Men's Health

Are There Risks To A Circumcision?

Are There Risks To A Circumcision?

It is a procedure that takes just a few minutes to remove the foreskin of a male’s penis.This process has been associated with a number of things; some of them are true,while others are not. Depending on the circumstances, different people have viewed circumcision as an act that comes with its own benefits.
Nevertheless, there are some risks and complications associated with circumcision. These risks do vary depending on the conditions surrounding the procedure. Such factors may include:

  • Health status of the person undergoing circumcision: Since the procedure involves surgery, the health of the individual person may either increase or reduce the risks accompanied. For example, people with bleeding disorders may have a high risk of suffering after the process.
  • Time or age of circumcision: It has been noted that the age at which a person is circumcised may determine the type of risks associated.For newborns, risks and complications are very rare. For older people or adults on the other side, risks may be high since the foreskin will have grown around the head of the penis.
  • Specialist performing the procedure: It is a simple and quick procedure but requires experience and a lot of precision. The person performing the act may in one way or another either increase or decrease the risks associated.
  • Post-operative care and maintenance: To ensure that there are minimal risks, proper measures must be put in place to care for the penis as it heals.

Possible Risks To a circumcision


Infections are rare but they can be dangerous; for newborns, any infection that arises from the procedure could be serious. However, if the incision is carried out at a hospital, the risk of infection is minimal. The risk of infection for circumcision performed at a hospital under proper care is only 2%.

Meatal stenosis

It is a blockage or narrowing of the opening of the urethra. Urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the tip of the penis. The urethra carries urine and sperm outside the body. The opening of the urethra at the tip of the penis, is also called a meatus. Any blockage to its opening may cause a pain or burning sensation while urinating.It can also lead to secondary symptoms like frequent and urgent need to urinate and appearance of drops of blood in the urine.

A likely cause of narrowing of the opening can be an injury at the site of incision. In most instances, the cause has been traced to the deposition of uric acid and ammonia crystals. These crystals, found in urine, accumulate at the opening of the urethra, causing an inflammation that leads to narrowing of the meatus. Use of diapers after the incision may trigger the condition, as the crystals are left behind in the diaper every time your baby passes urine. Newborns are at greater risk of developing this condition.

 However, the risk can be highly reduced by properly taking care of your son after circumcision; this may include regular changing of the diapers and kkeping the operated area clean and safe.


The risks of such injuries are extremely rare. However, there are cases of injury to the penis during the procedure as sharp instruments are used. In rare cases, areas surrounding the penis may suffer a similar fate. In recent years, as a result of awareness and better medical facilities these risks have greatly reduced.


It is a common side-effect associated with the procedure. In normal cases, especially for infants, the pain due to incision is mild. But, for adult patients the procedure could be painful. Use of anesthesia during circumcision has become a norm to overcome this problem.

Irritation of the Exposed Penis Head

After circumcision, the head of the penis is left open and bare. The skin at the tip is very sensitive, especially, during the healing phase. As a result, a person may experience irritation and discomfort if this part rubs against clothing and even while passing urine.

Damage due to surgicalerror

Any surgical procedure is open to human error, which can lead to problems in the long-run. In some instances of circumcision, the entire foreskin is not removed properly. Small portions of it may be left behind during the procedure; these portions attached to the penis may cause pain every time the skin in the area is stretched. It can also cause pain during erection.

Sometimes, the scar tissue left behind, after the procedure, starts growing towards the tip of the penis. Besides appearance, this can also affect the functions of the organ; if the scar tissue grows back to block the opening of the penis, the individual may encounter problems in urination. A re-surgery may be required to correct the condition.

Another issue may arise, if the opening made by the incision is too small. It prevents the foreskin from retracting over the penis.

In rare cases, too much skin may be removed during the procedure or there could be excessive bleeding after the incision that may require stitches.

The Bottom Line

Surgical errors and infections were more common at the time when circumcision was carried out by traditional practitioners who lacked proper training and experience. Use of crude instruments and unhygienic conditions could cause serious damage to the organ. However, due to increase in awareness regarding the risks associated with the procedure, the percentage of people opting for the traditional circumcision practices have gone down, significantly. The prevalence of good medical facilities with hygienic environment has also contributed towards the decline in the number of infections and errors. The measures taken to improve post-operative care have resulted in quicker recoveries without any complications.

It is true that circumcision may have some risks. However, most of these risks have been minimized over time. It is also important to discuss the matter with your doctor before proceeding to get a better understanding of the procedure and post-operative care.


Circumcision should only be performed by an expert, so make sure that in order to avoid the risks, you go and seek medical advice from an expert.