Health

Baby Boys Should Be Circumcised, Claims Australian Scientists

*Please note that The Healthy Mummy strives to provide unbiased information stories based on topical news that is relevant to mums. Our articles are intended to inform and empower mums to make their own decisions and our journalists investigate stories to deliver you up to the date facts 

Circumcision is as effective as childhood vaccination, claims a leading Australian scientist.

New research has revealed that the benefits of men having their foreskin removed exceed the associated risks by 200 to one.

Circumcised banana

The Study

A study carried out by researchers at The University of Sydney found that male infants who had been not been circumcised had an 80 per cent risk of developing a foreskin-related condition that required medical attention.

“Over their lifetime more than one in two uncircumcised males will suffer an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin,” says the study’s lead author, Dr Brian Morris, professor emeritus at the University of Sydney.

And he adds that the “associated adverse event” from the circumcision procedure is less than one per cent.

Dr Morris adds: “The enormous benefit but low risk makes early infant circumcision akin to childhood vaccination.”

Hygiene Vs. Circumcision

However, Kevin Pringle, Professor of Paediatrics and Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Otago in Wellington, New Zealand previously told Adelaide Now that Dr Morris’s claims were “extremely worrying”.

“The most worrisome aspect is the emphasis on possible diseases that are reported to be significantly more common in the uncircumcised population and the complete lack of any attempt to accurately document the risk of the complications of circumcision,” he said.

Dr. Pringle claims the way for parents to prevent their sons from getting infections on their foreskin is to teach them about hygiene and not opt for circumcision.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there is compelling evidence that circumcision safeguards infants from a number of health complications and infections, and found that having an operation to remove the foreskin can lower the risk of infection by up to 60 per cent.

what to pack in hospital bag

What are the risks?

Male circumcision is one of the oldest and most common surgical procedures worldwide, and is undertaken for religious, cultural, social and medical reasons, but fewer than 20 percent of boys have the procedure in Australia today, according to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Many of these cases are for medical reasons as doctors recommend removing foreskin if there is inflation or men have urinary tract infections.

Circumcision is generally safe, but there are risks of minor complications, such as pain, bleeding and infection and in rarer cases, loss of some function. 

sex

And some parents want to avoid their little one having surgery that is not essential, especially if there are small risks of complication

There’s also a concern from men that removing the foreskin may reduce the sensitivity of the penis – and this could later have implications for men who go on to have sexual relationships in adulthood.

However, it has been found that circumcision of the penis provides some protection for heterosexual men but is not recommended as a method of preventing the disease.

Circumcision Around The World

baby sleeping through the night

One third of males in the world are circumcised, and nearly every male has had their foreskin removed in Muslim and Jewish countries.

U.S. – 55 per cent of males are circumcised says the National Centre for Health Statistics.

New Zealand – Less than 10 per cent of newborns have had the operation.

U.K. – 16 per cent of men have had their foreskin removed, a 2000 British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes found.

Canada – approximately 50 per cent of men have been circumcised.

Denmark – 1.6 per cent of the male population have had their foreskin removed.

For more news and information on kids health, click here.