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Understanding the Risks of Circumcision


new baby in basin getting a bath




If you have a baby boy, you may be wondering about circumcision. What is it, exactly? And why do some parents want it?



Circumcision is surgery performed on male babies to remove the layer of skin (foreskin) that covers the head of the penis and part of the shaft. The Canadian Paediatric Society does not recommend routine circumcision for every newborn male because it’s not medically necessary. Some parents choose it for religious reasons. Others think it will make their babies look better as adults.

Regardless of the reason, it’s important to remember that circumcision is surgery. There’s pain during and after the procedure and there may be complications such as bleeding, infection, cutting the foreskin too short or too long, and poor healing. Because it’s not done for medical reasons, the cost of circumcision is not covered by provincial medical plans.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions about circumcision. Keep in mind that your child can make their own decision later in life about circumcision.

Resources & Links:

HealthLink BC: Circumcision
HealthLink BC: Should I Keep My Son's Penis Natural?

Last Updated: January 30, 2018