Monday, March 15, 2010

RISK/benefit of circumision

Benefits of circumcision:
-Reduces the risk of urinary track infections(but many times you won't read that the chance of boys getting UTI's is about 1% and most of those 1% are premature babies and those babies are at increased risk for all types of infections). Plus and occasional UTI is no reason to operate on a child
-Reduces the risk of penile cancer. Penile cancer is rare, the chance of getting it is less than 1%. The American Cancer society even states that they do not recommend circumcision as a way to reduce the chance of penile cancer. Not to mention we do not remove any other part of a newborn in case of cancer as an adult.
-Some studies have show a slight decrease in some STDs and HIV transmission. Although i am finding more articles saying otherwise, but lets say for arguments sake this proves a solid beneift, it is not a 100% form of protection, not even close. Abstinence and condoms are the best way to prevent HIV/STDs. A point that i struggle with when looking at articles that do support this however is: Europe has a very low circumcision rate, yet their HIV rate is lower than the USA(which has a higher circumcision rate). Maybe Europeans are just smarter or picky about their partners. Plus i say, if an adult male feels this is a great measure to protect himself, then he can choose to circumcise himself with his full consent.

*It isn't cleaner to be circumcised, that is just a myth started years ago.

-Complications from faulty surgical equipment
-Infection-particularly the hard to treat MRSA
-Poor cosmetic appearance
-Rash and irritation
-Buried penis(penile shaft buried below the surface of the pubic skin)
-abnormal downward bend of the penis
-narrowing of the urine channel(urethra) at the top of the penis
-Skin bridges(foreskin reattaching to the penis, which was exactly Hunter's problem and as you know it has been a big problem)
-Death(yes rare, but it does happen)
-Too much bleeding
-Some evidence shows reduce sexual pleasure(seeing as the foreskin has nerve endings)
I'll be honest, MANY babies circumcised come home healthy and with minimal to no problems. But the number that do, is probably higher than you'd think. It can be as high as 10%according to some studies. And some complications are not seen until adulthood and a man becomes sexually active and some men are too embarrassed to admit it. I have said it before and I will say it again. It is one thing for your child to have life long problem/death from a surgery that would have improved/saved his life. Circumcision does neither of these.

Side NOTE: I have had people say that their grandfather(older relative) has had problems keeping his foreskin clean after he reaches a certain age. At this point, it smells and gets infected. To that i say: IF that is true, i know if i were a man, I'd choose having to live with that for 5-10 years than living my whole life from a complications of circumcision. I realize a complication may not happen, but i also realize neither could the elderly infection/smell occur.

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