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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are there any health risks associated with circumcision?

    Before getting our baby circumcised, I would like to know if there are any risks/possible complications involved.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 4

    Thanks

    Prof Brian Morris

    HealthShare Member

    The risks of infant circumcision are less than 1 in 100. Virtually all are minor, and can be immediately, effectively and completely treated. If a bleeding disorder runs in the family be sure to tell your doctor. This means that pre-operative treatment may be needed.
    There are no long-term adverse effects of an infant circumcision. Rather, there are enormous benefits that include disease prevention, better hygiene, and either no difference or better sex when an adult.
    See the Circumcision Foundation of Australia's website for the new policy statement on circumcision, as well as an article explaining why it is best to circumcise in infancy and not delay this procedure.
    Go to:
    http://www.circumcisionaustralia.org

    Professor Brian J Morris, School of Medical Sciences, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney

  • 13

    Thanks

    Serene Johnson

    Registered Nurse

    Circumcision has many risks, particulary to an infant.

    For starters, you have all the basic surgical site risks, such as infection, scarring, haemorrhage… death! Death is a risk for all surgical procedures. 

    However, further risks include degloving of the penile shaft, meatal stenosis (the narrowing of the meatal opening, which then obstructs urine flow), readhesion of mucosal surfaces. Many more boys require revision of their circumcision than would have needed the circumcision in the first place. 

    Worse yet, many adult men are coming face to face with complications that are simply not seen until they reach sexual maturity, such as skin bridges between the shaft and glans that result in painful erections, desensitisation of the glans due to keratinisation of the mucosal surface. Circumcision is associated with a 4.5x greater lifetime risk of sexual dysfunction. 

    Think about it this way, would you tattoo your child? Would you put ear plugs (tunnels) in them now because its fashionable? Circumcision is permanent and irreversible. Nothing can restore those lost nerves. Running water and condoms are far more effective at preventing disease than cutting off part of ones penis - and these benefits are highly questionable.

    Leave him be. If he wants to be circumcised, he can make the decision as an adult - his own decision about his own body. You never know, he might even like his foreskin! And you know, Ive never met a young man who has to be convinced to wash his penis ;)

  • 3

    Thanks

    Prof Brian Morris

    HealthShare Member

    For all of the answers to your questions on infant male circumcision go to the most accurate, extensive and authoritative, easy to use, review on the topic at: http://www.circinfo.net
    You might also find the Circumcision Foundation of Australia helpful in getting accurate information: http://www.circumcisionaustralia.org
    Be very aware of anti-circumcision websites. These are full of fallacious, dangerous information. Just as the anti-vaccination lobbyists, who tend to be the same people.
    The best time to circumcise is in infancy. The issues are completely different if the boy is older. And what parent waits until their son can make up his own mind about whether or not he gets vaccinated, eats his vegetables, goes to school, etc?
    The following recent article in a peer-reviewed paediatrics journal explains all of the reasons why parents must take responsibility for their son's health and that of his future partners by having him circumcised:
    http://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/pubmed/?term=a+'snip'+in+time+circumcise

    Professor Brian J. Morris, School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney

  • 1

    Agree

    5

    Thanks

    simon_harris

    HealthShare Member

    These are all links to Brian's own websites and articles. He appears to have a ‘special interest’ in promoting circumcision, but the administrators should investigate whether he is qualified to provide advice in this area.

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