Circumcision is the surgical removal of the skin (preputium) covering the tip of the penis. Circumcision is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the world since ancient times. Circumcision has a long history and remains an integral part of various religious, cultural and social contexts today. The corpses dating back to 4000 BC, found in Egyptian tombs, provide evidence that circumcision was also performed at that time. A sixth dynasty relief (Image 1) (dating to 2345-2180 BC) showing the circumcision of adolescent boys found in Egypt reflects the first documented practice of circumcision.

In our country and around the world, circumcision is generally practiced for religious and traditional reasons. However, there are circumcision procedures performed for some medical necessity or protective purposes. The procedure is also part of personal hygiene or preventive health care. In addition to studies reporting that circumcision is protective against sexually transmitted diseases, there are publications reporting that penile cancer is more common in uncircumcised men than in circumcised men.

There are different opinions about the timing of circumcision. Scientifically, circumcision has been shown to reduce the risk of urinary tract infection 10 times in the first year. However, in the first year, the group whose risk of urinary tract infection should be reduced is boys who have kidney and/or bladder problems in ultrasounds performed in the womb. Apart from these children, newborn circumcision is a choice of the family. According to Sigmund Freud, children’s psychosocial development periods consist of certain stages. These; oral period (0-1 years), anal period (1-3 years), phallic period (3-6 years), latency period (6-12 years) and genital period (12-18 years). Among these periods, the phallic period is not recommended in terms of circumcision timing. In the phallic period, children begin to discover their sexual identities and the distinction between boys and girls becomes clear. In the phallic period, the interest in the penis is at the highest level in the boy. It is thought that circumcision performed during this period may cause anxiety about losing the entire sexual organ and may have negative effects in terms of psychosexual development. However, this view has not been scientifically based on solid foundations, and there are publications that say otherwise.

Regardless of the reason (religious, traditional, medical) or the way (local or general anesthesia) circumcision is performed, it should not be forgotten that circumcision is a surgical procedure. It should be done with suitable materials that meet the sterilization conditions in operating room conditions.

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