According to new research by Professor Brian Morris in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney and neonatologist Dr Tom Wiswell in the USA, over the lifetime 1 in 3 uncircumcised males will get a UTI, compared to only 1 in 12 circumcised males.
But this new research is unlikely to impress opponents of Professor Morris, who has become the target of much scorn and outrage from those who are fundamentally opposed to the circumcision of baby boys.
The research, published in the June issue of the Journal of Urology, resulted from an analysis by Professor Morris and Dr Wiswell of all the data from all the research studies across 3 age categories: less than 1 year, 1-16, and 16 years through adulthood.
The researchers concluded that over the lifetime the single risk factor the foreskin poses is a 1 in 4 chance of getting a UTI. This finding could have major implications for medical practice, paediatric policy, and medical costs.
However, the issue of circumcision as a stand-alone justification to prevent UTI is controversial and has divided medical opinion. Some doctors don’t see that UTI prevention is a good enough reason to circumcise, while others consider UTI prevention to be one of the strongest reasons for circumcising baby boys.
Only 1 in 50 uncircumcised boys will get a UTI in infancy. However, Professor Brian Morris says a strong argument for circumcision is that in babies the kidney is still growing. So if they get a UTI, the bacteria travel up the urinary duct to cause kidney damage in half of cases. “The bacteria sometimes then enter the bloodstream causing sepsis. Sepsis, and in rare cases meningitis, can be the most serious, potentially lethal, consequences of a UTI.” This private urologist can provide advice and treatment.
“Severe fever, pain and other febrile symptoms mean hospital admission. Intravenous antibiotics often need to be administered, meaning a tube placed into a blood vessel of the baby,” said Professor Morris.
“The Medical Journal of Australia warned recently that UTI is likely to be increasingly caused by bacteria resistant to conventional antibiotics. The emergence of ‘superbugs’ means UTI is set to become a far more serious condition than it already is,” he said.