Pediatricians’ Stance on Circumcision Changes – Again!

Monday, August 27th, 2012 by from Buzzworthy Bulletins


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.”

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.

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.”

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!

Kim ShannonEditor

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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  1. Avatar of Samantha Samantha says:

    My son got circumsized, his old Dr. Thought I should have it done so I did, but if I have another child I Would not choose to circumsize again. His Dr. Told me I could be in the room as it was done, so I was, holding his hands an talking to him to try to keep him calm. After it was done she said it looked good. The next day at home it didn’t look right they did the plasti bill on him, it looked crooked and the head of his penis seemed to look purple. I took him back in and the dr said it was fine that’s how it’s suppose to look. The plasti bill ring fell off on day 3, it’s suppose to be on 7-10 days and fall off when ready. I switched his pediatrician and she said it never even looked like it was done. I’ve seen a specialist and the circ. has to be fixed, but he has to be 1 before it can be fixed because he has to be under full anesthesia. I know mistakes can happen but to be one the safe side I wouldn’t have it done if I have another boy.

  2. Avatar of crystal crystal says:

    I have two older boys ages 24 and 22 and i am due for my 3rd son in july. My older boys are circ. And are very healthy and my new baby boy will be also. Their father is. I feel it is the parents choice if they choose to have it done for thier son’s there is no right or wrong. Better to do it as a newborn then at the age of 10 or 13 .

  3. Avatar of Member Member says:

    This procedure is not very pleasurable for babies, but they use several methods of pain management, they wont feel the pain, only discomfort from pulling and stretching, I still think that it overweights the bigger risks if you do not circumcise. Here i’ve copied and pasted the part of the article. The videos are disturbing though, I will not disagee on that.

    What Happens During the Procedure?
    A baby is typically awake for circumcision. He is usually positioned in a molded plastic seat that helps hold him safely in place. The penis and surrounding skin are cleansed with antiseptic before the procedure begins.

    Pain-Control Measures
    Several safe and effective pain-control methods can lessen a baby’s pain during circumcision. It’s important to ask your doctor about the type of pain control your baby will have ahead of time.

    Often, the first pain-control measure will be an acetaminophen suppository inserted into the baby’s rectum. This helps reduce discomfort during the procedure and lasts for several hours afterward.

    Next, a local anesthetic is given to numb the area of the penis where the incision will be made. A topical anesthetic, which is a numbing cream, is first applied to the skin of the penis and takes up to 30 minutes to take effect.

    After the cream has numbed the area of skin, a nerve block is given. The two main types are:

    a dorsal penile nerve block (DPNB), which is a liquid medicine injected through a tiny needle into the bottom of the penis, numbing the whole penis within minutes
    a ring block, which is very similar to the DPNB, except that the numbing medication is injected at least three times in a ring pattern around the shaft of the penis
    Often several methods of pain control are used in combination. For example, doctors may first insert the suppository, then apply the topical cream, and then give the injections where the numbing cream was applied. When the injections are given after the numbing cream, your baby will feel very little as the needle goes through the skin, although the medication may burn a little as it’s being injected.

    To further reduce a baby’s stress and discomfort, the nurse may give the baby a “sucrose pacifier” (a pacifier dipped in sugar water), which has been shown to reduce newborn distress.

  4. Avatar of E E says:

    We don’t circ. Before you circ your child you should watch a video about how barbaric the procedure is.

    For those who talk about dirty teens… not every teen is dirty. The Foreskin can also serve to protect against bacteria for a “dirty” teen.

    For those who don’t want their son’s penis to vary from their DH… will they really be standing around comparing?! My DDs & I don’t stand around comparing our vaginas. If your son has a different eye color than your DH will you make him wear contacts?!

    Cutting off foreskin is like cutting off an eyelid. I can’t even tell you how many botched circs I have heard of from friends, family, etc. A child can always get one done later when THEY choose to do so. Sure it will cost more, sure it will be more painful, but they can express that, understand what is going on, & get through it.

    Tradition is putting up a Christmas tree, baking birthday cakes, etc… but cutting off someone’s foreskin?! I’d look for a new tradition to start. Not all Christians believe in circumcision. In fact Paul tell us that we can be circumcised of the flesh but not of the heart. The heart is the issue, not the flesh.

  5. Avatar of shannon shannon says:

    My husband is circumcised, and we did plenty of research and talked to a few doctors and came to the decision not to have my son circumcised. My son is now 13 and is very glad we didn’t do it. He has had no problems/issues we kept it clean when he was little and e is very good at keeping it clean himself now. We have had no UTI problems of any kind due to not being circumcised. I am pregnant again and we have decided that we will not circumcise this one either. I believe it is a personal choice for everyone to make we however are glad and my son is very glad that we did not have it done.

  6. Avatar of Jen Jen says:

    I have 3 boys. All have been circ’d. All have had local anesthesia and didn’t feel a thing. I know this because I was in the room watching the entire time. I am a Christian and believe in keeping the tradition. I also think that plays a big part in the added health benefits. My first son just watched the Dr and my second slept through the whole thing. It is not a big deal when it’s done this way. They won’t ever remember either. We were even lucky to have a Dr pray with us before one of them! That made it extra special for us.

  7. Avatar of Brianny Brianny says:

    I’m guessing no one has noticed the hygiene of middle school children, or lack there of… Just because you made them take a shower does NOT mean they used soap… My ex-boyfriend ‘s younger brother wasn’t circumcised and he CONSTANTLY had UTI’s and some type of infection underneath the foreskin because he is a MIDDLE SCHOOL BOY and they don’t pay attention to cleanliness… When my sister started showering by herself we had to tell her to shower again because she didn’t use soap or wash her hair…

    Letting them get it done when they get older is a good idea, but you have to remember they are NOT going to remember the pain as a baby but as a teenager it’s going to be worse and they are going to remember it for the rest of their life. Plus babies heal faster. Also teenagers can have peer influence, teenage girls think a uncircumcised penis looks gross and like a “earthworm” so of course he is going to get it done the MOMENT he hears that, or see’s his buddy’s in the locker room…

    I am getting my baby circumcised, but that is my decision. Who cares what someone’s son’s peabug looks like… There is just so much to look at, it’s what you think is best. Me and my husband just think circumcision is best…

    • Avatar of shannon shannon says:

      Not all middle school boys are DIRTY. My oldest is now 13 and he is not circumcised. He is on the football team the swim team and the baseball team, he has never had an infection and keeps his clean all the time. He was taught to at an early age and has never had a problem. He has never been picked on either for not being circumcised. He is very glad that we chose not to have it done.

  8. Avatar of Amanda Amanda says:

    Wow… people seem to be in a rage about this circumcision debate!

    I don’t see it as ‘genital mutation’ for aesthetic purposes. I mean, sure- there are probably some parents who will have it done to their child just for him to look a certain way, but overall most parents who opt for this procedure are doing so for the health benefits of their son. It is a highly-practiced procedure that has shown beneficial results. As the blog suggests, the risk for many diseases and infections is lowered!

    Comparing circumcision to female genital mutilation is offensive. I’m not educated on that topic, but from what I remember, cultures which practice the removal of the clitoris & other such customs do so for punishment purposes; nothing for the health benefit of the women.

    However, if a female baby had an elongated labia or something that would cause similar risk factors including higher percentages for disease or infection, then I would absolutely opt for a similar procedure for her. I want my baby to be as safe as possible and if removal of a piece of skin at infancy is less traumatic and painful for them than it would be later in life, do it now, please!

    And yes, God made us the way we are… but if boys couldn’t live without their foreskin, obviously a majority of the male population would be nonexistent. Think of the foreskin as an extra, unneeded part of the body… like tonsils or an appendix. We were all born with them, but sometimes they need to be removed for health benefits… are you on appendicitis blogs with your pitchforks and torches crucifying those who have had an appendectomy?

    And to the people who suggest that it’s sadistic to ‘torture’ your child with this “barbaric ritual”, forcing them to cry out in pain, I ask you: is forcing them to sit through vaccines and regular shots any different? Your child will be in pain, will cry, and will make you feel like a bad parent for causing them any discomfort… but we still take them in for their boosters regularly now don’t we?

    • Avatar of Ashley Ashley says:

      Hi there! I just wanted to say that I don’t agree with your appendectomy comparison… One will only have an appendix removed if it causes a problem… We don’t remove them and the tonsils at birth just because we think they are unnecessary. I do believe that by teaching proper hygiene and safe sex, one can mitigate most if not all of the risks associated with not circumcising, but there is no way to put it back later, or heal a child with a badly botched procedure. I feel that if you wouldn’t give your child a nose job at birth, you shouldn’t cut off a piece of his penis either. :)

  9. Avatar of Gwendolynn Gwendolynn says:

    My thoughts on circumcision are that if you choose to have it done to your baby, you should be required to watch the procedure. I saw a PICTURE of someone else’s son getting a pair of scissors taken to his penis, and I never once questioned my decision to say HECK NO. I bet if parents had to be present for the surgery, unneccessary circumcision rates would drop dramatically. Our pediatrician told us from day one how to just tug the foreskin back a bit when your wiping after diaper changes or bathing, so that he’d learn to do it as part of growing up. She’s an older lady and said she thinks it’s crazy how many people jump at elective surgeries for their babies these days, and that she honestly thinks it’s because “a lot of younger physicians are being lazy and greedy instead of getting into medicine for the kids, like they did in her day.”

  10. Avatar of Tonya Tonya says:

    No, we won’t be having our son circumcised. I had my first one done when I was very young and didn’t know better. He was in so much pain afterwords and I felt AWFUL about doing that to him! It took several days of pain to heal. So no, this time around there will be no circumcision. Besides, God obviously made us that way for a reason and as far as I can tell the main reasons for circumcision are for cosmetic reasons and to make doctors more money. I have a grown brother who was not circumcised and he has never had any problems of any kind, including his personal life with women.

  11. Avatar of SS SS says:

    None of those are things that effect a person before they’re old enough to decide for themself. There’s no reason not to wait until the child is older and leave it up to them. It’s almost impossible to undo circumcision, but there are smaller chances of longterm damage when you wait until they’re older.

    Either way- when they do circumcisionw ithout any pain relief, it’s utterly barbaric. I’ve heard of doctors where they numb the area and a nurse holds and soothes the baby during the procedure, I’m far more comfortable iwth that than with strapping babies down on a table and chopping off part of their most sensitive organ.

  12. Avatar of JudesMommy JudesMommy says:

    my boyfriend and I, in the beginning were going to cercimsize our son. but once he was born we opted no to b.c we didnt want to put him through unneccisary pain.

  13. Avatar of Penny Penny says:

    If this was female circumcision, you would all be against it. And I love the argument about ‘my son should look like his father.’ Really? How many 13 year old boys see their father naked? How about 10 years olds? 8? Once you stop bathing with and undressing in front of your toddler, your kids will probably NEVER see you naked. If you teach them how to clean it, it is fine.

    • Avatar of Amanda Amanda says:

      Comparing circumcision to female genital mutilation is offensive. I’m not educated on that topic, but from what I remember, cultures which practice the removal of the clitoris & other such customs do so for punishment purposes; nothing for the health benefit of the women.

      However, if a female baby had an elongated labia or something that would cause similar risk factors including higher percentages for disease or infection, then I would absolutely opt for a similar procedure for her. I want my baby to be as safe as possible and if removal of a piece of skin at infancy is less traumatic and painful for them than it would be later in life, do it now, please!

  14. Avatar of Penny Penny says:

    American is the only country where cicumcision is the norm. Aside from the Jewish population, it i snot a common practice anywhere in the world. The way the media plays it out, you would think ALL little boys are cut. However, according to the CDC, the number is not that high. From 1979-2012 “Over 32 years, the rate of newborn circumcision — the surgical removal of foreskin from a penis — performed in hospitals dropped from 64.5 percent to slightly more than 58 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

  15. Avatar of Ros Ros says:

    I could get my son circumcision cuz i didnt know the had 2 be 10 days old he was my first son and no one told me that.

  16. Avatar of Jessica Jessica says:

    What i can not beleive is that in this day and age people are still practising genital mutilation on their children! Because no matter what way you look at it that is what it is. We are born a certain way why on earth would you change your child’s body by cutting off a peice of him? In certain countrys it is practice for girls inner labia and clitoris to be cut off and have what is left stitched together leaving only the smallest opening. It’s barbaric and yet in many cultures that is the norm. I have a four year old son he is not curcumsized and he has a perfectly heathy and natural penis. I don’t understand how they can say that having foreskin would make someone more likely to have a sexually transmitted desease when we all know that any contact with these viruses cause risk, a peice of skin should make no difference at all.

  17. Avatar of sandra sandra says:

    well I have 3 boys and all circumsized, my husband and I decided before my 1st was born.

  18. My first child was a boy and i had him circumsized and had it planned to do even before I ever concieved, although when it was done at the hospital they never went over any healt tips with us as neither did the peditration, but thank goodness I had my mom to help with this since I didnt know a thing like before it completey heals you need to make sure you always push the foreskin back and clean thourlghy each time you change the diaper, if not look out infection and second circumision. Also if you dont push the skin back it can begin to grow back together and becomes very painfull for him…

  19. Avatar of Alanna Alanna says:

    My partner feels strongly about going ahead with circumcision because he had it done when he was born. I feel it is a good idea in regard to the health benefits. Also my son won’t grow up wondering why his looks different from his father’s.

  20. Avatar of Rebekkah Rebekkah says:

    My boyfriends mother is telling me to have my son circumcised when he is born because she said it’s disgusting and it looks gross I merely told her if he saw yours he’d think its gross. I do not plan on having my baby circumcised because it is not medically necessary and it’s his body his decision. When he gets older my boyfriend and I plan to pay for the procedure should he want it done so that is not an issue. I believe he should not go through any unnecessary pain and when he is older should he want it they can administer the proper amount of pain medication.

    • just a hint or note to self getting that done when you are older is a much more severe procedure than what you may think, no hard feelings but its not always the best thing as a parent and another helpful tip some boys are born very well endoued and have to have it done do to it causing groth issues as he ages,

  21. Avatar of MurilloMami MurilloMami says:

    I was told by family and friends that it would be best to circumcise my son. I’m an only child and, at the time had 3 girls, so I had no clue what to do. My husband and I had talked plenty of times about it and we decided to go ahead and do it once he was born. As soon as I saw my baby and the pain he was in, I immediately regretted going through with it. I strongly recommend not having it done unless it is religion based.

  22. Avatar of Theresa Theresa says:

    I was planning on getting my son circumcised when he was born, but due to some medical reason he was not able to. He has seen a doctor for it and he will be circumcised in a few months. Everyone that I know has had their sons done and have had no heath problems with it. I have always believed that boys should have the procedure done.

  23. Avatar of Alicia Alicia says:

    My son is 12 months old now. Before he was born I did not know his sex, but I asked my brothers and his father their opinion on circumcision. They were split down the middle, half were for it, half were against it. I never felt comfortable making that decision for my son. Even with all the “medical” claims that circumcision is better, it just didn’t make sense to put my baby through that. I feel that boys are born with foreskin for a reason (hello, nerve endings) and as long as they learn to clean it properly, all the risks of keeping it will subside. I was more afraid of a botched circumcisions I keep hearing about than his contracting any infections because I am adamant about proper hygiene. If he chooses to get a circumcision upon puberty, I will support him. But I want it to be his choice.

  24. Avatar of Sam Sam says:

    We will be circumcising our son, if we ever have one. My husband is circumcised so I’m letting him make the call on it,

  25. Avatar of Stephanie Stephanie says:

    We got our son circumcised we decided it was more hygienic and because of my husbands religion.

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