The hospital is the most likely place for a newborn to have their first circumcision. While the doctor performs the procedure, the infant will be held still by restraints or Velcro bands. The doctor will clean and anesthetize the penis. After the procedure, the doctor might give the newborn an acetaminophen injection or a wrap.


The American Academy of Pediatrics published a joint report on neonatal discomfort in Pediatrics 2001. The authors cited eight references mentioning circumcision pain, but did no mention the specific issue. However, circumcision pain is one of the most common causes in infant pain in the United States. In fact, prolonged or severe pain can increase infant morbidity. It is important to understand how pain during a newborn’s neonatal period can affect the infant’s response to any subsequent painful events.

Infants will not feel severe pain after circumcision. However, the first two days can be marked by bruising and swelling. Although pain is minimal during circumcision, some patients find that using over-the counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can make it much more comfortable. Some babies may experience long-term complications such as a damaged ear, delayed micturition, or other issues.


A common postoperative problem is infection after circumcision. It typically develops on the penis and is caused by skin flora. The environment in which the penis is placed is dirty and close to stool contamination. The infection can be prevented with proper patient preparation, sterile equipment, antibiotic ointment, and proper patient hygiene. Patients must also be careful not to violate hygiene and infection control guidelines.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) recently published a report examining the occurrence of HSV-1 infections in neonates shortly after bris. The report noted that the infection in one infant was fatal, and the city has since instituted a surveillance program for HSV. Six of the reports focused on HSV-1 infection in neonates following circumcision. Thirty cases were reported between 1988-2012, including 13 in New York City and 16 in Israel. Canada had only one case.


There are many symptoms that can occur with circumcision. Your baby will likely be fussy and irritable for a few days following the circumcision. You may also notice a sore penis. The area of circumcision will be reddened and swollen with a yellow crust. It will take approximately ten days for the penis tissue to heal.

To ease your discomfort, your doctor will recommend topical pain medication and antibiotics. The anesthesia may cause nausea, vomiting and headaches. After the circumcision, you should stay off of sexual activity for at least six weeks. After the procedure, you should visit your doctor for a checkup to ensure there are no complications.

Health benefits

Male circumcision is good for your health. It can reduce your risk of HIV, and other heterosexually transmitted illnesses. The CDC, World Health Organization and CDC report a 60% reduction of HIV risk for circumcised males. Also, the removal of the penis’ foreskin makes it easier to clean, reducing the risk of germs during sexual intercourse. Additionally, men who have had circumcision have a reduced risk of contracting HPV, a virus related to cervical cancer, and they have a lower risk of developing HIV.

Before male circumcision, men need to be aware of the health benefits. Two common side effects of circumcision are embarrassment or self-consciousness from the removal of penis tissue. The procedure may result in less bleeding. Men who choose this procedure should be aware of all the health benefits. A qualified physician can circumcise a man without embarrassment and self-consciousness.