How to prepare for your circumcision as an adult

Circumcision can be a scary topic, but there are several steps you can take to make your circumcision as stress-free as possible.

Remember, it is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. This guide should help you plan for the days and weeks leading up to your circumcision.

In the weeks leading up to your circumcision

Get informed about circumcision styles

Did you know that there are many different types of circumcision styles?

Whilst you may not always have a choice in what style you get – in some cases, medical conditions prevent your surgeon from getting certain styles – you should research which style you would prefer and discuss the matter with your surgeon, who will be able to advise whether you preference is possible.

Our guide to different circumcision styles is here.

Purchase pain killers

It’s important to be prepared for after your circumcision, and having a variety of common pain killers at home means you have one less think to think about.

In general, circumcision is not very painful and over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol (aceteminophen) will be all you need. Do not use aspirin, as this is a blood thinner and can lead to prolonged bleeding.

You may also find that your surgeon prescribes you stronger painkillers. This is not always necessary but you may wish to discuss this with them.

Stop smoking

Smoking can increase the time it takes for your circumcision to heal.

Smokers have slower healing times because less oxygen can travel to the incision. Nicotine also has negative effects and can change the way your red blood cells and platelets operate.

Smoking can also affect how much anaesthetic you need if you are going under a general anaesthetic (ie. being put to sleep.) If you smoke, you need more anaesthetic and it will also take you longer to recover from the anaesthetic.

If possible, you should try to quit smoking eight weeks before your surgery.

Don’t drink alcohol

As with smoking, it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol for 24-48 hours before and after your circumcision surgery.

Arrange any time off work or school

In most cases, you are unlikely to need any time off work or school unless your job requires you to do strenuous physical labour or exercise.

However, you may wish to inform your school or work place that you may need to take a couple of days off just in case you find the following days painful or uncomfortable. You can read more about taking time off work or school for circumcision here.

Arrange for someone to pick you up

Most circumcisions are performed under a local anaesthetic, but if you have opted for a general anaesthetic then you should arrange for someone to pick you up from the clinic after your surgery, as you will not be able to drive 24-48 hours after.

On the day of your circumcision

Shower & wash yourself

For hygiene reasons, it’s important to make sure your penis and the surrounding area is clean before you head to the surgery, as this will help to create a sterile environment for your surgeon and reduce the chance of infection.

Take a shower if you can and make sure to wash your penis and balls with soap. If you cannot take a shower, make sure to wash it with a flannel, soap and water.

Shave or trim your pubic hair

If you have pubic hair, it is worth taking the time to shave or trim it. This will let your surgeon get a better look at your penis and also make their life easier when they come to performing the circumcision surgery.

Let your surgeon know what medication you are on

It is important to let your surgeon know if you are taking any medication or health supplements, as these could impact the effectiveness of the anaesthetics or any drugs you are prescribed.

Discuss your preferred circumcision style

If you haven’t already (and even if you have), it is worth discussing which style of circumcision you would like to have with your surgeon.

Once the surgery starts it is too late, so make sure to do so before they start!

What to do after your circumcision?

If you found this guide useful then you may also like our guide on circumcision aftercare and how to ensure you heal as quickly as possible.

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