Circumcision Not Recommended

Using circumcision to reduce UTIs in boys is inconclusive1 since it would take 200 circumcisions to prevent one UTI case in the first year.2  Some research studies conclude that circumcision reduces UTIs,3 4 but they all failed to take into account premature foreskin retraction including a new study.5  Forcibly retracting an infant’s foreskin tears the skin, creating an entry point for the infection. Infection rates in boys return to normal levels when they are about one year old, about the same time their foreskins are no longer being forcibly retracted.

To put this in perspective, girls are twice as likely to get UTIs than intact boys and they are effectively treated with antibiotics.6 Using antibiotics to treat UTIs in boys is safer and less painful than surgery.

This information has been reviewed by our panel of experts and other trusted advisors, however, it is not a substitute for professional medical, legal, or spiritual advice.

  1. Van Howe RS. Effect of confounding in the association between circumcision status and urinary tract infection. J Infection, 2005;51:59–68.
  2. To T, Agha M, Dick PT, Feldman W. Cohort study on circumcision of newborn boys and subsequent risk of urinary-tract infection. Lancet. 1998;352(9143):1813-6.
  3. Wiswell TE. Urinary tract infection and the uncircumcised state: an update. Clin Pediatrics. 1993;32:130-4.
  4. Schoen EJ, Colby CJ, Ray GT. Newborn circumcision decreases incidence and costs of urinary tract infections during the first year of life. Pediatrics 2000;105;789-793.
  5. Simforoosh N, Tabibi A, Khalili SA, Soltani MH, Afjehi A, Aalami F, Bodoohi H. Neonatal circumcision reduces the incidence of asymptomatic urinary tract inf ection: A large prospective study with long-term follow up using Plastibell. J Pediatr Urol. 2010, Nov 4.
  6. Colletti T. Urinary tract infection in children: An evidence-based approach. JAAPA 2003;3:Web.
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