Circumcision News

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis. When this procedure is performed, it's typically done on infant boys before they even leave the hospital. In its natural state, the foreskin covers the tip of the penis. During a circumcision, this skin is cut away to leave the tip of the penis exposed at all times.

Circumcision Risks vs. Benefits

The recommendations about circumcision have changed somewhat in recent years. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends circumcisions, saying that the risks of having a circumcision done are greater than the potential benefits. For one, a circumcision is painful, although health care providers typically use a numbing agent to keep this risk to a minimum. Infection and bleeding are also risks related to circumcision. These risks increase if a circumcision is performed on an older boy or an adult man.

There may be some small benefits to circumcision, but the most recent research says that they are slight, statistically small benefits. For example, studies have shown that circumcised men have a slightly lower risk for penile cancer, contracting sexually transmitted diseases and developing urinary tract infections than do uncircumcised men.

Should a Baby Be Circumcised?

Ultimately, the choice to have a male baby circumcised is the parents' decision. Though the health reasons for doing so are minimal, some parents choose to do so for religious, personal, cultural or other reasons. When it comes to circumcision, though, it’s a good thing for parents to make a decision about it before the baby is born. That's because the circumcision is usually performed in the first few days of life, and if the parents choose circumcision, the hospital is generally the best time place to have it performed.

SOURCES: U.S. Office on Women's Health.gov

Date Posted
Article Title
7/12/2016
Do More to Fight HIV in Africa: Study

Male circumcision, broader use of preventive drugs could help control epidemic, researchers say

2/20/2015
FDA OKs New Varicose Vein Treatment

It seals affected veins with adhesive agent, agency says

12/2/2014
CDC Endorses Circumcision for Health Reasons

Says benefits, including reduced chances of sexually transmitted diseases, outweigh risks

10/20/2014
Circumcision Past Newborn Stage Poses Risk for Boys, Study Finds

Delaying procedure also linked with higher costs, experts say

5/29/2014
Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer Seen in Circumcised Blacks: Study

But findings still preliminary, need confirmation

5/12/2014
Timing Influences Risk of Complications From Circumcision: Study

Infant boys fare well, researchers say, but older ones have up to 20-fold increase in complications

8/22/2013
U.S. Circumcision Rates Drop by 10 Percent: CDC

Whether male babies undergo procedure has become a personal decision between families and their doctors, experts say

4/16/2013
Study May Explain How Circumcision Reduces HIV Risk

The procedure reduces bacteria, affecting how body fights AIDS virus, researcher says

8/27/2012
Circumcision Benefits Are Significant, Pediatricians Say

But decision should stay with parents, they add

7/9/2012
Uncircumcised Boys at Higher Risk for Infection: Study

Visibility of urethral opening makes no difference, researchers found

6/7/2012
Ritual in Some Jewish Circumcisions Raises Risk of Herpes Infection: Report

CDC details 11 cases since 2000; NYC health officials advise against oral-genital suction practice

3/12/2012
Circumcision Linked to Lower Risk for Prostate Cancer, Study Finds

But researchers can't confirm the procedure directly lowers risk of the disease

1/12/2012
Partner's 'Viral Load' a Major Factor in HIV Transmission: Study

Condom use, circumcision lowered risk of sexually infecting partners in study of African couples

9/1/2011
Circumcision Rate Down Slightly in U.S. Hospitals

CDC notes this reverses trend toward more of the procedures throughout the 1990s

5/17/2011
Foreskin May Be Reservoir for HPV

Study authors say this supports vaccinating boys against the virus, but experts disagree

1/7/2011
Circumcision Helps Cut HPV Transmission Rate, Study Finds

Procedure in males offered partial protection from STD among female partners in Uganda

1/11/2010
To Circumcise or Not?

Reviews offer differing views on value and risks of procedure

7/17/2009
Circumcision Doesn't Lessen HIV Transmission

Condom still essential for protecting female partner, researchers say

4/27/2009
Circumcision Can Reduce AIDS Risk, Study Shows

Research also finds no impairment in sexual function from procedure

3/25/2009
Circumcision Guards Against STDs

Study finds procedure dramatically reduces transmission of herpes, human papillomavirus

12/23/2008
Circumcision Rates Too Low

Study points to 16 states where Medicaid doesn't fund procedure

10/7/2008
Role of Circumcision in Reducing HIV Risk Still Unclear

Review doesn't find a protective effect in post-HAART era

6/20/2008
12/14/2006
Circumcision Reduces HIV Rates, U.S. Studies Confirm

African trials halted; participants offered circumcision by researchers

8/9/2006
Health Tip: If Your Son Has Been Circumcised

Here's how to prevent infection

10/26/2005
Circumcision May Protect Against HIV

African study found the procedure reduced infection rates by 60 percent

8/3/2004
Circumcision Ritual Carries Herpes Risk

Experts caution against ancient custom of oral blood suctioning

3/26/2004
Circumcision Cuts HIV Risk

Men who have had it may be six times less likely to get infection

6/17/2003
Circumcisions

What to expect after the procedure

4/8/2003
Circumcision

The procedure's pros and cons

4/10/2002
Circumcision May Lower Cervical Cancer Risk for Partner

Study finds men who have procedure have fewer viral infections

1/22/2002
Doctors Ignore Infection Risk for Uncircumcised Babies

Survey finds them less likely to run urine test on fevered infant

7/19/2001
Circumcision Rates Reflect Cutting-Edge Changes

Sharp drop in the West is the largest trend shift in 20 years, new government report says