How to Manage Pain During Circumcision

Genital Circumcision Clinic uses advanced pain management techniques that vary based on the age of the person receiving care. Everyone knows that is always painful during and after genital Circumcision, so in this post I will be discussing how to deal with the pains

Pain control is OUR priority for ALL patients. To manage discomfort and pain following each procedure, we select options based on the patient’s age and weight.

For all ages, performing a circumcision can produce significant discomfort if done without the use of an anesthetic.


Following the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Urological Association recommendations, Gentle Circumcision Clinic uses pain medicine for babies undergoing circumcision.

Newborns and babies under the age of 1 year receive an injectable anesthetic to numb the pain to the foreskin of the penis.

We also use numbing cream to minimize the discomfort of the anesthetic injection. The injection is much like the vaccines your child receives during routine office visits.

Some practitioners may use EMLA cream®, a numbing agent that they apply to the foreskin before performing the procedure. Parents may give oral medications such as Tylenol® infant drops or infant Motrin® drops.

Older babies receiving circumcisions feel pain, just like older children and adults. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports many parents to undertreat their child’s pain following procedures like circumcisions.

Both acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Motrin®) can provide relief from mild to moderate pain. The patient may take them alone, or they may alternate the two types of medications as per the doctor’s orders.


For older children, we can perform circumcisions under local or general anesthesia.

Local anesthesia involves the injection of anesthetic medications on or around a nerve to control pain in a specific area of the body. We may use them in combination with a sedative medication for pain management during circumcision.

Nerve blocks are safe and effective options for those who do not desire general (sleep) anesthesia. Fortunately, patients rarely experience side effects to local anesthetics, but possible allergic reactions may occur. The majority of these reactions will be a skin rash, with or without itching symptoms.

Teens and Adults

For teens and adults receiving circumcisions, pain management begins with oral medication taken 30 minutes before the circumcision so it can be immediately effective.

Then, we inject a local numbing anesthetic into the fat at the base of the penis. The anesthetic is similar to what you receive at the dentist.

The procedure does not begin until the area is completely numb. We may use local anesthesia in this age group when they don’t use general anesthesia.

It works by temporarily blocking the pain pathways that connect the spinal cord to the brain. For this reason, the patient does not recognize the pain sensation.

After we complete the procedure, we prescribe oral pain relievers to ensure a pain-free healing process.

You may substitute or combine an extra-strength version of Tylenol® or Motrin® (under doctor supervision) to help ensure pain-free healing. Patients can continue this recommendation for up to 24hrs.

Getting Back to Life

Most patients can:

  • Resume normal activities in 24 hours
  • Return to work in 48 hours
  • Resume fitness activities including weight-lifting in seven days

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