A circumcision is a surgical procedure that removes the skin (foreskin) covering the tip of the penis (the glans).

What is a circumcision?

A circumcision is a surgical procedure that removes the skin (foreskin) covering the tip of the penis (the glans). In the United States, circumcisions are fairly common for newborn males. The procedure can be performed on teenagers and adults, but it is more complex.

Why is it done?

Circumcisions are performed for a number of reasons, including:

  • Religious or cultural rituals
  • Family tradition
  • Preventive health care
  • Personal hygiene

From a medical standpoint, sometimes the foreskin is too tight to retract or pulled back over the glans. In other parts of the world, circumcisions are recommended to reduce the risk of some sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs). Circumcised men have a lower risk of STIs, HIV and urinary tract infections (UTIs) than uncircumcised men. Hygiene is also easier, as the penis is easier to wash without the foreskin. Circumcision does not affect fertility, nor should it have a large impact on sexual pleasure for men and their partners.

How is it done?

Newborn circumcisions are usually performed at the hospital within 10 days after birth. The penis and surrounding areas are cleaned and an anesthetic is injected into the base of the penis, or a cream is applied to numb the area. A plastic ring or special clamp is attached to the penis and the foreskin is removed. After the procedure is over, the penis is covered with a topical antibiotic and is wrapped with gauze. This process is very similar for older boys and adults, although it may be done under general anesthesia. Recovery time may take longer, the older you are, and the risk of complications are higher.

Healing generally takes 10 days, and after the procedure, you may notice swelling, bruising, redness and even a small amount of yellow fluid on the tip of the penis.

Questions or concerns about circumcisions?

If you live in San Diego County and you’d like to speak with medical professionals about circumcision and its risk, give us a call. At North Coast Family Medical Group in Encinitas, our providers are happy to assist you. You can use our Patient Portal to request an appointment.

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We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(760) 942-0118