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News: Circumcision Rates on the Decline

Infant Circumcision RatesAn interesting new government report, just released in August 2013 from the National Center for Health Statistics, says that the in-hospital circumcision rates have decreased around 10 percent in the last 30 years – from 65 percent in 1979 to only 58 percent in 2010.

The drop was most noticeable in Western states, according to the report. In these states, the rates dropped to 40.2 percent in 2010. This is almost a 20 percent drop in parents choosing not to circumcise their sons. In the Midwestern states, however, circumcision rates remain high – around 71 percent.

Circumcision is the removal of a baby boy’s foreskin from his penis. It is a routine surgical procedure that is typically performed within the first few days of a little boy’s life.

The growing decline in circumcision may be due to a number of factors – from the growing anti-circumcision movement within the parenting community to the growing immigrant population in the USA, to the fact that the federal Medicaid program for lower income families has stopped paying for infant circumcisions in about 18 states.

Historically, circumcision is a mandatory ritual in the Jewish community, and a very common practice in the Muslim community. Outside of these faith communities, many Americans choose to have their sons circumcised for the potential health benefits – including decrease the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in their son, reducing the risk of penile cancer later on and even STDs, such as AIDS.

In recent years, circumcision has been a hot button topic across the country, with some areas wanting to ban the practice. Proponents of circumcision see it as a unnecessary procedure.

In response to this anti-circumcision movement, in August 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement saying that the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risk of the surgery itself.  Risks of infant circumcision includes bleeding, infection, reaction to the anesthesia, injury to the penis and surrounding areas.

What are your thoughts on the decline in circumcision rates? Sound off in the comments!

About the author: DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

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