Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), Kidney Infections:
Uncircumcised boys are about 10 times
as likely to get serious kidney infections in the first year
of life as are circumcised infants; even in adults circumcision
protects against UTIs. These kidney infections are most dangerous
in the first 3 months, during which time they often lead to
hospitalization and can result in overwhelming blood infection
and other serious infections. Kidney scarring has been shown
to occur later. There is concern that future kidney failure
and high blood pressure may follow infantile UTIs. Abnormal
kidney function and hormonal secretion can occur with infant
UTIs. Fecal contamination of the moist inner foreskin layer
with bacterial attachment leads to these kidney infections.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection/AIDS:
Uncircumcised men were first shown to
be more likely to acquire heterosexual HIV infection over a
decade ago, in articles in the leading medical journals "Lancet"
and "New England Journal of Medicine". Since then over 40 separate
studies have shown that uncircumcised men are more likely to
become infected with HIV on heterosexual exposure. The ease
with which the foreskin tears during intercourse, leaving mini-abrasions
through which the virus enters, can lead to the infections.
It has recently been shown that certain specialized cells in
the foreskin, Langerhans cells, can trap the HIV virus and promote
Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs):
As with HIV, mini-abrasions of the foreskin
during intercourse is the explanation for the fact that uncircumcised
men are more likely to acquire certain (though not all) STDs.
The STDs for which uncircumcised men are at greater risk include
syphilis, chancroid and genital herpes, all of which involve
ulceration of the penile surface through which the infection
It has been known for
over 100 years that circumcised men almost never get invasive
penile cancer, a devastating disease which is more deadly than
breast cancer (higher 5 year mortality rate). About 1400 U.S.
men get this disease and over 200 die annually, almost all of
Local Problems- Phimosis, Balanoposthitis, and Genital Hygiene:
Local foreskin infections
(balanoposthitis) can occur at any age in uncircumcised males,
but is most common at age 2-5 years, an age when the foreskin
has often not yet completely separated, cannot be fully retracted,
and genital cleanliness is more difficult to accomplish. In
addition between 0.5% and 1% of boys will never be able to retract
their foreskin due to a pinpoint opening at the end (phimosis)
and will have to be circumcised at a later date when the procedure
is more complex and difficult, and about 10 times more expensive.
Newborn circumcision leads to improved genital hygiene throughout
life, but most importantly in infancy, early childhood and old
age when personal hygiene may be inadequate.
Women's Preference, Sexual Activity, Psych Effect:
Sexual function is not adversely effected by
NC. On the contrary, published evidence shows that circumcised
men have a wider variety of sexual activity, and women prefer
circumcised men, mainly because of better genital hygiene.