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Infant Circumcisions Rates Are Declining Slightly in the U.S.

The infant circumcision rate declined about 6% from 1960 to 2010. The neonatal circumcision rate is highest in about 91% in whites, 76% in blacks and 44% in Hispanics.1 The slight decline in the rate of neonatal circumcision is due to increase in the Hispanic population and also due to the lack of Medicaid coverage for the procedure in 18 states.

The Prevalence of Circumcision in Adult Men Has Increased in the U.S.

About 81% of men in the United States are circumcised.2 This means that the rate of non-infant circumcision is increasing. More adults are getting circumcised. The worldwide prevalence of circumcision is 38%.

Major Reasons Adults Undergo Circumcision

Medical reasons include phimosis or inability to retract the foreskin, para-phimosis or inability to pull the foreskin forward, balanitis or infection of the foreskin, and trauma to the frenulum which results in bleeding or painful intercourse. Non-medical reasons for circumcision include esthetic considerations and religious considerations.

Complications of Circumcisions

The rate of complications in infant circumcisions is approximately 0.3% or 1 in 330.3 The rate of complications in adult circumcisions is about 3% or 3 out of 100 circumcisions.4

The most common complications of circumcisions are bleeding, infection, narrowing of the opening of the urethra, removing too much skin and removing too little skin. Other more serious complications are rare.

Arguments in Favor of Circumcision

  1. Circumcision reduces the risk of infant and childhood urinary tract infection which can lead to scarring of the kidney.5
  2. Circumcision helps prevent cancer of the penis.6
  3. Circumcision reduces the risk of H.I.V. transmission. This was demonstrated by three randomized controlled studies performed in Africa.789
  4. Circumcision reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases that cause penile ulcers including Syphilis and Chancroid.10
  5. Circumcision reduces the risk of Herpes Simplex Virus 2.11
  6. Circumcision reduces the risk of high risk HPV infection.12
  7. Circumcision eliminates the risk of phimosis, or the inability to retract the foreskin back, and para-phimosis, or the inability to pull the foreskin forward.
  8. Circumcision reduces the risk of cervical cancer in the female partner.13
  9. Circumcision reduces the risk of Herpes Simplex Virus 2 in the female partner.14
  10. Circumcision does not impair penile sensation or sexual pleasure.15

Arguments Against Circumcision

  1. The foreskin is a normal anatomical structure.
  2. Circumcisions can result in complications or adverse advents in about 3% of adult patients.
  3. Circumcision may slightly increase the rate of urethritis most commonly due to Chlamydia.

Organized Medicine Generally Advocates Neonatal Circumcision

  1. The American Academy of Pediatrics advocated neonatal circumcision in 2012.16
  2. The Mayo Clinic stated that the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks by a factor or 100 to 1.17

Contact Us

If you are looking for a skilled urologist and surgeon to perform a traditional circumcision in Brooklyn, Dr. Lazare is the doctor for you. Contact our Brooklyn, New York office today to schedule your initial appointment.

1 Brian J. Morris, DSc, PhD; Stefan A. Bailis, PsyD; and Thomas E. Wiswell, MD, Circumcision Rates in the United States: Rising or Falling? What Effect Might the New Affirmative Pediatric Policy Statement Have? Mayo Clin Proc, May 2014, 89(5), 677-686

2 Ibid 1

3 Jacob Ben Chaim, Pinhas M. Livne, , Joseph Binyamini, Benyamin Hardak, David Ben-Meir, and Yoram Mor Complications of Circumcision in Israel: A One Year Multicenter Survey IMAJ, Vol 7, June, 2005

4 Daniel Mønsted Shabanzadeh, Signe Clausen, Katrine Maigaard, and Mikkel Fode, Male Circumcision Complications – A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression, Urology, 152, 25-34, 2001

5 Brian J. Morris* and Thomas E. Wiswel, Circumcision and Lifetime Risk of Urinary Tract Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Journal of Urology, Vol 189, 2118-2124, June 2013

6 Isabel dos Santos Silva • Helen A. Weiss, Male circumcision and penile cancer: a systematic review, and meta-analysis, Cancer Causes Control, 2011, 22, 1097-1110 and meta-analysis, Cancer Causes Control, 2011, 22, 1097-1110

7 Auvert B, Taljaard D, Lagarde E, Sobngwi-Tambekou J, Sitta R, Puren A. Randomized, controlled intervention trial of male circumcision for reduction of HIV infection risk: the ANRS 1265 trial. PLoS Med 2005;2:e298.

8 Bailey RC, Moses S, Parker CB, Agot K, Maclean I, Krieger JN, et al. Malecircumcision for HIV prevention in young men in Kisumu, Kenya: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet (London, England) 2007;369:643e56

9 ] Gray RH, Kigozi G, Serwadda D, Makumbi F, Watya S, Nalugoda F, et al. Malecircumcision for HIV prevention in men in Rakai, Uganda: a randomised trial. Lancet 2007;369:657e66

10 Ibid 7

11 Ibid 7

12 Ibid 1

13 Ibid 1

14 Ibid 1

15 Brian J. Morris, DSc, PhD and John N. Krieger, MD, Does Male Circumcision Affect Sexual Function, Sensitivity, or Satisfaction?—A Systematic Review, J Sex Med 2013;10:2644–2657

16 TASK FORCE ON CIRCUMCISION; Susan Blank, MD; Michael Brady, MD; Ellen Buerk, MD; Waldemar Carlo, MD; Douglas Diekema, MD; Andrew Freedman, MD; Lynne Maxwell, MD; Steven Wegner, MD

17 Ibid 1