Benefits of newborn circumcisionJune 30, 2021
Newborn circumcision is a non-therapeutic procedure by which the foreskin of a newborn male’s penis is partially removed. It is a very popular procedure for newborn boys newly born in America and comparatively less prevalent in other countries. Newborn circumcision has been a controversial issue since its origin and frequently stirs up heated debates due to its linkage with the religion and culture of some communities. Some people are of the opinion that newborn circumcision should be completely banned, while others support the procedure on the basis that it helps the child to grow up healthy and resists other illnesses that can be a cause of illness in a baby. This debate continues to rage today.
According to the World Health Organization, there is no association between newborn circumcision and HIV infection in countries where it’s practiced. The difference in treatment for the disease between developed and less-developed countries explains the disparity in rates. In the developed countries, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high, whereas in less well-developed countries, it is low. This difference in the rates of infection across the two regions is probably due to better access to AIDS treatment in the developed countries, but is unlikely to account for the lower rate of infection in undeveloped countries, where newborn circumcision is not common.
Preputial phalloplasty is a more popular procedure for male neonatal circumcision. It has many advantages over the other option of preutial phalloplasty which is a cosmetic penis enlargement operation. While the former procedure does not involve any incisions, the latter involves large cuts into the boy’s penis. Neonatal circumcision also results in less bleeding, minimal scarring and very little pain, unlike in preputial phalloplasty. These advantages make it very popular, but there are also some drawbacks.
The protection against HIV infection that newborn male circumcision offers is one of the greatest health benefits. Statistics indicate that a newborn circumcised in its first year of life has a lower probability of acquiring HIV than an uncircumcised boy who has not been circumcised. Often, HIV-related infections in older boys are common. For this reason, even parents who choose to have their older sons circumcised are advised to undergo this procedure, so as to avoid passing on the infection to their newborns. Circulating infections of HIV have also been found to be much less prevalent in circumcised boys than in uncircumcised boys.
Another significant health benefit of newborn circumcision is protection against other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Among male sex partners of HIV-infected males, the risk of contracting herpes is four times greater than in those who are not infected. It has been shown that HIV-infected adults also have a higher rate of genital warts, herpes, and hepatitis B/C than those who are not infected. In the case of newborns, newborn circumcision reduces the chances of contracting any of these diseases.
Some doctors don’t believe that circumcision of newborn males is effective in preventing HPV infection in adults. According to them, HPV infection does not usually show up until late in life. Moreover, because males who have had genital warts often develop no symptoms, HPV infection may go undetected for years. If caught in time, penile cancer can be easily detected and treated.
In countries where neonatal circumcision does not occur regularly, the incidence of neonatal infection by bacteria, viruses, and fungi (such lice) is higher among newborns and mothers. Such infants often acquire infections not because of negligence or hygiene in the doctors’ offices or hospitals, but because of the lack of hygienic conditions at home. Babies who are exposed to dirty diapers are more susceptible to developing a urinary tract infection. Unhygienic conditions in healthcare staff or in the homes of babies who have received no formal immunization or care after birth might also lead to such infections.
Newborns should not be circumcised for cosmetic reasons, although many doctors consider it a therapeutic procedure, necessary for their normal growth and development. It does not matter if a parent recommends the procedure because the baby will grow out of it. However, it should always be done with love. The procedure must be performed only by qualified professionals, with special training in neonatology. Parents must know that the risks are high, and that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages, particularly for the well-being of their child.