Pediatricians Say Benefits of Circumcision Outweigh Risks

The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its policy on circumcision, saying the benefits of the procedure mean parents should get access to it, and insurance companies should pay for it.

But the academy stopped short of recommending circumcision for all baby boys, saying it’s up to parents to decide, the Associated Press reports.

The new policy follows recent studies showing that circumcision reduces chances of infection with HIV and other sexually spread diseases, urinary tract infections and penis cancer.

Insurance coverage of circumcision varies, and Medicaid won’t pay for it in some states. Rates of circumcision in the United States have dropped in recent years, although about half of all U.S. baby boys still undergo the procedure. From the AP:

[The new policy] comes amid ongoing debate over whether circumcision is medically necessary or a cosmetic procedure that critics say amounts to genital mutilation. Activists favoring a circumcision ban made headway in putting it to a vote last year in San Francisco but a judge later knocked the measure off the city ballot, ruling that regulating medical procedures is up to the state, not city officials.

In Germany, Jewish and Muslim leaders have protested a regional court ruling in June that said circumcision amounts to bodily harm.

Meantime, a recent study projected that declining U.S. circumcision rates could add more than $4 billion in health care costs in coming years because of increased illness and infections.

Image: Newborn baby boy via Shutterstock.

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now
  1. by Dina

    On August 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    This to me is crap. The risks it mentions such as HIV & other STD’s is nonsense, does this mean we should circumcise our sons & tell them “since you’re circumcised, you can have unprotected sex b/c your chances are lower?” Or about penis cancer, with all do respect, should women get their breasts removed to prevent a disease from occurring even though we are not sure if we would develop the cancer? Foreskin is not a deformity, there’s a reason its there. If at some point a young man has to be circumcised then they should do it under the doctor’s advise, not at birth. The United States & Israel are the only countries in the world that allow circumcision right after birth & I hope the ban with happen soon here in the U.S.

  2. by Roger

    On August 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    It is obvious the only benefit to circumcision is the extra $$ it generates.
    I dont know how can they bring up studies performed in Africa 20 years ago and say that is good science.

  3. by Jill

    On August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I fail to see the logic in this article. Especially the scary, “Meantime, a recent study projected that declining U.S. circumcision rates could add more than $4 billion in health care costs in coming years because of increased illness and infections.” I’m sure we can figure out a way to teach boys who are not circumcised to protect & clean themselves like they should be doing regardless.

    Sadly, like so much about health in the US, this is about money (with an added dash of religion).

  4. [...] Pediatricians say benefits of circumcision outweigh risks (Parents.com) [...]

  5. by Rachelle

    On August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Those studies about UTI’s were performed in third world countries where cleanliness is difficult at best….I have 3 boys , 1 circumcised, 2 not…and I have not experienced any more difficulties with the one than the other…..My ex hubby had a friend who was circumcised at 16 and said that the sex was so much better with the foreskin than without….speaks for itself….its meant to be there…and for the Jewish people WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER THE OLD TESTAMENT….get over it….This procedure causes much pain in the infant..I heard my son screaming….its barbaric at best….teach them cleanliness….and btw the rate of circumcision probably lowered cause after 1996 when my first son was circumcised…medi-cal stopped paying for the procedure…..costs of healthcare will go up anyway because people aren’t taking care of themselves….

  6. by Mom of 4 boys

    On August 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Hello people! Circumcision is not only better for medical and health reasons…but better for future sexual relations. They are harder to clean and also look gross. I’ve had one ex-boyfriend with his and it was disgusting! I see no reason for it and the only reason he wasnt circumcised was that his parents were too young when they had him and couldnt afford it. Also, Yes, there is some pain when it happens. But it quickly subsides and the baby is to young to ever remember the pain. I’ve had all 4 of my boys circumcised and if I have more they will be circumcised too.

  7. by Rob

    On August 29, 2012 at 2:10 am

    It should be up to the person in question when they hit 18 to chop off the end of their Di*k. If parents taught them to properly bath, and dry, the there should be no problem.
    There is a lot to consider here. One big one is sex. This is the same as female circumcision…you cut off part to the body for this, or that reason. With females, and male sex if very limited. (With females more so)
    Also the foreskin protects the end of the Penis from the constant rubbing of the underwear threw the years, and thus less sensitivity.
    Bottom line, if you want to cut YOURS off, go ahead. BUT the child, when an adult should also be able to exercise that RIGHT to do so on his own.

  8. by Kayla

    On August 31, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I agree with Rob. As for the healthcare costs sky-rocketing, what about the penile dysfunction that could be said to be related to circumcision. Breastfeeding a circumcised baby boy after the trauma is also hard, and breastfeeding has many benefits, though I don’t see the topic of breastfeeding as hot as circumcision. And this is about STDs? How shrewd is this study? I mean safe sex, and how do you study a man who is circ’d vs not and STDs without effecting the outcome?> Too many what ifs and it sounds like too much of a controversy to me.

  9. by Andrea

    On September 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Kayla- Breastfeeding a circumcised boy is not more difficult, that is pure rubbish. All three of my boys nursed immediately following and never had an issue with nursing. As for circumcision, I am for it. Never have I encountered a MSN who said they wish they had it, though my dad said he wished he’d had it done as an infant when he had to have it done in his 50′s due to penile cancer. And don’t fool yourselves, if sex education was followed 100% and all boys wore condoms, we wouldn’t still be seeing STDs and unplanned pregnancies. Lastly, when I worked in the medical field, I encountered more than my share of uncircumcised men, men who could no longer care for themselves, men who often had UTIs, yeast, painful retracted foreskin, and so on. It was more than enough to guide me in that direction.

  10. by Visit This Page

    On September 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to achieve my goals. I definitely liked reading everything that is posted on your blog.Keep the stories coming. I loved it!

  11. by X Series

    On October 2, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything. Nevertheless think of if you added some great photos or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this site could definitely be one of the best in its niche. Good blog!

  12. by Carlos Lamarch

    On October 5, 2012 at 4:02 am

    naturally like your website however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to inform the reality nevertheless I will certainly come again again.

  13. by chrisdeburgh

    On October 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I am not rattling excellent with English but I get hold this very leisurely to translate.

  14. by Dont Click

    On October 10, 2012 at 5:55 am

    We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with useful information to paintings on. You have performed a formidable process and our entire community will probably be thankful to you.

  15. by Check This Out

    On October 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I like what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and exposure! Keep up the good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.

  16. by website erstellen lassen köln

    On October 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Today, taking into consideration the fast way of life that everyone is having, credit cards have a big demand throughout the market. Persons out of every discipline are using credit card and people who are not using the card have prepared to apply for even one. Thanks for discussing your ideas about credit cards.

  17. by zelf een website maken apple

    On November 7, 2012 at 5:06 am

    I have noticed that over the course of constructing a relationship with real estate entrepreneurs, you’ll be able to get them to understand that, in most real estate contract, a commission is paid. In the long run, FSBO sellers tend not to “save” the commission. Rather, they fight to win the commission simply by doing an agent’s job. In this, they devote their money and time to carry out, as best they can, the assignments of an broker. Those responsibilities include disclosing the home through marketing, introducing the home to willing buyers, creating a sense of buyer emergency in order to prompt an offer, scheduling home inspections, dealing with qualification assessments with the mortgage lender, supervising maintenance, and aiding the closing of the deal.

  18. by Todd Weast

    On February 12, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Really Appreciate this article, can I set it up so I receive an update sent in an email whenever you write a fresh article?

  19. by Hockeyfighter1

    On March 2, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Male and female genitalia do not have different components. They just look differently. The EXACT equivalent of infant male circumcision on a baby girl would be excising the inner labia, clitoral hood and removing the hymen. Yes, all babies have the equivalent of what is labeled the hymen in little girls. If you think about it, a shaft can be a hole or a pole. Girls have a hole that is covered by a membrane and the boys have a pole that is covered by the foreskin. The foreskin is actually fused to the glans of the penis and must be ripped away prior to the cutting of the erogenous tissue labeled the foreskin. If a doctor performed the same procedure on a baby girl it would go like this: A dorsal slit is cut in her clitoral hood, her hymen is cut away, the rest of the hymen is then excised along with the other tissue surrounding the shaft, the labia minora. Does this sound like it would not affect the sexual pleasure of the female when she reaches puberty? Essentially, what she would be left with is a shaft and a sensitive knob (clitoris) that will be rubbing against clothing throughout her childhood thus desensitizing this nerve rich tissue. This is what the boy is left with as well after being mutilated. If there medical benefit to performing this surgery on boys, then it will have the same benefit on girls. Unfortunately there is a law in place that only protects baby girls from this horrible atrocity. This law is unconstitutional in it’s name alone; “Female genital mutilation act”. This law will be overturned and will be replaced by a gender neutral, constitutional law. Please visit http://www.mgmbill.org for more details. Also, please write your state’s senators to have a referendum created to ban all child sexual assaults such as male circumcision. No child should have to suffer this abuse.

  20. [...] to changing advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Last year the academy revised its policy on circumcision, saying that the benefits of circumcision outweigh the [...]