The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) recently re-examined its official position on routine infant circumcision (RIC), given that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States had come to the conclusion within the past year that the benefits of this routine genital surgery outweighs any potential risks. The CDC’s draft recommendations stated that American doctors should let parents know that circumcision is recommended. So, the Canadians took another look at all of the relevant new info.
After scouring almost 1,600 journal articles and taking a fresh look at any benefits and the risks, the Canadian peds said they will maintain their position: They will not recommend routine circumcision of newborn males, even still.
Contrary to the CDC’s claims, the Canadian Paediatric Society believes that most boys will not benefit from this genital surgery more than it will put them at risk from infections, long term consequences, bleeding, death, amputation, hemorrhage and even simply unwarranted pain. That’s not to say Canadian doctors will never suggest it. There are situations where it would be warranted, the Society says, but routine circumcision, they say, will be taking risks that are not needed.
Take a past post from this blog for example that looked at one study of STIs and STDs in both populations:
The objective of the authors was to compare the history of sexually transmitted infections and HIV diagnosis in relation to circumcision status in a sampling of men in the Caribbean region where there is a rapidly escalating HIV incidence.
Here’s what the authors found:
Almost 1/3 of the men they sampled were circumcised:
- Compared to intact men, the circumcised men had accumulated more sexually transmitted infections in their lifetime (Circumcised men=73.4% and Intact men=65.7%).
- The circumcised men had higher rates of previously being diagnosed with warts (Circumcised men=18.8% and Intact men=12.2%).
- The circumcised men were more likely to have HIV (Circumcised men=43% and Intact men=33.9%)
Even if being intact doesn’t help fight off STIs and HIV, this study certainly suggests that circumcision doesn’t either.
If you are still considering routine infant circumcision on your son, please at least consider that there are plenty of men that wish that their parents had left their genitals fully intact.