Circumcision of your baby boy really requires careful consideration of the benefits and risks as well as your cultural and religious influences.

The practice of the surgical removal of the foreskin covering the head of the penis dates back thousands of years.

Benefits of circumcision include a reduced risk of urinary tract infections, as well as offering some protection in adulthood against sexually transmitted infections such as genital herpes, hepatitis C and HIV.

Immediate risks, although minimal when performed by appropriately trained practitioners, include pain, bleeding and infection. There are some suggestions that function may be affected, and in extreme cases anatomical damage may occur. There are conflicting suggestions regarding the hard-to-measure pain of the procedure and the long-term psychological impact, and appropriate pain relief measures should be utilised at all times.

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Any advice given is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and must not be relied upon as such. For any healthcare advice, always consult a healthcare practitioner.

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