Circumcision: FSA Eligibility
What is circumcision?
Circumcision is a surgical procedure to remove foreskin from the tip of a man's penis, which is performed 1-2 days after a child is born at the parent's consent. In this procedure, the foreskin is normally attached to the tip of the penis, but the incision will free it from the head of the penis, while the excess foreskin is clipped off as well, which will heal in about 5 to 7 days. This technique is popular in various parts of the world, including the United States, but it has primary roots in religious traditions like Judaism in which circumcision is performed 8 days after birth and is seen as a major ritual of the faith. While the surgery is typically done during infancy, it can be performed on adults as well (Urology Health Foundation).
Does circumcision have medical benefits?
The vast majority of the medical community is split in regards to whether new parents should consider circumcision one way or the other, but they generally agree that the benefits of circumcision typically outweighs the benefits of not pursuing the surgery. The medical benefits of circumcision include a decreased risk for urinary tract infections, a reduced risk of transferring and contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of medical conditions relating to the foreskin, including balanitis and phimosis. Additionally, it is much easier to keep the penis clean with the foreskin removed, which can help to prevent a wide variety of ailments relating to personal hygiene, such as infections and swelling.
It's important to note that after a circumcision has been performed, it is virtually impossible to recreate the look of an uncircumcised penis, so this decision is not to be taken lightly by new parents or adults wishing to go ahead with the procedure. While culture and religion may play a strong role in this determination, most parents/individuals opt for circumcision out of personal preference and to prevent a wide variety of potential health issues (National Center for Health Research).