Does circumcision hurt?

Many guys are understandably concerned when the idea of circumcision comes up. Surgery of any kind on one of our most sensitive body parts is scary!

Pain during circumcision

The good news is that, on the whole, circumcision is less painful than you think it is. Thanks to modern science, surgeons have access to anaesthetics that can completely numb your penis during surgery.

Anaesthetics numb an area but they do not remove sensation completely. Whilst you will not feel pain during your circumcision, you can still feel the sensation of touch.

If the anaesthetic starts wearing off during surgery and you start to feel pain, make sure to let your surgeon know so that he can top it up.

(You can find out more about the differences between local and general anaesthetics in this article.)

Pain after circumcision

Again, many guys find that healing is less painful than they expect.

You may experience some pain in the hours after your surgery, once the anaesthetic has worn off. This is completely normal, and you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol (aceteminophen) or ibuprofen as needed. Some doctors also sometimes prescribe stronger painkillers but this isn’t always necessary.

After twenty-four hours the immediate pain of the surgery should have subsided. However, you may find that your newly exposed penis is more sensitive to rubbing or chafing against the fabric of your underwear, for example. This can be especially painful if you have had phimosis and your penis has never been exposed before.

You may also find that the head of your penis starts to peel during this period. You can find out more about this here.

If you are finding this period particularly difficult then it can be helpful to wear tight-fitting underwear to avoid accidental contact. You can also apply some vaseline to the head of the penis to stop it sticking to your underwear.

After several weeks your body will adjust to the sensation over a period of several weeks and you will no longer even notice the feeling of your penis rubbing in your underwear.

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