TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A number of myths about circumcision are still prevalent in the community, the COVID-19 Handling Acceleration Task Force's communication head, Dr. Reisa Broto Asmoro, has said.
One of these myths is that circumcision can make children grow taller or faster so they need to wait for puberty before getting circumcised, she noted.
"The most common myth about getting circumcised is that a child's height can grow faster, or children have to wait for puberty first," Asmoro remarked at a webinar here on Monday.
Circumcision is anatomical so it does not affect growth. Parents should not hesitate or be afraid to get their children circumcised considering the health benefits, she said.
"There is no need to be afraid or doubtful. I agree that to prevent (some) medical diseases, get circumcised as soon as possible," she remarked.
There is also a myth about circumcision performed by genies. This popular myth originated from a region on Java Island, she added.
Some time ago, it was reported that one child's genitals seemed like they had suddenly been circumcised after bathing—even though he had never got the foreskin of his penis removed, she noted.
"The issue of a boy circumcised by a genie that was shocking this year is impossible. Circumcision must be done by professionals," Asmoro said.
According to her, the child would certainly need medical help. He should be taken to the doctor immediately to get treatment, she said.
There was another myth that one must not run three days before circumcision to avoid heavy bleeding post-surgery, Asmoro said.
Actually, heavy bleeding is triggered if a child is too tense when undergoing the process, she explained.
If one is too tense, the heart beats faster than usual, resulting in higher discharge of blood, Asmoro added.
Some people say children who have just been circumcised should not swim in the sea, she said. This is not a myth and has been proven to be true, she underlined.
A newly circumcised penis is still in a state of injury and therefore, susceptible to infection. Seawater can aggravate wounds on the penis, making it take more time to heal, she said.
Swimming in the sea can also cause pain in the penis, she added.
"You have to know when is the time to do activities. Swimming (post-circumcision) is painful and uncomfortable. Wait a few days until the pain and wounds disappear, or for doctor's decision," she advised.
Meanwhile, regarding running after circumcision, the penis can feel discomfort due to chafing so it is necessary to be careful and avoid causing new wounds or bleeding, she added.