UTIs & More
Urinary Tract Infections (Doctors Opposing Circumcision)
"There are no studies on circumcision and UTI that have adjusted for the various possible confounding factors."
An Analysis of the Mayo Clinic's "Benefits" of Circumcision
“What are the pros of circumcision?” This is a question many American parents type into search engines when they find out their new addition will be a boy. Featured prominently among the returned results is an article from Mayo Clinic entitled “Why it’s done.” Here, they provide a variety of reasons why the procedure is performed, including a supposed decreased risk of urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, and penile cancer. Well-meaning parents may take these claims at face value and base their decision to circumcise their son on the small amount of information presented, but does this list of alleged benefits tell the whole story?
Preventative Male Circumcision (Dr. Carmack)
What about non-“routine” “preventive” male infant circumcision? Should I circumcise my child whose medical condition puts him at risk from UTIs? I see this question raised quite often–should a child with vesicoureteral reflux, congenital ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction, posterior urethral valves, or some other congenital problem making a UTI a potentially more serious threat to health be circumcised? Let’s explore a few facts around this scenario.
Can Penile Cancer Be Prevented? (American Cancer Society)
"...based on the low risk of this cancer in the US, it would take over 900 circumcisions to prevent one case of penile cancer in this country."
Do You Have to Pee Standing Up to Be a Real Man? (Pacific Standard)
"In fact, hypospadias might be much more common than even that, and may have always been. In 1995, the Journal of Urology published a stunning—and generally ignored—study out of Germany that showed that urologists have unreasonably strict expectations for penises. These physicians looked at a group of 500 men and found that only 55 percent could be labeled “normal,” according to medical standards. Of the 500, fully 225 counted as having hypospadias."
Circumcision for the Prevention of UTIs (Archives of Disease in Childhood)
"Given a risk in normal boys of about 1%, the number-needed-to-treat to prevent one UTI is 111."
"In conclusion, the data we present do not support the routine circumcision of normal boys with standard risk in order to prevent UTI."
Cancer of the Penis (Doctors Opposing Circumcision)
"Cancer of the penis is a rare disease of elderly men... Breast cancer is actually more common in men than cancer of the penis. To prevent penile cancer, the American Cancer Society does not recommend circumcision for all males..."