborn circumcision.

Mogen Circumcision (Method at Greenberg Circumcision Centre)
Gomco Circumcision
Plasti Bell

Description of these methods may be found at


How Painful is Circumcision for a Newborn?

A common concern for parents is the potential pain from circumcision.. While the procedure does cause some discomfort, the use of local anesthetics significantly reduces pain during the operation. 

Afterward, babies might experience some discomfort, but this is usually mild and short-lived. Most babies recover quickly and show minimal signs of distress after the first few days. Post-operative pain can be managed with appropriate care and pain relief measures recommended by your healthcare provider. Following their  instructions for post-operative care, including applying ointment and keeping the area clean, can significantly reduce discomfort and promote healing. On occasion it may be necessary to give your baby and infant formulation of acetaminophen. 

Benefits of Circumcising a Baby

Circumcising a baby can offer several health benefits. Research suggests that circumcision: 

  1. may lower the risk of urinary tract infections in infancy 
  2. reduce the likelihood of certain sexually transmitted infections later in life 
  3. can help prevent foreskin-related issues, such as phimosis (inability to retract the foreskin) and balanitis (inflammation of the glans). 
  4. reduction in incidence of Cancer of the Penis
  5. reduction is spread on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) the known etiological agent in Cervical Cancer.

Parents who opt for circumcision often cite these health benefits as significant factors in their decision.

Risks and Complications of Circumcision

While circumcision is generally a safe procedure, it’s not without risks. Possible complications include bleeding, infection, and improper healing. In rare cases, more severe complications can occur, such as injury to the penis. Discussing these risks with your healthcare provider and ensuring that a qualified professional performs the procedure is essential. Proper aftercare is also crucial to minimize the chances of complications and promote healing.

Understanding the potential risks involved in circumcision can help parents make an informed decision. Although complications are rare, knowing them allows you to take necessary precautions and follow recommended care practices. Ensuring that a skilled and experienced healthcare provider performs the procedure can further reduce the likelihood of complications. Having a plan in place for post-operative care and monitoring your baby closely can contribute to a smooth recovery process.

Caring for Your Baby Post-Circumcision

After circumcision, proper care is vital  to ensure comfort and healing and  a smooth recovery. Detailed post-operative care instructions are crucial. Keeping the area clean and dry and applying any prescribed ointments can prevent complications and speed up recovery. Gauze dressing will also protect the area.  It’s normal for the penis to appear red and swollen initially, but these symptoms should subside within a week. 

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or discharge. Monitoring your baby for any signs of infection and seeking medical advice, if necessary, are key steps in post-circumcision care. Understanding what to expect in the days following the procedure can help you provide the best care for your newborn. 


Making the Decision

Ultimately, the decision to circumcise your son is a personal one, influenced by various factors. It’s important to gather comprehensive circumcision information for parents, consider the medical, cultural, and personal implications, and consult with your healthcare provider. By understanding the procedure, potential benefits and risks, and aftercare requirements, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your family’s values and priorities.

Final Thoughts on Circumcision

Circumcision is a significant decision for many parents following the birth of their son.  By thoroughly understanding the circumcision procedure and aftercare, and the pros and cons for your newborn son, you can approach this choice with confidence. Always consult with your healthcare provider to ensure you have the most accurate and personalized information to support your decision regarding infant circumcision.

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