Pediatricians’ Stance on Circumcision Changes – Again!

circumcision

An updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is asking parents to include the following medical information, along with their cultural, religious, and ethical beliefs, when deciding whether or not to circumcise their newborn boys.

The AAP says, “they want parents to know that the benefits of the procedure outweigh its small risks. But they stop short of recommending the surgery, which removes the foreskin of the penis, for every newborn boy.”

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Another group of doctors endorsing this new policy is The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The old policy, published in 1999, questioned the necessity, medically speaking, of male circumcision, which caused Medicaid to deny coverage for the procedure.  Now, however, the newer policy, much like the even older 1989 policy, supports the procedure and related health benefits.

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The benefits of male circumcision include: Decreased rate of “transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, herpes, simplex, and human papillomavirus (HPV)”; reduced “rate of urinary tract infections, especially in the first year of life”; reduced risk of penile cancer; and a reduced risk of “cervical cancer in sexual partners.”

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According to this article, “the new policy statement also says the benefits of circumcision warrant coverage by third-party payers like Medicaid and insurance companies.”

The possible risks of the procedure include potential infection and small bleeding, but it sounds like the benefits strongly outweigh those possibilities. Do you agree?

With this new information, how do you feel about male circumcision? Did you, or will you, circumcise your newborn boy?

What do you think?

Pediatricians’ Stance on Circumcision Changes – Again!

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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255 comments

  1. Profile photo of AnnaBanana AnnaBanana says:

    First of all I work in the labor and delivery unit at a hospital and sometimes help with circumcisions and the baby is numb the entire time and long enough after that they don’t feel any pain. Sometimes theyre a little bit fussier afterward but if you take care of it right they should be totally fine so its not a matter of parents harming their children. It is actually much more painful to get circumcised when you are older.

  2. Profile photo of MarkDelay MarkDelay says:

    Moved here from Manila a few years ago, I did not have our sons circumcised, I feel it is the choice of the child when he comes of age, I do believe the AAP is pushed by the Jewish faith to make this kind of statement. Circumcision of any child should be illegal.

  3. Profile photo of sammie sammie says:

    Hmmm, that’s funny Crystal. But statistics show that 9 out of 10 women who have been with both intact and circumcised men, prefer intact.

  4. Profile photo of Lori Lori says:

    People wouldn’t think twice about circumcising their baby girls, so WHY would you do something so horrific to a helpless baby boy!! Circumcision makes me so angry!!! I have 2 uncircumcised little boys and they are just fine and we educate them on cleaning as they are getting older!

  5. Profile photo of Crystal Crystal says:

    CIRCUMCISE! CIRCUMCISE!THAT AINT COOL NOT TO!JUST SAYING FROM A WOMANS POINT OF VIEW ON THE SEXUAL SIDE WHEN THEY GET OLDER.

  6. Profile photo of sammie sammie says:

    People REALLY need to do some research on circumcision, before they just hand over their baby boy. It is NOT cleaner or healthier to be circumcised, in fact quite the opposite. Circumcision is damaging. The foreskin has many functions, did you know that? It’s not just a "stinky" piece of useless skin. It has sexual and protecting functions. Have you (general) ever watched a circumcision video? For anyone who thinks circumcision is just a little snip off the tip, please watch a video. And as long as an intact penis is given the proper care, which is very simple, leave it alone, infections/problems are VERY rare. Never, ever retract the foreskin to clean under it. That’s when all the infections we hear about come into play. Forcibly retracting the foreskin can and does cause life long problems. Until the boy is retractable, and can retract his foreskin, rinse his penis off, and replace the foreskin HIMSELF, it should NEVER be done. A penis is designed to have a foreskin, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Just like a clitoris is meant to have a clitoral hood. They are not meant to be removed.

  7. Profile photo of sammie sammie says:

    @adwd1229, sounds like you are circumcising the wrong penis. If your husband wished he was circumcised, than why don’t he get circumcised? Your son may not wish to be circumcised. Most of the men in the world (over 80%) are not circumcised, and don’t wish to be. Most intact men love their foreskin. I mean it is the most sensitive and pleasurable part of the penis. It has more erogenous nerve endings than the clitoris.

  8. Profile photo of shauna shauna says:

    if god had a purpose for men being circumcised, i’m pretty sure they would have never been born with foreskin to begin with.
    having foreskin doesn’t make a man unclean, that’s pure hogwash.

  9. Profile photo of shauna shauna says:

    i think circumcision is mutilation. sorry, but my husband is not, and its perfectly fine and healthy, and actually protects the penis, and helps maintain sensitivity and sexual pleasure.
    you can clean the area same as you can clean any other part of the body, so risk of infection is a severely weak argument. when women in 3rd world african countries are having their clittoris cut, we in the western world are quick to call it EXACTLY what it is, female genital mutilation. circumcision is not different. and if you think they can’t feel it because they are just babies, you would be hugely mistaken. they scream, its horrifyingly painful, and they are given no choice in the matter. they come into this world trusting their parents not to do them harm, but right off the bat half of the american parents of newborn baby boys do. misinformation is partly to blame. perhaps thinking its more ‘attractive’ is also factored in, but rest assured, the penis looks exactly the same circumcised or not once the foreskin is pulled back. shame on any perdiatrician who would actually reccomend such horrible thing be done to a defenseless creature. just awful and barbaric!

  10. Profile photo of drgscott62 drgscott62 says:

    The AAP is more concerned with letting their unethical practitioners get more money (directly or via insurance) than with following the Hippocratic Oath (the ethical practitioners won’t do a surgery that is not medically necessary to a hopeless infant — if an adult wishes to do it, that is their own choice, albeit perhaps a foolish one, just like some types of cosmetic surgery). Do the research — or come to the website for ExistencePS.org — and you will see how many other countries have banned Male Genital Mutilation, aka the euphemism circumcision. As a PhD I have lost much respect for the medical profession over this issue and will be advocating a boycott of any physician who continues to do the procedure. Consider this q: If STD’s are the reason for having the surgery, there is no reason to do the procedure on children, who will not be having sex. Let an adult choose the procedure if he is so concerned about STD’s, but don’t foist it on a child, just as civilized people don’t foist female circumcision on young girls.

  11. Profile photo of Adwd1229 Adwd1229 says:

    My husband is not circumcised but we are having a boy in about a month and he will be circumcised. We both agreed on it. My husband wishes he was.

  12. I have had two boys that I did get circumcised (against my better judgement), it was my first husbands wish to get them done, and I didn’t argue a whole lot back then (19 and 17 years ago). My second son’s foreskin grew back a little. My father and his brother are not done as well as my Grandfather, neither are my four nephews. They have never had any problems. I have a 9 month old girl now with my second husband and we are going to have another baby. If it is a boy, he will not be circumcised. I feel that they are born with it for a reason, and I’m not going to put them through the pain of a circumcision. If they want to get it done later in life, it will be their choice. I don’t think we should make that decision for them. I regret having my two older boys done, especially since my youngest son’s partially grew back. That also happened to my cousin’s baby and she has to get his done again. Horrible! I say leave them as they are when they are born.

  13. Profile photo of ErinF ErinF says:

    I’d be interested in seeing the studies showing the correlation between STIs and intact males. What do they believe is the cause? Were there other correlating factors, such as socioeconomic status, access to health care and education, access to clean water and other barriers to hygiene? Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. The US is one of the few developed nations that still routinely circumcises infant boys, and our STI rates are the highest of all the developed nations, according to the CDC. Before making the decision to permanently alter my son’s body, I’d want to do a lot more research and have more reliable studies on hand.

  14. Profile photo of marylove marylove says:

    I had both my first two circumcised and I will have this one done too… My niece’s husband is not and she gets infections from him a lot more than I get from my husband… If the boy is not taught how to clean himself the right way, infections will happen a lot more… I feel it’s up to the parents and if someone told me they were against it, I wouldn’t try to force my veiws on them like I would hope someone wouldn’t do to me!

  15. Profile photo of Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    I’m sorry, but when did circumcision truly prevent disease? Sexually transmitted disease is prevented by NOT HAVING SEX! It’s really appalling that so many people are stupid enough to believe that garbage.

    I am PROUD that I have kept my son WHOLE and INTACT, and has been healthy and has no UTI’s so far. There’s NO extra work to caring for an INTACT penis, and for anyone who thinks it’s healthier, or looks better, or it’s easier to clean – wow – obviously, you’ve never had to deal with an intact penis and really have NO CLUE.

    AAP – Stop spreading LIES.

    Furthermore, I really don’t care who cuts their kid’s penis at birth or not – I am personally anti-circumcision, but if a friend came to me to ask my opinion, the ONLY reason I will accept for cutting a child’s penis is religious beliefs. Otherwise, don’t bother asking me. I won’t push it – but I stand where I stand.

  16. Profile photo of Sarai Sarai says:

    We had our son circumcised when he was 3 weeks old and any other boys we have will be too.

  17. Profile photo of marichinno marichinno says:

    I got my son circumcised when he was a week old and now we are pregnant with another boy and we are planning to have circumcised as well.

  18. I totally agree that circumcision is more hygienic and it looks healthier than not being circumcised. I am not Jewish but I think God had a good propose for boys/men being circumcised. If they wouldn’t than there would probably be less Israelites due to disease related to unclean men and women having to catch whatever the men had.

  19. Profile photo of Bebe+Emmys Bebe+Emmys says:

    The only reason I got my son done was because it was medically needed at 1 year. If it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t have done it. And I won’t do it if I have another boy every unless the same reason, medically needed. It’s not hard to keep things clean which will help stop with the UTI’s and such. As for the STD’s, I’m calling BS. Just because you remove some skin, doesn’t mean it’s going to prevent you from getting one! I mean really! By the way, my son NEVER had a UTI or anything like that within the first year. Also, the skin you are cutting off, has most of their feeling down there. They give 2 things as risks, and there are so much more!!! I’m hearing more and more of bad circumcisions where they have to be redone because they messed up the first one. I think the problem lies in the fact that most pedi’s don’t know how to handle a non-circumcised boy anymore.

  20. Profile photo of Sarah-Jane Sarah-Jane says:

    My husband and I have discussed this at length and we both agree on circumcision for any boys we have in the future. We both feel the good outweighs the bad – which are small to none. I am so tired of hearing people argue against it!

  21. Profile photo of Jeanetta Jeanetta says:

    I’m pregnant with a girl, but if I was pregnant with a boy I would diffidently get him circumcised.

  22. Profile photo of Brittney Brittney says:

    When I was pregnant with my little man, one of the first things I thought of was will i get him Circumcised? I left that decision up to the baby’s dad who I was with at the time. My lil man was circumcised in the hospital and I don’t regret it at all. It doesn’t bother me at all if he was or wasn’t, and it doesn’t bother me what other moms decide to do with their sons, but I’d wish everyone would get off my case about what I did with mine.

  23. Profile photo of Allison Allison says:

    I just had my first baby. A beautiful boy that I had circumcised at 5 days old, and I am so glad I did.
    I find it sad that so many people on her are acting ignorant and rude. I feel that it is every parents right to chose whether they want to circumcise or not.
    I know as a first time mom, and being told I would never have children I want to do the best by my son. I researched and spoke with many doctors, pediatricians and STD knowledgeable people as possible before I made my choice. They have found some new links to the type of cells that the foreskin is made of and that it is more favorable to STD’s. I truly feel that before you run your mouth you do some research yourself.
    I am sorry if anyone feels that this is rude or inappropriate in any way. I truly feel that some of the comments that have been written before my post are highly offensive and rude.
    I state again that I am not criticizing anyone for there choice.

  24. Profile photo of Rachel Rachel says:

    I totally agree with you, I have an 18 month old son who isn’t circumcised and it was so hard to find a doctor for him that wasn’t against it, I wasn’t going to let a doctor who was against non-circumcision take care of my son. I am currently pregnant with our second son and he will not be circumcised either. My OB-GYN told me when I was pregnant with our first boy that it is not medically necessary to circumcise a baby boy and that what ever my husband was is what we should do because he would know how to care for it and essentally be teaching our son how to care for it as well.

  25. Profile photo of Diana Diana says:

    Well i have dealt with little boys who were not circumcized..there are 13 years between me and my little brother, neither of which are circumcized. They did have more UTI’s and a lot of other issues growing up bc they didnt clean themselves appropriately…i remember holding my baby brother when he was 5 while he cried cuz it hurt to pee..but back then mom wasnt in there making sure he cleaned himself good. Now bc of that my husband and I did have our son circumcized. I think this is up to mathe families. As parents only we know what is best for our children..same for all other parents. All we can do is the research and make the best informed decisions we can

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