Sunday, February 21, 2010
I was recently asked to write an article pertaining to circumcision. Some of you may not care about circumcision and don't want to know anything about it, but you should care. If you are going to have kids, you need to make informed decisions about things regarding their health. In this case, circumcision, or at least, that which I speak of, is regarding Male Circumcision.

First of all, if you do not know what Circumcision is, says this:

What is circumcision?
During a circumcision, the foreskin, which is the skin that covers the tip of the penis, is removed. Circumcision is usually performed on the first or second day after birth. It becomes more complicated and riskier in infants older than 2 months and in boys and men. The procedure takes only about 5 to 10 minutes. A local anesthetic (numbing medicine) can be given to your baby to lessen the pain from the procedure.

Sounds easy enough right? Though I am a woman, and have no personal experience with this particular procedure, I hear it is very painful, especially in older or adult males.

Studies are being conducted,(and will probably always be conducted, this is how we humans are) about the benefits and risks of circumcision. The American Academy of Pediatrics first states this:
Despite the debate that continues over the benefits
and risks of nonritual neonatal circumcision,
it remains one of the most commonly
performed surgical procedures in the United States.
There were nearly 1.2 million circumcisions performed
in the United States in 1992, with ;62% of all male
newborns undergoing this procedure (personal communication,
National Center for Health Statistics).
There is ample evidence that newborns are capable
of experiencing pain, and there is a physiologic
stress response that anesthesia or analgesia
can help ameliorate.

I cannot even imagine a doctor performing a "surgery" without anesthetic!! I mean OUCH, that HAS to hurt?!? I would guess that because doctors felt that because they didn't "remember" having a circumcision done, that it wasn't Painful?!?

As I kept reading the medical journal my suspicions were proven true:
Newborns should not be
denied pain relief based on their physicians’ ignorance
of this literature. Advocates for infants and
children need to support educating practitioners
about the importance of anesthesia for all neonatal
surgical procedures.
A total of 23% do not use pain control because “the
infants will not remember” the painful experience.

On another note of interest, studies on male circumcision and sexually transmitted diseases or STD's. The findings of a very short study published by the AAP were this:
CONCLUSIONS. These findings suggest that uncircumcised males are at greater risk of
acquiring sexually transmitted infection than circumcised males. Male circumcision
may reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infection acquisition and transmission
by up to one half, suggesting substantial benefits accruing from routine
neonatal circumcision.

Now, keep in mind, evidence is not being shown either way on most of this. Some say that sexual pleasure is increased for both the male and female if the male is uncircumcised.

I guess my overall, personal, conclusion is this. I believe it should be the child's decision. Now, you do not have to agree with me, I respect that, BUT this is a major elective surgery. This effects the child's sexual encounters and overall health. Surgery is riskier for older males, but circumcision is performed every day, and just as damaging to a baby as an adult. I really feel this is the child's decision.

Here are some links to some possible books for you to read.


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