Circumcision is the operation to remove the foreskin. Circumcision is not risk free. It's important to find out about the potential risks as well as potential benefits when considering circumcision.
Key points about circumcision
- circumcision is the operation to remove the foreskin (the flap of skin naturally covering the tip of the penis)
- there are conflicting points of view about the risks as well as the possible benefits of circumcision
- there is no advantage from male circumcision, unless for medical reasons
- if circumcision is carried out, it should be done in a safe, child-friendly environment by an appropriately trained competent practitioner, capable of dealing with the complications, and using appropriate pain relief
- circumcision is not risk free - parents and caregivers should be informed of potential risks as well as potential benefits when considering circumcision
You might find it helpful to read about foreskin care
Making a decision about circumcision
The Paediatrics and Child Health Division of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has developed a parent information leaflet (revised February 2012) to help parents make an informed decision about circumcision. The information has come from medical and scientific research that has been carefully examined to make sure you have the right information about the risks and benefits.
A group of doctors, nurses and parents have put this information together and they strongly support and recommend you talking more to your family doctor or paediatrician. The Paediatrics and Child Health Division of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians believes that newborn baby boys and young infants do not need to be circumcised, unless there is a medical reason.
Check a RACP parent information leaflet (PDF, 86KB)
Information on circumcision at an Australian parenting website
Read more about circumcision at the Raising Children website
This page last reviewed 19 August 2022.
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