Why I'm happier than ever that my son is circumcised

For some unknown reason--at least to me--when friends and family found out I was pregnant with a boy, they inevitably wanted to know if I was going to circumcise him. I never really understood why they cared one way or the other, but I guess they just wanted to share with me why they thought it was or it wasn't a good idea. 

Apparently, circumcision is not a popular practice in South America, but a lot of the Latino men I know--including my brother and my husband--were circumcised and so I figured that's what we'd be doing when Santiago was born. I had read about some of the medical benefits of circumcision, but now that a study is suggesting it may lower a man's risk of developing prostate cancer, I'm really glad my son is circumcised.

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It's important to point out, though, that the study conducted by researchers at Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center does not prove cause and effect. In other words, getting a boy circumcised doesn't prevent him from prostate cancer in the future.

This study joins others, which have found that circumcised infant boys are less likely to develop urinary tract infections, especially during their first year of life. In addition, there's research that points to how men that have been circumcised may be at lower risk for penile cancer and are less likely of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

The procedure, however, is not without its risks (namely minor bleeding and local infection, both of which can be easily treated) and, in fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend routine circumcision because the existing scientific evidence doesn't prove it's "essential to a child's current well-being."

I must say it was pretty hear-wrenching to see my son go through it, but it helped that the procedure lasted only a few minutes and he had local anesthesia (although I'm sure that's not what he was thinking!) Either way, I'm glad we took care of it when we did and if the medical advantages associated with it somehow benefit my son in the long run, then I'll be even happier he was circumcised. 

What are your thoughts on circumcision? Are your sons circumcised?

Image via Elijah Caleb Tan/flickr