Circumcision of babies is on the rise

Circumcision of babies is on the rise

An increasing number of NSW parents are seeking out the controversial procedure for their sons.

Circumcision of babies is on the rise

Circumcision practitioners in NSW say the number of baby boys going under the knife is now “slowly creeping up” amid a raft of new research about the controversial procedure’s health benefits.

It means parents who opt for the divisive procedure are experiencing less push-back with data showing the benefits exceed the associated risks by “200 to one”.

Associate professor Norman Blumenthal has been performing circumcision on infants for over 30 years.

Dr Paul Cowie with his assistant Jodie Cameron and instruments used to perform circumcision at his surgery. Picture by Matt Turner

Dr Paul Cowie with his assistant Jodie Cameron and instruments used to perform circumcision at his surgery. Picture by Matt Turner

He told The Saturday Telegraph there was “no doubt numbers are increasing”.

“Patients are actually wanting circumcision — it’s only the medical advice from some quarters that are frightening them. But certainly the stigma about circumcision is over,” said the Sydney-based obstetrician.

Circumcision developed into a routine procedure for newborn baby boys in Australia by the 1950s before the trend began to decline.

A NSW Health spokeswoman said on average, only eight percent of infant males born in the state are circumcised.

Leading paediatric surgeon Dr Anthony Dilley said people who once sat on the fence were now leaning towards circumcision.

“The numbers have over the last 15 years been slowly creeping up,” Dr Dilley said.

“A lot of parents are not getting the same degree of strong opinion from people when they hear about circumcision as they used to.”

While Medicare data showed 5710 NSW patients aged between newborns and four years old were circumcised in 2017, the total number of boys undergoing the surgery is likely to be far higher.

This story originally appeared in the Daily Telegraph, and is republished here with permission. 

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