Neonatal Circumcision: Weighing Benefits and Risks

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Benefits of Neonatal Circumcision Outweigh Risks
Benefits of Neonatal Circumcision Outweigh Risks

(HealthDay News) — The benefits of neonatal circumcision exceed any risks by at least 100 to one, according to a review published online April 4 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Brian J. Morris, DSc, PhD, from University of Sydney, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify articles pertaining to neonatal circumcision.

The researchers found that the prevalence of circumcision declined from 83% in the 1960s to 77% by 2010, after correction for underreporting. Benefits exceeded risks by at least 100 to one. Immediate benefits included protection against infections that can damage the pediatric kidney. No long-term negative effects on sexual function or pleasure were documented. Half of uncircumcised males over their lifetime will require treatment for a medical condition associated with retention of the foreskin. Neonatal male circumcision was also cost-effective for disease prevention.

"As with vaccination, circumcision of newborn boys should be part of public health policies," the authors write.

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