Studies on circumcision

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Work in progress: The following information does not claim to be complete. More content will be added gradually.

The topic of circumcision has caused a great deal of research and studies. This article lists interesting studies on various aspects.


  • 1986: Lidocaine does not significantly reduce the adrenal cortisol response to surgery in newborns

"Eleven male newborns were circumcised with a local dorsal penile nerve block, and 13 controls were circumcised without anesthetic. Matched pairs of pre- and postcircumcision cortisol levels in the two groups were compared. The adrenal cortisol response to surgery was not significantly reduced by the administration of lidocaine."

REFjournal Williamson / Nolan Donovan Evans (1 August 1986): Neonatal Cortisol Response to Circumcision with Anesthesia, in: Sage journals. 25(8):412-415, DOI. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  • 2004: Pain relief for neonatal circumcision

"Circumcision is a painful procedure frequently performed on newborn baby boys without using pain relief. Available treatments include dorsal penile nerve block (DPNB), which involves injecting anesthetic at the base of the penis. Ring block is another form of penile block."

REFjournal Brady-Fryer, B. / N. Wiebe / J.A. Lander (19 July 2004): Pain relief for neonatal circumcision, in: Cochrane Library, DOI. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  • 2015: Babies experience pain 'like adults' [1]

"Dr. Slater states that their findings stand in contrast with previous understandings of infant pain. "In fact, some people have argued that babies' brains are not developed enough for them to really 'feel' pain, any reaction being just a reflex," she says. "Our study provides the first really strong evidence that this is not the case."

REFjournal Slater, Rebeccah, et al. (21 April 2015): fMRI reveals neural activity overlap between adult and infant pain, in: eLife, DOI. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  • 2016: Babies remember pain

"In the last two decades, a dozen studies have reported infant reactions to circumcision. All reveal stress, manifest in the tripling and quadrupling of normal cortisol levels in the bloodstream, changes in heart rate, the oxygen content of tissues, frequency of crying, disturbances of sleep, and inability of babies to calm themselves..."

REFweb Chamberlain, David B. (19 January 2016). Babies Remember Pain, Kindred Media. Retrieved 27 October 2019.

Late effects of circumcision


  1. REFweb McIntosh, James (21 April 2015). World-first MRI study shows babies experience pain 'like adults', Medical News Today. Retrieved 27 October 2019.