Circumcision numbers in NSW are slowly creeping back up.
Doctor’s say the number of cases are “slowly creeping up” following new research about the controversial procedure’s health benefits.
Data shows the benefits exceed the associated risks by “200 to one”.
Associate professor Norman Blumenthal has been performing circumcision on infants for over 30 years.
He told The Saturday Telegraph there was “no doubt numbers are increasing”.
“Patients are actually wanting circumcision — it’s only the medical advice from some quarters that are frightening them. But certainly the stigma about circumcision is over,” said the Sydney-based obstetrician.
A NSW Health spokeswoman said on average, only eight per cent of infant males born in the state are circumcised.
“The numbers have over the last 15 years been slowly creeping up,” said leading paediatric surgeon Dr Anthony Dilley.
“A lot of parents are not getting the same degree of strong opinion from people when they hear about circumcision as they used to.”
While Medicare data showed 5710 NSW patients aged between newborns and four years old were circumcised in 2017, the total number of boys undergoing the surgery is likely to be far higher, reports Daily Telegraph.
Research suggests that circumcision may bring medical benefits such as:
- A 10 times lower risk of a baby getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) in his first year of life (remembering that only one per cent of babies are at risk of a UTI, so 1,000 circumcisions are needed to prevent one UTI)
- No risk of infants and children getting infections under the foreskin
- Easier genital hygiene
- Much lower risk of getting cancer of the penis (although this is a very rare condition and good genital hygiene also seems to reduce the risk. More than 10,000 circumcisions are needed to prevent one case of penile cancer)
- A possibly lower risk of men getting sexually transmissible infections (STIs) than men who are not circumcised (although these studies have not been scientifically confirmed and safe sex practices are far more effective in preventing these infections).
Complications following circumcision are rare, but can include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Cutting the foreskin too short or too long
- Irritation to the head of the penis, since the foreskin seems to protect the head of the penis
- Narrowing of the meatus (the tube that allows urine to exit from the body)
- Reduced sensitivity, which may cause a decrease in sexual pleasure later in life or painful intercourse for the man’s sexual partner.
Last year one mum shared how she regrets leaving the decision of circumcision up to her boys dad. Read her story HERE.
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