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Circumcision of Newborn Males

newborn newborn care Jul 09, 2021

What is Circumcision? How many newborn males get circumcised? What are the risks? What are the benefits? 

Well, Dr. Ellen joins us on our podcast to discuss just these questions! 

Here is a brief synopsis of our chat. 

What is Circumcision? 

Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin on a penis.  The foreskin is the skin that covers the glans of the penis. 

How many boys are circumcised? 

This has changed over the years.  In the 1970s approximately 50% of men were circumcised.  It has dropped to approximately 25-30% of infant males now getting circumcised. 

How do I decide whether to circumcise my newborn baby? 

This is a decision that all parents should be involved in and should be made in the best interest of the infant.  Have a listen to our full podcast to get all the information you need to make a decision. 

The Canadian and American Pediatric societies DO NOT recommend routine circumcision of newborn males, as there is no medical indication in our societies to do so. 

What are the benefits of circumcision? 

In countries with high rates of HIV, being circumcised can decrease your risk of getting infected by up to 60%.  In our society, this would equate to changing the risk of HIV infection from 1/1000 to 0.4/1000 as our HIV rates are so low. 

Circumcision can also decrease the rates of getting HSV (herpes simplex virus) and HPV (human papillomavirus, which causes most of the cases of cervical cancer) by up to 30%.  We now have an effective vaccine against the cancer causing strains of HPV so our cervical cancer rates are declining. 

In select male infants with recurrent urinary tract infections, a circumcision may be recommended if the foreskin is very tight and causing difficulties getting urine out.  This is quite rare. 

What are the Risks? 

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • poor cosmetic result
  • scar tissue leading to urinary stream challenges

So there you have it...Circumcision in a nutshell. 

Dr. Ellen discusses how they do the procedure and how to choose a care provider in detail in our podcast. 

Have a listen! 


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