Determining the Best Age for Circumcision Surgery

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Determining the Best Age for Circumcision Surgery



Updated on February 08, 2024

Medically verified by Dr. Arya

Fact checked by Dr. Pournami

best age circumcision surgery


6 min read

If the baby is older, we recommend that he be given anaesthesia so there is less pain and risk of injury to the penis.

As children get older, they become more aware of their sexual organs, so there are more psychological impacts associated with the surgery, and children become fearful.

Are you confused about when to get your child circumcised? Do not worry any more.

In this blog, we will talk about the best age to go for it and explain you certain things that you should be mindful of.

What is circumcision?

First thing first, what is circumcision? By now you may already know that circumcision removes the foreskin covering the glans (head) of the penis.

Usually, babies undergo circumcision shortly after birth. Circumcision began as a religious rite. Today, people get circumcised for religious, medical and cultural reasons.

Many baby boys get circumcised, usually within the first week of life. Adults can get circumcised as well, though it’s less common.

When is the best age to do it?

The truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Here's the lowdown on the different options:

  • Newborn stage (within the first few days): This is the most common time, especially in hospitals. The baby's still adjusting to life outside the womb, so it's generally thought to be less stressful.

  • Later in infancy(up to a few months): Some families choose to wait a bit, giving the baby time to heal from childbirth and settle into their routine.

  • Childhood or adulthood: This is less common, but some families or individuals decide to undergo the procedure later in life.

What are the pros and cons of each timing?

Newborn:Quicker healing, less anaesthesia needed, lower risk of complicationsCan be stressful for the baby, possible discomfort during healing.
Later in infancy:More time for the baby to adjust, parents can make a more informed decision.Requires anaesthesia, potentially higher risk of complications, longer healing time.
Childhood/adulthood:Time to make an informed decision, may be easier to manage pain.Requires general anaesthesia, longer recovery time, potentially more complex procedure.

Choosing the Right Time

  • Consider religious or cultural practices: Some traditions have specific guidelines for circumcision timing. Discuss your beliefs and preferences with your healthcare provider and religious leaders.

  • Weigh the benefits and risks: Talk to your doctor about the potential health benefits and risks of circumcision at different ages. Discuss any medical conditions that might influence the timing.

  • Prioritise your child's well-being: Ultimately, the decision should be based on what you feel is best for your son's physical and emotional well-being. Consider your family's dynamics, your child's temperament, and any logistical factors.

Circumcision at the age of 7 days

Circumcision at the age of 7 or 8 days is held as the ideal time for circumcision in many religions and cultural traditions.

We would have to agree that this may have been an excellent age to perform circumcision with older methods of circumcision. Where bleeding and poor healing were significant complications and delaying circumcision may further increase the risk of these complications occurring.

However, the Plastibell device seems to perform best between one and three months but is also regularly performed on babies younger than one month safely and effectively.

Circumcision at the IMC can be performed on boys from the age of 7 days old, provided they are fit and well.

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What if your child is now older than four months?

Circumcision for any age is generally a minor, well-tolerated procedure.

However, we recommend using a circumcision service that routinely provides adequate local anaesthetic to make the procedure as pain-free as possible.

Adequate oral pain relief should be used in the recovery period which can last up to two weeks (Calpol is the one we give to parents at the IMC).

We also recommend pain-relieving anti-inflammatory ointments.

For children, the environment and attitudes of parents and carers also play a big role in how comfortable a child is during a circumcision.

We recommend you read the advice on how to prepare your son for a comfortable circumcision experience here.

How it’s done

Newborn circumcision is a very brief procedure. For an adult, however, the surgery is slightly more involved. It can take between 30 minutes and an hour.

An anesthesiologist will administer medication to help sedate you. Depending on your preferences, you may receive general anaesthesia or more localised anaesthesia.

During the procedure, the doctor will move the foreskin away from the head of the penis and then back onto the shaft. They’ll take measurements of exactly how much skin they need to remove.

Then, the doctor will use a scalpel to cut the skin. (For infant circumcision, a doctor snips the skin away from the penis with scissors or a special appliance.)

For adults, the skin will then be cauterised or stitched back to the shaft with sutures that will dissolve. When the stitches are in place and the penis is wrapped in a protective dressing, you’ll be wheeled into a recovery room.

As long as there are no immediate complications, most people can go home the day of the surgery.

What will your results be?

The results you experience from adult circumcision will largely depend on the reason you had the procedure in the first place.

If you choose to have it to stop or prevent infections or physical issues like phimosis, the procedure is typically very successful. You may not experience these again in the future.

If your circumcision was for religious reasons, you may feel more deeply personal about your beliefs after completing the procedure.

Each person’s results are different, and you may discover you were affected in other ways. For most individuals, the surgery will have no lasting impact on sexual function, urinating, or sensitivity.


1. Is circumcision painful?

The procedure is done with anaesthesia, so the baby won't feel any pain during it. There may be some discomfort during healing, but pain medication can help manage that.

2. What are the long-term benefits?

Studies suggest that circumcision may reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in babies and sexually transmitted infections in men.

3. What are the recovery times like?

Newborn circumcisions usually heal within a week or two, while older children may take a bit longer. Follow your doctor's instructions for proper care.

4. Are there any long-term effects?

Studies show potential health benefits of circumcision, such as reduced urinary tract infections and certain sexually transmitted infections. However, it's not a guarantee, and the decision should be based on individual circumstances.

Key Takeaways

Circumcision is a personal decision with no right or wrong answer.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to the "best" age for it.

It's important to weigh the risks and benefits of each option and talk to your doctor about what's right for your family.

It's important to weigh the risks and benefits of each option and talk to your doctor about what's right for your family.

The most beautiful and unproblematic circumcision period is the newborn period.

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