|January 2006 · Vol. 18, No. 1
Don’t base circumcision decision on statistics
As an obstetrician/gynecologist and also a certified mohel (Jewish ritual circumcision ceremony officiant), I often counsel parents and discuss with colleagues the risks and benefits of male newborn circumcision. Ultimately, the matter comes down to a personal decision by parents for their child.
If a baby’s father is not circumcised, I discourage circumcision in the infant. Although documented medical benefits exist, the absolute numbers of adverse outcomes of being uncircumcised are low in the United States. I advise parents to consider the benefit of father and son looking similar (ie, both circumcised or not). As for the psychological impact of circumcision, there are many strong opinions and few data (these usually go together) on all sides. Most parents are concerned about pain. Like ACOG, I support the routine use of analgesia (I give concentrated oral sugar solution along with local anesthetic).