NORFOLK - There are fewer circumcisions being done even though recent studies show the procedure can lower a male's risk of health issues ranging from HIV to cancer, say doctors with Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk.
CHKD pediatric urologist Dr. Jyoti Upadhyay explains the benefits and medical issues of circumcision.
1) Circumcision prevents problems later in life
-American Academy of Pediatrics study found circumcision can reduce the rate of HIV, sexually-transmitted diseases and penile cancer - clear medical benefits
-Too often, pediatricians fail to look ahead to the risk factors of their patients after they become adults and this issue emphasizes the importance of looking at lifetime risks.
2) Declining circumcision rates
-In 1995, 68 percent of males were circumcised compared to 55 percent in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
-The low rate, according to one study, could increase lifetime health care costs of babies born in one year to over $200 million.
3) Circumcision should be performed before newborn leaves hospital
-Often, parents believe there is time to wait, but the cost of circumcisions rises dramatically when a child grows older because it requires anesthesia and a hospital stay.
-Insurance companies may deny covering circumcision performed on older child.
-Expectant parents should discuss the procedure with the doctor before the baby is born.
Circumcising children early can give parents the comfort of knowing they are protecting their children through their entire lives.