Circumcision Not Recommended

All males start out with a non-retractable foreskin. It is NOT a birth defect that needs surgical correction, but a natural growth process that begins in the womb and can extend well past puberty.

A nonretractile foreskin is a common concern of parents, especially since many doctors and baby-care books give them false information. In the vast majority of cases, learning about the normal development of the foreskin is sufficient reassurance that nothing is wrong.

Physiological phimosis cannot be determined until after puberty, since before puberty a nonretractable foreskin is normal.1 A tight foreskin can prevent retraction, and is usually the result of insufficient manipulation. Stretching and masturbation will alleviate the tightness.

Even then it is not problematic; one percent of intact adult men have a nonretracting foreskin.2 If the man decides he wants a retractable foreskin, topical steroid ointment has been shown to be effective in 65–95% of cases, has a low cost, with almost no complications, and is becoming the standard medical treatment. Preputioplasty to widen the opening, well-proven in Europe, is preferential to circumcision, because it provides less trauma and pain, faster recovery, and preservation of the foreskin.

This information has been reviewed by our panel of experts and other trusted advisors, however, it is not a substitute for professional medical, legal, or spiritual advice.

  1. Griffiths D, Frank JD. Inappropriate circumcision referrals by Gps. J R Soc Med. 1992;85:324–325.
  2. Øster J. Further fate of the foreskin: incidence of preputial adhesions, phimosis, and smegma among Danish schoolboys. Arch Dis Child. 1968;43:200-3.
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