Circumcision: To do it or not; food for thought

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The decision to circumcise or not is something that every new parent to a baby boy must decide. Historically in the US circumcision has been routine, without any religious reasons for the procedure. Circumcision is an elective procedure. In the US, approximately 60% of newborn males are circumcised, while circumcision is not common in Asia, South America, Central America, and most of Europe. (N. Dickey, M.D., Medem) That means that 40% of newborns (since 1995) are not circumcised. More recently, more parents have decided not to circumcise, due to a number of reasons. Most babies are circumcised in the US to be like their father, and to “fit in”. Here are some facts to consider when making your choice.

There are slightly fewer cases of urinary tract infections in boys aged 1 and younger who are circumcised. However the reports of uncircumcised rates are low and easily treatable. There is a slightly lower risk of contracting STDs in a circumcised male, however the most important factor in reducing the risk of contracting a STD is using proper protection, abstainance, and proper hygiene.

Circumcision is painful. Your son will need some form of pain relief. The wound can take longer than a week to heal. There are no special cleaning procedures for uncircumcised males. The foreskin will retract as the child gets older and then you will instruct your son how to clean himself just as he would if he were circumcised making sure to remove all soap.

An uncircumcised male will perfom just as well as a circumcised male during sexual activity. When the penis is erect, there will be no noticable difference in how the penis will look.

Here are some in-depth articles written by medical professionals for you to conduct further research.

Circumcision: Harvard Men’s Health Watch 6.3 (Oct 2001)

Male Circumision: Sex Transm. Inf. , 1998: 74; pg 368-373, Moses S., Bailey RC, Ronald A.

Cicumcision: Effects upon newborn behavior. Infant Behavioral Development; 1980; 3: pg 1-14

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