Should I Circumcise my Baby?

by | Babies and Pregnancy, Men's Health, Sexual Health

circumcise baby

Dr Norman Swan

Physician, journalist & broadcaster

Circumcision have been shown to lower the risks of transmission of venereal diseases, but apart from that there is no clear medical benefit for circumcising your baby.

Circumcision started as a religious practise amongst particularly Muslims and Jews but also other traditional groups as well. And, you know, one, isn’t quite sure where it started from.

It was often probably to identify yourself as part of that religious group. Sometimes it was part of a religious initiation because in some parts of the world it doesn’t happen until your child, a male child is an adolescent or an older child. Sometimes it’s not a proper circumcision. Sometimes it’s a cut underneath the penis and and there’s no known medical reason why. The question is why did it evolve beyond a religious tradition, and is there any medical or health benefits from having a circumcision? Well, the evidence from Africa during the AIDS pandemic, in fact, AIDS is still around is that in groups which circumcise their children they had far lower rates of HIV transmission. So losing the four skin does seem to reduce the transmission rates of venereal disease, sexually transmissible diseases.

The other reason for doing circumcision is that you can get Phimosis, which is a constriction of the forced skin over the head of the penis. And that can be very uncomfortable and can limit the ability to pass water. And in that case you needed a circumcision to relieve that. But apart from that, there’s no good medical reason why you would do a circumcision on a child.

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist