Many factors may contribute to the decreasing circumcision rates seen in hospitals across the U.S., including the fact that good hygiene and practicing safe sex can provide similar benefits
Circumcision of newborn male infants, the surgical removal of the foreskin covering the tip of the penis, may be performed for both health and religious reasons. It is an elective, and somewhat controversial, procedure.
The potential health benefits of male circumcision include a decreased risk of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases, protection again penile cancer and decreased risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners, prevention of inflammation of the glans and foreskin, and prevention of phimosis and paraphimosis, the inability to retract and return the foreskin to its original position. The risks of circumcision include pain, bleeding, infection, inflammation, and penile injury.
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Three studies have been published recently which show that circumcision of adult African men reduces their risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. It is not clear that such risk reductions would be the same in more developed nations. This information prompted researchers to assess the current rate of newborn circumcision in the U.S. Their findings were reported by the Centers for Disease Control in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).