A new study adds more fuel to the controversial debates happening around the world about male circumcision. The study, published July 9 in the journal CMAJ, found that boys who do not undergo the procedure are at higher risk for urinary tract infections, HealthDay reported. Researchers have previously thought that other factors, such as the tightness of the foreskin, may also make a difference on which boys are more likely to suffer from the painful infections. But the authors found no difference in infection rates when looking at other factors besides circumcision.
"Our study just confirms that it is uncircumcised, period, not uncircumcised boys with a tight foreskin," lead author Dr. Sasha Dubrovsky told The Canadian Press. "The kids who do get urinary tract infections, it's not a question of cleanliness versus not cleanliness. It's a part of life, it's just one of those things that happen."
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The study looked at 400 boys, HealthDay reported. Dubrovsky found that the rate of UTIs reached at least 23 percent for uncircumcised boys. Meanwhile, the rate of UTIs for circumcised boys was just 4.8 percent, MedPage Today reported.
The study comes after a regional court in Germany ruled to ban religious circumcisions for baby boys. The court in Cologne had decided that circumcising young boys for religious reasons causes bodily harm, the Associated Press reported. The ruling has sparked protests from Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, in Swaziland the United States has launched a campaign trying to convince adult males to undergo the procedure so that they can lower their risk of contracting HIV, GlobalPost reported.