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When's the Best Time to Circumcise?

When's the Best Time to Circumcise?

Does Circumcision Hurt?

Any way you look at it, a circumcision isn’t going to feel good. The up side is that your baby will probably have no memory of the pain. “The central nervous system is so immature prior to two weeks that infants basically have no memory,” says Dr. Joao Pipi Salle, chief pediatric urologist at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. 

Once babies are two weeks old they become more aware and experience greater discomfort during the procedure. “There is technically no difference between performing a circumcision on a six-month-old and a nine-year-old,” says Dr. Pipi Salle. Even a one-month-old will experience great pain and trauma during a circumcision.

Because of the pain involved in circumcising babies over the age of two weeks, circumcision after this time requires a general anesthetic. Most doctors don’t like to perform this type of circumcision on any child under the age of five. “When it comes to circumcision, you should do it really early or wait,” says Dr. Pipi Salle. In fact, some experts recommend waiting until a boy can make the decision for himself. A recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal by Dr. Noni MacDonald, professor of pediatrics at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, said the procedure should be delayed until boys are old enough to consent.

Meet our experts:

Dr. Joao Pipi Salle is the Chief Pediatric Urologist at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, ON. Dr. Rui Martins performs circumcisions his private practice in Toronto, as well as Women’s