The topic of circumcision can be “sensitive” to say the least. For years, it was thought of as the routine course of action for newborn baby boys in America. In the 1970s and 80s, the percentage of baby boys being circumcised in hospitals or in religious ceremonies was 80 percent. This is a stark contrast to today’s statistics which show that only 55 percent of male babies are routinely receiving the procedure.
In part, the decline can be attributed to the fact that not all health insurance plans are covering routine circumcision these days. In fact, Medicaid, the government’s insurance program for the poor, has eliminated funding for circumcision in 18 states.
A study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine this week estimated that if the rate of circumcision continues to decline in the United States, health care costs will go way up. As uncircumcised boys grow into men and start being sexually active, they are expected to run up billions of dollars of unnecessary medical costs due to sexually transmitted diseases.
Facts about Circumcision and Men’s Health:
- Circumcised men have a 25 percent lower risk of genital herpes
- Circumcised men have a 35 percent lower risk of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that leads to genital warts. HPV, which can cause cervical cancer in women, has become an epidemic in recent years.
- Uncircumcised men have an increased likelihood of contracting HIV
Foreskin holds moisture, which can definitely make a breeding ground for bacteria if proper care is not taken to keep the area clean. The sensitive tissue is also more susceptible to “micro-tears” during sex that can provide a point of entry for germs.
Could this news cause American parents to gradually shift back to making circumcision a standard practice?