Two interesting stories about circumcision have caught my eye in the last few days. I wanted to share them with you because they give parents a lot to think about before choosing whether to circumcise or not to circumcise their brand-new son.
The Associated Press reports that “Circumcised males reduced their risk of infection with HPV, or human papillomavirus, by 35 percent and herpes by 28 percent. However, researchers found circumcision had no effect on the transmission of syphilis.”
“Landmark studies from three African countries including Uganda previously found circumcision lowered men’s chance of catching the AIDS virus by up to 60 percent. The new study stems from the Uganda research and looked at protection against three other STDs. The findings are reported in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.”
“Evidence now strongly suggests that circumcision offers an important prevention opportunity and should be widely available,” Drs. Matthew Golden and Judith Wasserheit of the University of Washington wrote in an accompanying editorial.”
“Worldwide, only about 30 percent of men are circumcised. The figure is higher in the United States, where about 79 percent of men are circumcised, according to surveys by the National Center for Health Statistics.”
In past years the American of Pediatrics said there was not enough evidence to recommend routine circumcision of infants. The doctor’s group is reviewing its position based on recent studies.
According the Atlanta Journal-Constitution story: “The case involves a child, identified only as D.P. Jr., who was born at South Fulton Medical Center in 2004. In a suit filed two years later, his mother contended that the doctor who circumcised him removed too much tissue and that his pediatrician failed to respond when a nurse complained of excessive bleeding.”
“The tip of the penis was placed in a biohazard bag and might have been reattached if a urologist had attended to the boy within eight hours, one of the mother’s lawyers, David J. Llewellyn of Atlanta, said.”
“The jury found that both the pediatrician, Dr. Cheryl Kendall, and the physician who performed the circumcision, Dr. Haiba Sonyika, were negligent. South Fulton Medical Center was absolved of liability.”
“ ‘This case does point out one of the dangers of circumcision that every parent must seriously consider when having the procedure done,’ Llewellyn said. He contended that parents are not told of the risks of the procedure.”
So having a circumcision may help protect your child from contracting a terrible disease, but a doctor could totally screw up and damage his penis. It’s a lot for new parents to think about!
Did you circumcise your son? What did you take into account making the decision? Would you change your decision if you didn’t circumcise based on these new studies? Does the story about the little boy’s penis being damaged affect your opinion?