Circumcision should be a decision of the parents. This decision may be based on religion, culture, ethnicity, medical considerations, or individual choice.
- The religions of Islam and Judaism require circumcision. For the special needs of the Jewish circumcision please see the web site pertaining to Brit Millah.
- As for the cultural, ethnic or individual choice for circumcision, these issues should be left to the parents.
- Medical considerations are numerous:
- Cancer of the Penis. This disease, which can be fatal, is non-existent in circumcised males.
- Urinary Tract Infections. Urinary tract infections are significantly reduced in the first year of life in circumcised males.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). The transmission of STDs is significantly reduced when the male partner is circumcised. This includes HIV (AIDS). In the 7th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, held in Vancouver, beginning January 30, 2000, a study by Calvin Cohen, MD was reported. This study was entitled, Ongoing Transmission: Causes, Cases, and Correlate - Viral Load and Risk of Heterosexual HIV Transmission. In this study, the following was reported:
'''Of note, they reported that the risk of male-to-female transmission was the same as female-to-male, both showing about a 12% risk per year. A higher risk was noted in uncircumcised males, with a rate of 16.7%, while there were no seroconversions observed in the circumcised men (probability less than .0001).
- Medically Necessary Circumcisions. Approximately 10% of uncircumcised males will require circumcision, later in life, for medical reasons. This will incur greater cost and morbidity than infant circumcision. There are many absolute medical indications for circumcision:- phimosis, paraphimosis, repeated episodes of balanitis and balanoposthitis, hygienic care considerations, painful intercourse due to foreskin problems. Men who become quadriplegic or senile often have problems with urination. These men will require the use of an external aid in order to drain their bladders. Urologists agree that placement of such an external aid or appliance can only be done on a circumcised penis thereby requiring surgery at this late stage in life. Even the uncircumcised senile nursing home resident, who does not need an appliance, still requires the indignities of having a health care aide administer his daily penile hygiene. Late circumcision exposes the patient to risk of morbidity and mortality far greater than in the neonatal period. Obviously, the psychic damage in the young child or man is avoidable when infant circumcision has already been accomplished.
- Further information may be found by visiting the Medicirc.org website. Click here.