What is circumcision?
Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves partial or complete removal of the foreskin (prepuce) of the penis, usually shortly after birth or around puberty.
In the UK, circumcision for medical reasons is a relatively rare procedure. However, a number of people will choose circumcision for their baby or young son for religious or cultural reasons.
Planning for and coping with circumcision pain
If you are planning a non-medical circumcision you should ensure you understand exactly what the procedure will involve and what to expect. Take advice from your doctor, a practice nurse or a health visitor. In the case of Jewish circumcisions, your mohel will be happy to provide as much advice and support as you need. Some useful links are also included at the bottom of the page.
You may also be worried about the circumcision pain, particularly if the procedure is to be carried out in a non-medical setting and without anaesthetic. However, there are products you can buy which help reduce this pain. A numbing cream may help to make the procedure less painful and stressful for both you and your child.
Emla, is an easy-to-use topical anaesthetic (numbing cream). It can significantly reduce parts of the circumcision procedure when 1g dose is used and is approved for use on children from full-term birth. It contains a tried and trusted formula of two numbing ingredients, lidocaine and prilocaine.
Available from the local pharmacist, one pack of Emla contains 5g of cream and two occlusive watertight dressings.
How to use Emla to help ease circumcision pain
Emla takes approximately one hour to achieve a numbing effect, so make sure you apply the cream in advance of the procedure. Apply a fifth of the tube (1g) to the foreskin and cover with one of the dressings included in the Emla pack, ensuring the cream is covered. After one hour, remove the cream with warm water. The numbing affect will last up to 5 hours.
* We recommend you speak to the practitioner who will be carrying the circumcision procedure before using Emla.
Other useful links:
hate needles love emla
Essential Information: Emla is a topical anaesthetic cream containing a tried and trusted formula of lidocaine and prilocaine that can help numb needle pain.1 Apply 60 minutes* before the procedure. *This time may need to be adjusted depending on age, body area and procedure. Available from your local pharmacist without prescription, Emla costs £5.10 (RRP) for a two-dose pack and includes two occlusive dressings. Always read the leaflet.
Emla is a registered trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies
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