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Researcher says the protection boys get from circumcision against severe infection is comparable to what they get from vaccination.

A study of male infant circumcision, published in the World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, has found the benefits of the procedure far exceed the associated risks by 200 to one.

The study by researchers at the University Sydney, the University of New South Wales and several teaching hospitals reports that uncircumcised males face an 80 per cent risk of developing a foreskin-related condition requiring medical attention, reports Courier Mail.

By comparison, the risk of an “associated adverse event” from the circumcision procedure is about one in 250, or less than one per cent.

“Over their lifetime more than one in two uncircumcised males will suffer an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin,” said the study’s lead author, Dr Brian Morris, professor emeritus at the University of Sydney. No evidence of adverse effect on penile function, sexual sensitivity or pleasure was found, Dr Morris said.

The studies determined the level of protection male circumcision affords against conditions such as urinary infections, inflammatory conditions, sexually transmitted infections and genital cancers, as well as the level of risk posed by the circumcision procedure in infancy.

Dr Morris said circumcision was a desirable public health intervention and public hospital policy in all states of permitting male circumcision only for medical reasons was “penny wise, pound foolish”.

He said that these preventable infections were costing the health system millions of dollars.

“The enormous benefit but low risk makes early infant circumcision akin to childhood vaccination,” he said.

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:

  • Pain
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • 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.

We much prefer to hear from real people though! What is your experience?

As a mum of two boys myself I must admit both of them are uncircumcised and neither of them have had any infections or issues at all. Touch wood!

Share your comments below.

Image: Getty Images

  • no i wouldn’t mutilate my child! this should not be happening anymore! it is not hard to have a shower and practise good hygiene, right?

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  • Wasn’t this guy eventually proven to be not so much of an expert? My son isn’t circumcised and has had no issues

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  • I have one son circumcised and not the other. I just had to make sure that I cleaned extra carefully around the tip of my uncircumcised sons’ penis.

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  • This research does not seem to be in line with other research.

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  • This was very interesting, thank you.

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  • My son is not circumcised. It’s something I asked my Gyno/OB and he showed disinterest, and wouldn’t do it. I wasn’t requesting it, more asking questions in case I had a baby boy – my first child. My husband is circumcised, and I believe it was the done thing back then. It seems to not happen now, but there’s also a lack of education. It’s not something that is even discussed.

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  • Cut parents – cut their kids.
    (Boys AND girls)
    The only reason non jewish and muslim parents in Australia make the \’decision\’ to cut their son… is because daddy\’s cut :/ sad, but true. Let\’s be harshly honest with ourselves.
    My dad was cut, it was a miracle I was left intact. If I was cut, I\’d probably cut my son. Fortunately the generational genital mutilation cycle has stopped in my family and many other families. However it still continues for a small and declining number of non Muslim/Jew parents.
    This article is misleading. Brian Morris is a fraud and a very, very sad man, trying to justify what happened to him as a defenceless infant by campaigning for it to again be inflicted on all infants.
    I urge all parents to look at:
    -intactamerica.com
    -sexthewaynatureintendedit.com.au
    -Bloodstainedmenandtheirfriends.com.au

    Reply

  • My husband nor my boy are circumcised and never had problems ! I never new that over their lifetime more than one in two uncircumcised males will suffer an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin !! That is a very high rate !

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  • I possibly depends whether the boy maintains good hygiene after being taught how to do it when he becomes independent. Having to have surgery as an older child must be very uncomfortable. Slight deformaties are sometimes a contributing factor.

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  • Like you, mine are not circumcised and have never had any problems. Guess it depends on how you teach them to bathe themselves as well, but touch wood they have never had problems and they are very grown up now.

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  • I just wanted to add that my first hubby was circumcised & my second isn’t. It doesn’t make any difference to me as the foreskin retracts when they have an erection anyway. So it wouldn’t feel any different for them either

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  • I had my boys in the 80’s when it was very controversial. I educated myself & decided to have them circumcised. I felt it was my right as a parent to make these kinds of decisions. As it turned out my younger son needed to be done for medical reasons but we didn’t know that until the procedure was carried out. My oldest son has grown up in swimming pool change rooms & I once asked him if it bothered him as boys muck around in change rooms in different stage of dress. His reply was NO what do you think we do check each other out LOL

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  • Strange to see this topic. I dont have friends who have done this with their sons… but the article states everything opposite to what i’ve heard.

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  • I only have daughters so its not something that i ever had to worry about. A friend had to have her son circumcised when he was 3yrs old for medical reasons and it was sad for the poor little fella but the discomfort didnt last long and then all was well.

    Reply

  • I am surprised at this article and the conclusion of the research as it seems to be the opposite of everything else I have read on this topic. I am always interested in the researchers and their focus groups and the accreditation process for research.

    Reply

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