07 Nov Bonus YSS: Circumcision
Another term you may have heard floating around “out there” is circumcision. A male baby is born with a flap of skin, called the foreskin, covering the end of his penis (the glans). In the US, Canada and the Middle East, removal of this flap of skin shortly after birth (usually within the first ten days of life) is quite common. It is not as common in Europe, Asia and South America.
The skin is removed for a variety of religious, hygienic and cultural reasons. Circumcision lowers the rate of urinary tract infections (particularly in the first year of life), penile cancer (later in life) and many infections and inflammation. Growing evidence also indicates that circumcision lowers a male’s risk for obtaining an STD, especially HIV. At present, the American Association of Pediatricians states, that “the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks” but that the evidence is not strong enough to recommend routine circumcisions for all male babies.”
What are the risks? Circumcision is a surgical procedure and so it does carry risks although they are rare. Minor bleeding and local infections are the most common. The procedure is painful so some people object to it solely on those grounds (inflict pain on a baby?). But today’s doctors use anesthesia, making the procedure nearly pain free.
If you have further questions, visit http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/surgical/circumcision.html which provided us with much of this information.
Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings about circumcision here.