Number of Circumcisions Have Dramatically Declined in Recent YearsWhen you're about to give birth to a boy, there's a decision that must be made-- to circumcise or not? In the past, just about all male babies were circumcised, but now circumcisions throughout the United States have decreased dramatically. According to Charge Data Master, circumcisions declined by almost 55 percent in 2010. The discussion of circumcisions among parents is now a hot debate as the once thought health benefits of circumcisions are now not believed to be as relevant, causing many parents to label circumcisions as a form of genital mutilation.
Possible Health Benefits
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are several health benefits associated with circumcision. In August of 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy stating that the risk for urinary tract infections during the first year of life is about 1 in 1000 for children who are circumcised, while the risk is every 1 in 100 for those who aren't.
Also, circumcisions appear to reduce the risk for penile cancer, add protection against sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and lower the risk for contracting HPV by as much as 40 percent. There are also findings that circumcisions aid with hygienic benefits.
The debate over the necessity of circumcisions not only stems from the possible health benefits, but the possible risks as well. Naturally, there are pain and discomfort associated with removing the foreskin; although, anesthetics are commonly used. In 2004, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews published findings that even when anesthetics are used, a baby's heart rate decreases.
Circumcisions hold the risk for infection, bleeding, scaring, curvature of the penis, and skin adhesion, which is said to occur in 2 out of 16 circumcisions according to a study published in BMC Urology.
Fuel is added to the circumcision debate as there are several lawsuits regarding mutilation and botched procedures as it's difficult for doctors to determine how much of the foreskin is to be removed.
Beneficial or Genital Mutilation?
Despite the obvious pros and cons to circumcisions, parents remain torn over whether or not the procedure is necessary. Some feel the health benefits outweigh the risks or choose circumcision for religious reasons. Others, however, feel the benefits aren't worth causing a child unnecessary pain and often place circumcisions in the same category as genital mutilation.
No matter where you stand on the debate, it's important to properly education yourself over the benefits and risks of circumcisions.
Where do you stand on the circumcision debate?