Although circumcision is in many cases a religious or cultural practice, there are a number of long-term health benefits that can be associated with procedure.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the skin covering the tip of the penis. It’s a simple and well established operation that is common in the United States, parts of Africa and the Middle East, and increasingly popular in the UK and Europe.
Because male circumcision makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean and free of bacterial build-up, medical studies have suggested that being circumcised can reduce the risk of contracting urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections such as Human papillomavirus (HPV).
Equally, circumcision is thought to reduce the likelihood of passing some sexually transmitted infections to partners.
A recent study published in the USA found that male circumcision can be linked with a reduced risk for women of catching infections including HIV, Chlamydia, Syphilis and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 through intercourse. The study also suggests that circumcision may be linked to a reduced risk of cervical cancer and dysplasia.
So, through assorted studies and medical investigations, the proposed benefits of circumcision include:
- A decreased risk of urinary tract infections.
- A reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases in men
- Protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners.
- Prevention of balanitis (inflammation of the glans)
- Prevention of balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).
- Prevention of phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin)
- Prevention of paraphimosis (the inability to return the foreskin to its original location)
If you would like to find out more about the possible health benefits of circumcision and how the procedure is performed, please call the friendly team at Birmingham Circumcision Clinic on 0121 250 0386.
Many parents may feel concerned that their new-born’s foreskin cannot be pulled back and feel that they need circumcision to correct it. However, nine out of ten boys’ foreskins are tight or stuck to the head of the penis when they’re born, and it can sometimes last up until six years of age.
This is known as phimosis, which is completely normal for the first two to six years. It protects the head of the penis from coming into contact with things like bacteria and viruses, while also stopping it from rubbing against things and becoming sore. Sometimes, the foreskin of some boys can take longer to separate and will detach at a later stage – again, completely normal.
When there’s a problem
Despite phimosis being a normal phenomenon, there are instances where it can cause an issue, such as redness, swelling or infection. It can also cause a skin irritation called balanitis, which can affect both men and boys.
The symptoms of balanitis include: An itchy, smelly penis, redness and swelling, a build-up of thick fluid and pain when urinating. If the glans and foreskin are inflamed, the condition is known as balanoposthitis.
If you think you or your son has balanitis or balanoposthitis, we would always recommend seeing a doctor to receive the appropriate treatment.
Finally, in teenagers and adults, having a non-retractable foreskin can cause pain during sex or an erection. There’s also the potential for it to cause a balloon-like swelling under the foreskin if the opening is so small that urine cannot escape.
Treatment for phimosis
The first port of call is usually to visit a doctor who will be able to give you or your son treatment to try and reduce the swelling. They may apply a local anaesthetic cream, prescribe pain medication or inject the penis with a local anaesthetic to numb the pain.
If the balanitis or balanoposthitis is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection, your healthcare provider may prescribe anti-fungal medication or antibiotics. Topical steroids may also be prescribed to treat a tight foreskin thanks to their ability to soften the skin and make it easier to retract.
When the first line of treatment doesn’t work
If none of the above techniques work, or if symptoms keep reappearing, sometimes a small surgical slit can be made in the dorsal region of the tight skin. To stop a recurrence of the problem, this procedure should later be followed with a circumcision.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to treat phimosis with non-surgical methods, and sometimes the only thing that will fix the problem is circumcision. This will permanently remove the problem, rather than simply treating symptoms.
Circumcision is a popular treatment for phimosis and is one of medicine’s oldest surgeries. At Birmingham Circumcision Clinic, we are one of the biggest circumcision providers across Europe. We circumcise babies, children, teenagers and adults and have been awarded the NHS Contract for Cultural and Religious Circumcision by Birmingham South Central CCG.
If you or a loved one is suffering from phimosis and you want to go down the circumcision route, you can find out more about our services by talking to our knowledgeable and friendly team on: 0121 250 0386 and by reading more here and here.
There is no doubt that surgery can be a frightening and worrying experience for anyone, adults and children included. When it comes to circumcision in boys, knowing what to expect can go some way in alleviating any anxiety and may prepare them for what is to come.
At The Birmingham Circumcision Clinic, we like our patients and their families to be in the know, which is why we have come up with a brief ‘before, during and after’.
Prior to surgery, the doctor will explain the procedure along with its risks. You will need to tell the doctor about any medical conditions or medicines your child is taking just in case they have any side effects that may impact the circumcision surgery. For example, if your child is taking the blood thinner warfarin, it is important for the doctors to know as it can increase the risk of bleeding.
It can be challenging for parents to alleviate a child’s anxiety about surgery, Explaining the process along with the reason for circumcision at a level of your child’s understanding, may help calm his nerves. When talking to your child try to avoid words such as ‘cut’ or ‘sew’.
We encourage parents to plan the circumcision during the school holidays, however if the procedure is during term time you will need to inform the school of his surgery, allowing a few days off for the recovery period
You should ensure you have read all the documents we have sent you. Your child can eat and drink as normal.
If closer to or on the day of surgery, your child becomes unwell you should contact the clinic to seek further advice about whether to reschedule or attend the appointment.
Packing something that your child finds comforting is key in making them feel more relaxed. Whether it’s a stuffed toy or his favourite DVD, remember to take something that reminds him of home.
Both parents or guardian must attend with the child to sign the relevant consent forms before the operation takes place. After surgery, you and your son will be taken to the recovery room, the doctor will check your child and all being well you will be discharged. Your whole booking including discharge is approximately 1 hour long.
It can be difficult to understand all of the medical terminology related to surgical procedures, so we have put together an A-Z of circumcision that aims to be a useful point of reference for you.
Whilst there are many words related to circumcision, we have picked the top ones that we think you could come across. But if you read a word that is not listed below and you would like it explaining, please feel free to contact the clinic and one of our team will be able to help.
Anaesthetic: This is a substance that causes a lack of feeling or awareness during the procedure.
Ballooning: A condition where urine cannot escape from the tip of the foreskin as fast as it is flowing from the bladder. The foreskin may become swollen, which can be painful and could cause potential bladder and kidney damage.
Circumcision: The process of removing the foreskin, through minor surgery. It can be removed for a variety of reasons, from religious reasons and medical problems to sexual pleasure.
Dorsal Slit: The phrase ‘dorsal slit’ refers to an incision made through the top surface of the foreskin that exposes the glans. In some societies, it is classed as a circumcision.
Epispadias: This is a rare penis malformation in which the urethra ends on the top side of the penis instead of the tip of the glans, which results in urine and semen being discharged at an abnormal position.
Frenulum: A web of skin that helps the foreskin to retract during an erection and return to normal when flaccid. After circumcision, it may be retained or removed.
Glans: The rounded part at the end of the penis that forms its head.
High: In circumcision, this term is used to describe the position of the scar line. It means closer to the penis base and further away from the glans.
Meatus: The opening of the urethra at the end of the glans.
Neonatal: Relating to the new born child.
Overhang: The portion of the foreskin that extends beyond the tip of the glans.
Phimosis: This is a condition where the foreskin is too tight to be drawn back over the glans. This is readily corrected by circumcision.
Redundant Prepuce: A foreskin that ‘overhangs’ the penis when it is flaccid.
Skin Bridge: A natural and often unintended sticking together of two skin surfaces. These sometimes form between the circumcision scar and the corona, and can be corrected by minor surgery.
Tyson’s glands: These secretory glands are located on either side of the frenulum and produce an oily lubricant for the foreskin.
Urethra: The tube through which urine and semen flows.
Ventral: An anatomical term that means ‘the underside’ of something.
At Birmingham Circumcision Clinic, we always like our patients to feel as well informed as possible. If you would like to find out further information, please call our specialist team on: 0121 250 0386 or read our ‘complete guide to circumcision’.
Whilst we recognise that there are a number of methods of circumcision for adults, children and babies, at Birmingham Circumcision Clinic, we prefer to carry out the following techniques:
Circumcision Methods for Adults and Boys
For adult men, and boys of between the ages of 2 and 16, formal surgical techniques are used:
Sleeve resection is a freehand method. It is the preferred method for adults as it provides better cosmetic results than forceps guided or dorsal slit circumcision. This method requires a highly skilled surgeon and is carried out under a local anaesthetic.
In this procedure, the foreskin is slid back along the shaft of the penis so that a freehand cut can be made around the shaft at the point where the scar line will be placed. The foreskin is then returned to cover the glans (head of the penis) and a second cut is made around the shaft at the same position along the penis as the first cut. A longitudinal incision is then made between the two cuts around the circumference of the penis and the strip of skin is removed. The edges are then pulled together and stitched.
The guided freehand method is sometimes used for adults and older boys. In a forceps guided circumcision, the foreskin is pulled out past the front of the glans. Locking forceps are then clamped across the foreskin, immediately in front of the glans and parallel to the base of the glans. A cut is then made across the forceps to remove the foreskin, whilst the glans is protected by the forceps.
This method of circumcision is sometimes recommended for patients suffering from phimosis, when the foreskin cannot be pulled back over the glans, or paraphimosis, when the foreskin cannot be returned to its normal position.
We understand that every patient is different, so we will also choose the right circumcision method to suit the individual. In some cases, when necessary, our highly experienced surgical team will combine or modify methods of circumcision.
Circumcision Methods for Infants and Babies
For boys under 2 years of age, the most common circumcision technique uses the Plastibell. This is a clear plastic ring with a handle and deep grooves running around it. After a local anaesthetic is administered, the penis and foreskin are gently separated. To place the Plastibell in position, a small cut is made from the top of the foreskin and it is pushed back.
Once in place, the Plastibell is covered over by the foreskin and tied in place. The excess foreskin is carefully trimmed away and then the handle of the Plastibell is broken off. After around 10 days, the ring falls off, leaving a small wound that heals over the next few weeks without the need for stitches.
If you have questions about circumcision, please feel free to contact the Birmingham Circumcision Clinic on 0121 250 0386, or by completing our online enquiry form.
If you feel like you’ve missed the window to get your son circumcised, you need not worry. Here at the Birmingham Circumcision Clinic, we are experts in the matter.
We have highly skilled doctors who are able to perform the procedure in the most effective way. Whether your child is still a baby or a toddler, our experienced surgical team are well equipped to treat children of all ages.
Whether you are opting for your toddler to undergo circumcision for religious or medical reasons, it may be helpful to know that we offer a great after-care service. From advice on how to clean him, to the medication given, our specialists are there for you from beginning to end.
Whilst it may seem like a drastic procedure, circumcision does not actually have any negative health implications. On the contrary, it has a rather long list of health benefits, having been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases in men. It also protects against penile cancer and reduces risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners. Circumcision can also prevent inflammation of the gland and foreskin.
Why circumcise when your son is a toddler?
There are many reasons why parents prefer their child to be circumcised at a very young age, and although the procedure is usually performed a few days or weeks after birth, some parents may wait until their son is a toddler. In some cases, babies may not have been strong enough for the procedure shortly after birth and so circumcision is instead delayed until they are a little healthier and at a steady weight. Delaying circumcision can also allow new parents to get used to changing nappies and caring for their son.
From a religious perspective, it’s good to circumcise your child at a young age so that he will see this as normal practice as he grows older and will be able to understand the religious significance of circumcision.
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If you need further information about circumcision, please read our complete guide.
As we start 2017, as well as making new plans, the New Year is also a great time to reflect on what we have achieved. In 2016, we published regular blog posts, which we hope that you have found useful and informative.
We believe that the more information you have about circumcision, the better informed you are to make important decisions. We thought that we would look at some of the articles we wrote for you last year and present you with some of the highlights. If you want to learn more, just click on the link to the original articles.
We started the year looking at Aftercare for children or adults who have had circumcision surgery. It is important to differentiate here as aftercare does differ dependent on your age. Put simply, this is because procedures vary at different ages. Aftercare for babies and young children is relatively simple, including regular daily washing of the healing area, preventing unnecessary touching, and watching out for any signs of bleeding or unexpected swelling, irritability or difficulty passing urine.
Older children and adults can expect stitches to dissolve in the weeks following the circumcision. Keeping the area clean is vital, as is the careful redressing of the wound. For comfort, it is advisable to wear supportive underwear that helps prevent friction, at least for a short while.
Our June article provided a little more detail about What to expect if your baby has been circumcised. With the seven signs to watch out for during the healing process and some techniques for safe and effective cleaning and bathing, this provided extra information for parents.
In September, we discussed How adults can best prepare for circumcision surgery. Everyone wants their procedure and aftercare to go smoothly and this is often helped by a few earlier preparations. Avoiding alcohol prior to surgery, making sure the team are aware of any medications you are taking and arranging for transport home following the procedure are all useful tips for someone preparing for their circumcision.
Many people ask us about The health benefits of circumcision, so in April we thought it would be useful to put some of the main points together. Did you know for example that men’s health experts have concluded that circumcision can help solve some fertility problems? It has also been found that circumcision can help the risk of an STD and lower the risk of penile cancer.
We look forward to providing you with more important information about circumcision and the care that you can expect from the Birmingham Circumcision Clinic in 2017. If you have any questions, just give our friendly team a call on 0121 250 0386 or contact us via our website and we will be glad to help.
Whilst some parents choose to circumcise their infant son for religious or cultural reasons, for some parents, making the decision is difficult. As with any surgery, parents may be worried about whether the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks involved in the procedure. Another common reason for indecision is because parents, particularly fathers, are concerned about the appearance of their son’s penis in comparison to other males. When making such an important decision, it’s crucial that parents are educated about circumcision and feel comfortable discussing their concerns or questions with a doctor.
Health benefits of circumcision
If you are considering circumcision for your child, it’s important to read up on the related health benefits:
- Smaller risk of UTIs – whilst urinary tract infections are quite uncommon in males, the greatest risk is in infants of less than a year old. Studies have found that circumcised infant males are at a lower risk of UTIs when compared with uncircumcised babies.
- Hygiene – It can be argued that it is much easier for circumcised males to maintain proper hygiene. Uncircumcised males must regularly clean the space between the foreskin and head of the penis (glans), making it more difficult.
- Protection against infections – studies suggest that circumcision can help to decrease the risks of viruses such as HIV, HPV and Herpes simplex virus type 2, as well as protecting against other problems such as trichomonas and chancroid infections.
- Penile cancer – whilst penile cancer is rare, due to the difficulties that can be involved with keeping good hygiene, uncircumcised men face an increased risk for developing the disease.
The associated risks of the infant circumcision procedure
As is the case with any surgical procedure, no matter how simple, there are some risks involved with carrying out circumcision on an infant boy, however, complications during the procedure and within the first month post-surgery are extremely low. Some bleeding is common during the procedure, however, this is usually only very minor and can be controlled by a doctor, providing local pressure.
As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection following infant circumcision, however, parents can help to prevent this by ensuring that the penis is kept clean as it heals. Your doctor can provide advice on the best aftercare practices to help prevent infection.
Where to find guidance on circumcision
If you are a parent and have chosen to have your baby circumcised, or are in the process of making the decision, it is always wise to consult your doctor with any questions that you may have. At Birmingham Circumcision Clinic, operating from The Laurie Pike Health Centre in Aston, we carry out circumcisions for religious, cultural and hygienic reasons and we encourage parents to contact our team at any time with any questions or queries.
Call today on 0121 250 0386 to talk to our specialist team.
Whilst most circumcised males undergo the procedure as an infant or child, it’s not uncommon for men to choose to be circumcised as adults. As well as understanding what will be involved in the surgery, along with the associated options, risks and benefits, there are also a number of things that adults will need to do before undergoing the adult circumcision procedure to ensure that they are fully ready and prepared.
Preparing for adult circumcision surgery
- Inform your doctor of all medicines and natural health supplements that you take. Some medicines and products can increase the risk of bleeding during surgery, or interfere with anaesthesia. You may need to stop taking certain medicines a week or so before surgery, for example, if you take blood thinners, your doctor will tell you stop taking these medicines. It’s essential to fully understand what your doctor wants you to do and why.
- You should avoid eating or drinking at least 6 hours prior to surgery if you will be under general anaesthetic. This doesn’t apply for patients under local anaesthetic.
- Men are advised to clean and shave the pubic area before surgery for hygiene reasons. It’s also recommended that you bring tight fitting underwear to wear after the circumcision procedure as this helps to keep the surgical gauze in place. Tight underwear should be worn after the procedure until the swelling and soreness reduces.
- You should arrange for someone to drive you home after the operation. After any kind of anaesthetic, general or local, it’s not advisable to drive on the same day as your reactions are likely to be slower than normal.
- Avoid alcohol in the 48 hours before your circumcision as alcohol can prevent anaesthetic from being fully effective. Alcohol can also leave you dehydrated.
- Ensure that you have arranged time off work to allow you to recover from the circumcision procedure. To help you to heal and recover as quickly as possible, rest is important. The discomfort associated with surgery can also be a big distraction at work, so a few days off are always a good idea, especially if your job includes manual work. Your GP can provide a sick note that states you are having minor surgery if you feel embarrassed about telling your employer about your circumcision.
- If you are a smoker, it’s advisable to stop smoking before your surgery as this can interfere with the healing process.
If you have questions about the adult circumcision procedure, you can contact the specialist team at Birmingham Circumcision Clinic today. For help and guidance, call 0121 250 0386.
Whether you have decided to have your son circumcised for hygiene, medical, cultural or social reasons, it’s perfectly normal to be a little nervous about the circumcision procedure and caring for your baby’s penis afterwards until it heals. However, whilst the penis may appear fragile, infant circumcision is a simple operation and is much less traumatic than some parents might imagine.
In most cases, circumcision in babies is usually carried out within 10 days after birth. At Birmingham Circumcision Clinic, our youngest patient to date has been 4 days old. Providing that your baby weighs more than 2.5kg, circumcision is safe, unless there is a contraindication to say otherwise. Once the operation is complete, your son’s circumcised penis will normally heal in around 7 to 10 days. In the mean-time, you should be sure to follow these instructions:
Keep the penis clean
This is the most important element of circumcision care for newborn babies. Whenever you change your child’s nappy, be sure to gently wipe away any faeces or urine, using warm water and unscented soap rather than a baby wipe. Until your child’s penis is healed, stick to sponge baths rather than getting the area wet in a bath. To avoid irritating the wound, leave the area to dry naturally.
Keep the penis protected
After the circumcision surgery, a light gauze with petroleum jelly is placed on your son’s penis, however, this will normally fall off the next time that they urinate. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace this with a clean dressing to help keep the penis clean until it heals.
Make sure your child is healing properly
It is perfectly normal for the tip of a circumcised baby’s penis to appear red and a small amount of yellowish secretion is also expected – this means that the body is healing the area. Even a small amount of blood shouldn’t ring alarm bells. However, there are a number of symptoms that you should look out for:
- Continued bleeding
- Redness that persists for more than 5 days after the operation
- Yellow discharge that lasts for more than a week after the operation
- Fluid-filled sores
- Trouble urinating normally
- Signs of fever
Once your baby’s circumcision is healed, it’s important to continue to keep the penis clean by wiping away any stool or urine and bathing your child regularly, gently wiping the groove under the head of the penis.
At Birmingham Circumcision Clinic, your surgeon will always discuss aftercare in detail and provide you with an extensive written guide so that you will know what to expect once you get home.
To book an appointment, you can call our administrative team on 0121 250 0386, or if you prefer, leave a voice message or send us an email to request a call back at a time that best suits you.