On the way to manhood, your body is going to do a lot of things that you really, really wish it wouldn’t. Pimples will pop up everywhere, and so will hair. You’ll drip sweat and you will stink. You’ll get erections when you least expect – or want – them.
Sound bad? Sure. But remember these four things:
Every boy goes through this (though not in exactly the same way or on the same schedule).
It is normal (no matter how hard that is to believe).
None of it will go on forever (even though...
When you are born, the foreskin is stuck to the penis. It separates as you grow up. This allows urine to better exit the body and lets the skin pull back when you have an erection.
How Is Circumcision Done?
Circumcision is a quick procedure. It only takes a few minutes. It may be done in the hospital or at home a few days or weeks after you are born. It is also sometimes done later in life.
The foreskin is removed, and petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) is put on the wound before it's wrapped in gauze. Complications are rare but could include:
Blockage of the urethra, the opening where urine leaves the body
Infection or poor healing
Irritation of the tip of the penis
Removal of too much or too little foreskin
Why Are Some Boys Circumcised and Others Not?
Parents decide whether or not to have a boy circumcised when he is born. Not all baby boys are circumcised.
Things that can affect your parents' decision include:
Religious or cultural beliefs. Circumcision is a Jewish and Islamic religious practice.
Social beliefs. Your parents may worry you will "look different" if you do not have this surgery done.
Fear of possible risks related to surgery.
Medical reasons. Circumcision may lower your risk of some cancers and infections.
Why Wasn't I Circumcised?
Some reasons you might not have been circumcised include:
You may have been born with a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia.
You might have been born with other problems with the penis or foreskin.
Your parents may not have felt it was necessary for religious, social, or medical reasons.
Are There Benefits to Circumcision?
There are some medical benefits with circumcision. Here are some of them:
Circumcision lowers the risk of cancer of the penis, which is very rare.
Boys and men who are circumcised have less chance of getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). An STD is a disease you catch from sexual contact. An example is AIDS.
Males who are circumcised have a slightly lower risk of getting a urinary tract infection. That's an infection affecting the bladder, kidneys, or the tubes that urine goes through as it leaves the body.
If you're circumcised, there's no worry that you'll get an infection of the foreskin.
Circumcision means you'll never get phimosis -- a condition in which very tight foreskin gets stuck to the penis.