Do I need to circumcise my son? What are the risks and benefits?


Circumcision - the surgical removal of the foreskin that covers the head of the penis - is a controversial topic. Years ago, boys were routinely circumcised but that trend has completely reversed. There is no medical evidence that circumcision offers any real benefit, or that a circumcised penis is any cleaner than a non-circumcised one. Today, circumcision is considered a “non-therapeutic” procedure, which means it is not medically necessary. Circumcisions performed for religious, social or cultural reasons are not covered by provincial health care plans.

While the debate continues over the risks and benefits of circumcision, it’s important to remember that any form of surgery carries risk. Although rare, serious complications do occur and newborn babies do feel pain. After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcision, the Canadian Paediatric Society does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn boys and many paediatricians no longer perform circumcisions.

For more information about circumcision, speak with your doctor or visit Caring For Kids an invaluable resource from Canada’s paediatric experts.