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Table 1 A comprehensive risk-benefit analysis of infant MC

From: A 'snip' in time: what is the best age to circumcise?

Risks from not circumcising    
   Fold increase NNT
Urinary tract infection (infants) 1++ 10 50
Urinary tract infections (lifetime) 2+ 5 4
Pyelonephritis (infants) 2+ 10 100
- with concurrent bacteraemia 2+ 200 1000
- childhood hypertension 2 - 1500
- end-stage renal disease (lifetime) 2+ - 500
Candidiasis 2 2 10
Prostate cancer 2 1.5-2 6
Balanitis 2++ 3 10
Phimosis 1++ infinite 10
High-risk HPV 1++ 3 2
Genital herpes (HSV-2) 1+ 1.35  
Syphilis 1+ 3 200
HIV infection 1++ 3-8 1000
Penile cancer 1++ > 20 1000
In female partner:    
Cervical cancer 1++ 4 -
Chlamydia 2+ 4 -
HSV-2 2+ 2 -
Bacterial vaginosis 1+ 2 -
Thus risk in an uncircumcised male of developing a condition requiring medical attention over their lifetime = 1 in 2
Risk associated with medical MC in infancy    
Condition Fold increase NNH ††  
Local bruising at site of injection of local anesthetic (if dorsal penile nerve block used) 0.25* 4  
Infection, local 0.002 600  
Infection, systemic 0.0002 4000  
Excessive bleeding 0.001 1000  
Need for repeat surgery (if skin bridges or too little prepuce removed) 0.001 1000  
Loss of penis close to 0 1 million  
Death close to 0 Over 1 million  
Loss of penile sensitivity Low High  
Thus risk of an easily-treatable condition = 1 in 500 and of a true complication = 1 in 5000
  1. *As per Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) grading system for evidence-based guidelines [87], which ranges from 1++ (highest) to 4 (lowest).
  2. Values shown are based on statistics for USA (for source data see review [18] and references cited in the present article)
  3. Abbreviations:
  4. NNT number needed to treat - i.e., approximate number of males who need to be circumcised to prevent one case of each condition associated with lack of circumcision.
  5. †† NNH number needed to harm, i.e., approximate number of males that need to be circumcised to see one of each particular (mostly minor) adverse effect. *The minor bruising (from this method only) disappears naturally without any need for medical intervention, so is not included in overall calculation of easily-treatable risks