One More Good Reason to Circumcise Your Baby

This Just In 221

The decision of whether or not to circumcise my baby boy was one that I did not struggle with in the least. My husband and I never once considered not doing it, because we always thought it was an issue of personal hygiene.

Honestly, I just assumed that most people chose to have their sons circumcised unless there was some strong religious reason why they were against it. But I was actually surprised when I learned that plenty of parents choose not to circumcise their babies based on either medical or ethical concerns. It's a touchy subject, and I've "overheard" some conversations about the topic on Facebook that have gotten pretty heated to say the least.

There are many people who go back and forth over whether or not to circumcise, but for parents who are a bit on the fence about the decision, there is now another good reason why circumcising your baby is a positive thing -- it may protect him from getting cancer down the road.

New research has shown that men who have a circumcision performed before their first sexual experience also have a 15 percent lower rate of prostate cancer than those who either had the procedure done after their first sexual encounter, or who are uncircumcised. The link between prostate cancer and circumcision is present because men who are circumcised are less likely to get sexually transmitted diseases like herpes and HPV, both of which elevate the risk of getting prostate cancer.

This news probably isn't enough to change someone's mind who is strongly against circumcision, especially if their reasoning against having it done is because they think it should be a personal decision -- not something we choose for our babies. However, for parents who are weighing all of the positives and negatives to having their baby boy circumcised, knowing that they are potentially protecting their child from suffering an illness down the road is definitely a plus. I just don't see how doing something to give our kids a leg up on their future health can be seen as anything but good.

Did you struggle with the decision to have your baby circumcised?

 

Image via nanny snowflake/Flickr

baby health, circumcision

221 Comments

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Maevelyn Maevelyn

I get the personal decision thing but for some reason all the anti-circumcision people I know got their baby's ears pierced (if they had a girl, the boys don't have pierced ears yet LOL)

the4m... the4mutts

I did not struggle. I had my first son circumcised when he was 2 months old, because of a medical reason that popped up. I also did not struggle with the decision to leave my 4th child, my 2nd son, intact. There was no medical reason to do so, so I left the foreskin there. He did get 1 infection, because he has too much foreskin. But after being educated on how to deal with the excess, no more infections.

Parents should do what they think is right for their family, and not be swayed by anyone other than a doctor caring for their child. Its a personal decision, that should be made by nobody except those involved in the child's immediate medical care; ie: THEIR pediatrician, and THEIR parents.

Torto... Tortoise77

I circumcised my son but I regret it because there were complications that my son is still having 14 months later. That said, I WILL NOT circumcised my next baby if its a boy. If i want my son to be STD free I will teach him about the use of a condom. SIMPLE! 

Torto... Tortoise77

and the key word in this study is " MAY "  

BriLee BriLee

I didn't struggle with the decision either. BUT...I don't talk about whether my two (soon to be three) boys are or aren't. I highly doubt my boys will want me talking about their penises all over the Internet in 10-15 years.

nonmember avatar Amanda

Bingo, Tortoise. Medical research has been inconclusive about how much (if any) reduced risk of STDs circumcised men have. But it's pretty clear that one thing that has been proven to have a HUGE effect on risk is condom usage. Safe sex, people. If you are on the fence about circumcision, in my opinion, this article does not provide enough proof of anything to make a decision.

nonmember avatar Mike M

To add to what Tortoise77 and Amanda said, it's also entirely possible to leave the foreskin intact and let the boy decide before he begins having sex if he want to have his foreskin removed or not rather than make the decision for him when he's an infant and not at a risk of developing prostate cancer. (Just as we don't remove breast tissue from baby girls with the intent of reducing their odds of developing breast cancer at a later date. We have the technology that allows us to wait until there is a real issue at hand and we can treat it then. Also, people can be proactive about their health and hygiene in order to reduce their odds of developing health issues. We don't need to preemptively amputate body parts [and we really shouldn't be doing this without the patient's consent!] in order to provide a negligible increase the odds of being healthy in the future.)

nonmember avatar kick me

The adoption became final when he was 2yrs old. So we chose to keep him intact. No medical issues have come up.

nonmember avatar melanie

@ mike m....I hate to nitpick with you, but comparing a foreskin's ability to harbor germs as the reason for removal and suggesting the removal of breast tissue simply because it exists is a little bit silly. Now if my breasts could contract either hpv or herpes you'd have something...it's a hygiene issue, not simply a part of the body issue.

nonmember avatar melanie

@ mike m....I hate to nitpick with you, but comparing a foreskin's ability to harbor germs as the reason for removal and suggesting the removal of breast tissue simply because it exists is a little bit silly. Now if my breasts could contract either hpv or herpes you'd have something...it's a hygiene issue, not simply a part of the body issue. Also simply removing some breast tissue isn't going to be effective anyway, it would have to all go, as well as some abdominal tissue.... I come from the last few years of chemo, and a radical double mastectomy following a diagnosis of HER2+ breast cancer.

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