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Having a boy... to circ or not to circ?

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I'm new to this particular sub-forum, but am not sure where else to post this particular question. I've been posting for a little while on some other ones though...

I am pregnant with #2, due March 13th, and have just found out we're having a boy.
We have been discussing circumcission pros and cons, and really would like to find out more about the actually procedure, and complications from EITHER side.
I am aware I'm posting on a board that is against Circ, but would really appreciate straght forward responses, not one sided opinions. I am not for/against it as of yet, but want to have all the knowledge I can get before making the choice.
If someone could please explain the procedure of circ to me, and whether there is anything given to numb the area, etc. Any info like that. As well as any dangers with having it done, and also the dangers of NOT having it done.

Thanks!!
post #2 of 107
there will be some great posters to this really armed with all the facts, but I like to keep it nice and simple.
The foreskin is a functioning healthy part of the male anatomy. Removing it is a cosmetic procedure not needed for good health. To remove it would be taking something away from your son without his consent, that he can never ever get back. If you would not alter your little girl, cut off a toe just because you think the foot would be cuter without it, or tattoo their forehead, you should not be monkeying around with your little boys genitals either.

I'll wait for the other posters to explain why having the foreskin is actually preferable to circumsision (on every level, from cosmetic to healthwise) but to me the decision was made completly because I didn't feel I had the right to make that decision for my son. If some day he wants to be circumsised, it will be as an adult, with lots of pain meds, Mom taking care of him, and I will even pay the tab. But right now I am happy to wait and let him decide what his penis should look like.,
post #3 of 107
To cut off a healthy and integral part of a baby's body there needs to be a damn good reason. Circumcision doesn't fit and besides cosmetic reasons there is no reason to circumcise (and even then I don't think a parents preference should count, not their penis).

There is a lot of great info in the stickies at the top of this forum. I'd read about the purposes and functions of the foreskin, it is there for a reason.
post #4 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BnInTheOvn View Post
Hello,

I'm new to this particular sub-forum, but am not sure where else to post this particular question. I've been posting for a little while on some other ones though...

I am pregnant with #2, due March 13th, and have just found out we're having a boy.
We have been discussing circumcission pros and cons, and really would like to find out more about the actually procedure, and complications from EITHER side.
I am aware I'm posting on a board that is against Circ, but would really appreciate straght forward responses, not one sided opinions. I am not for/against it as of yet, but want to have all the knowledge I can get before making the choice.
If someone could please explain the procedure of circ to me, and whether there is anything given to numb the area, etc. Any info like that. As well as any dangers with having it done, and also the dangers of NOT having it done.

Thanks!!
I see you know this is the Case Against Circumcision so we can't host discussion exactly as you would like. This thread might get pulled but I'll hit some quick points and expand later based on your replies:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BnInTheOvn View Post
If someone could please explain the procedure of circ to me,
I will look for a step by step if you want but it is graphic. There is a video on this somewhere it might be a couple of pages back. But the basic procedure goes like this:
  1. Strap the kid in a restraint
  2. Separate the foreskin with a blunt probe from the head, the two are attached like your finger nail is to the nail bed.
  3. Cut an incision down the top middle of the foreskin.
    The Gomgo Clamp Method:
  4. Then has a silver bell shield inserted between the head and the foreskin.
  5. The other half of the device is attached and the foreskin is pinched between the bell and the outside part of the device. It is then crushed by ratcheting tighter and tighter.
  6. it is then cut around the bell.
    In the Plastic Bell Method:
  7. The plastic bell is inserted between the foreskin and the glans.
  8. A nylon line is tied around which cuts off blood and causes the foreskin to die and eventually fall off, this takes several days.
  9. Before he leaves, they will cut much of the foreskin in front of the bell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BnInTheOvn View Post
and whether there is anything given to numb the area, etc.
It is not clear that boys receive much, if anything but the most common is a sugar pacifier followed by a topical agent. Sometime both sometimes more. But the all wear off days before he is completely healed. And none are very effective. But I should add that whether or not a procedure is painful or not doesn't change the ethics of the procedure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BnInTheOvn View Post
Any info like that. As well as any dangers with having it done, and also the dangers of NOT having it done.
Dangers of having it done -- Complications:
http://www.circumstitions.com/Complic.html

There are really no dangers to not having it done. All of the supposed benefits are either for problems that are very rare, easily treatable with non-invasive means, or the benefit really doesn't exist (a myth). Further, if it isn't done your son has options. He could get it done if he wants when he is older. If he is circumcised and not happy with that (and those men do exist) he has no real recourse.

There is plenty more PM me if the thread is pulled.

ETA: Could we turn the question around and ask it like this: I heard that circumcision is good because of <insert reason> what are your feelings on this? So in other words, why would you consider circumcision? (Serious question and don't hesitate to ask no flames will come.)
post #5 of 107
Just wanted to tell you that there are no dangers of not having it done.
People may tell you it's cleaner. That comes from the old myth that you have to retract an infants' skin to clean under. You don't, just wipe like a finger.

People may tell you about UTI's. UTI's are extremely rare and if there is an UTI it can always be treated with antibiotics (just like a girl).

People may tell you about STD's and AIDS. The studies that have been done that show "success" of circ., were done in Africa, are suspicious and even the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that the studies are flawed. Safe sex practices is what prevents STD's and AIDS (otoh, majority of grown men in US have been circ'ed, but US leads the developed world in STD's).

Also, the rate of circ. is falling in the US at last. No credible medical organization in the world recommends infant circ. It's a gruesome and torturous procedure that accomplishes nothing.
post #6 of 107
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I'm going to check out the stickies and also the links sent...

And actually, (in effort to rephrase and also to really find out) I do have another question.

As an infant, the skin in not retractable, making cleanliness difficult (say the Drs??) I read another post on here and got confused a little about the word "retract". It said something about the skin eventually will retract on it's own and that forced retraction can cause trauma to the area and soreness, etc. If I'm understanding this right, when does the skin become "loosened" (general term as I really do not know what I'm talking about here, lol) and able to be retracted?

The root of my question is this: If baby is not circumcised at birth, is it possible to do it later on? And is it possible to do it with lack of pain?

The idea that "well yes, it hurts, but the baby will never remember it" is just horrifying to me. My daughter broke her leg at 1 year, and wont remember it. But that doesnt mean it didnt hurt so I should break the other one too... I just hate that form of reasoning that they wont remember it. I cant imagine hurting a little baby like that.
In a different post it was compared to tearing off a fingernail, is that accurate??
post #7 of 107
No medical organization in the world endorses RIC not even the AAP. Even if they use anesthetic you have a raw open wound in the diaper with pee and poo how sanitary can that possibly be.

There is no medical reason for infant circ. The study showing UTI more common with intact was flawed in that they used intact premature infants compared to full term circed infants. Premies always have higher risk for UTI.

There is no bad things that can come from not circing but there are complications that can and do happen when circ is done.

All male mammals are born with a foreskin (except the bat) it is there for many reasons, to protect the glans from being rubbed in clothing and causing loss of sensation due to constant exposure to the air and clothing it protects from bacteria entering the urethra.

I could go on and on but you didnt request that so I wont. Just keep in mind that your ds has a right to full sexual function just like your dd has. Removing the foreskin removes that from happening. Yes the penis still works but it dosnt work the way nature ment for it to. The foreskin bunching actually provideds g-spot stimulation you cant get without it.

Have you watched the circ video? You need to if you havnt and see for yourself exactly what is done. Reading the description makes me sick and I couldnt get past the first minute of the video : I had dh watch it a few months back since he was still ok with circ he had no idea how horrible it really was


Link to the video http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=481025

How the foreskin works movable images http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=695216

Penn & Teller video http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=999187

For more information the resources sticky is great.

The circ rate in the USA right now is around 54% with it dropping fast. Approx. 1% a year. Some states are lower than others. But I refuse to base my decisions on what anyone else is doing and even if the circ rate in the USA was 100% my ds would still be intact.
post #8 of 107
Others have said some great things but I wanted to chime in.

The notion that there are pros to circing and that foreskin can cause "complications" is false. The reason we can not give you balanced discussion is b/c there really are no reasons to circ. If you have specific concerns like "cleanliness", "medical reasons", "matching daddy", etc etc, please ask us and we will explain to you exactly what the fallacy is behind each and every pro-circ argument. The research and facts do not support circ in any way whatsoever.

Do you have any specific things you have heard that are making you consider circing?

Here in CAC we have spent years (decades for some of us) researching this issue. We have heard it all from the pro-circers. Fact is, pro-circers do not do the research that we do. They often read one or two fallacious things and then make their position that they are pro-circ. Many of them base their decision on what they have done themselves even if it was done out of ignorance. I have never come across a single pro-circ argument that is valid.

Please use this forum to your advantage. We can share oodles of info with you that will knock your socks off.

Welcome to CAC and I look forward to seeing you on here asking your questions.
post #9 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BnInTheOvn View Post
Thank you, I'm going to check out the stickies and also the links sent...

And actually, (in effort to rephrase and also to really find out) I do have another question.

As an infant, the skin in not retractable, making cleanliness difficult (say the Drs??) I read another post on here and got confused a little about the word "retract". It said something about the skin eventually will retract on it's own and that forced retraction can cause trauma to the area and soreness, etc. If I'm understanding this right, when does the skin become "loosened" (general term as I really do not know what I'm talking about here, lol) and able to be retracted?

The root of my question is this: If baby is not circumcised at birth, is it possible to do it later on? And is it possible to do it with lack of pain?

The idea that "well yes, it hurts, but the baby will never remember it" is just horrifying to me. My daughter broke her leg at 1 year, and wont remember it. But that doesnt mean it didnt hurt so I should break the other one too... I just hate that form of reasoning that they wont remember it. I cant imagine hurting a little baby like that.
In a different post it was compared to tearing off a fingernail, is that accurate??
MYTH 2: Having an intact boy means more work and extra cleaning to prevent infection.
TRUTH: It is actually easier to care for an intact boy. People are severely misinformed about the anatomy of foreskin. During the infant/childhood years the foreskin is fused to the head of the penis and the opening is only wide enough to allow for urine to pass through. This protects the developing penis from urine, feces, and other harmful pathogens. An intact boy should NEVER be retracted for cleaning or for any other reason. Premature retraction causes tearing and pain and can result in many complications, including infection. The proper care for the intact penis is to LEAVE IT ALONE, only the exterior gets cleaned. Should poop get on the penis, all you do is wipe it like a finger. Throughout childhood the skin will slowly separate from the glands and the foreskin opening will widen. Self-cleaning excretions prevent the need for cleaning during that time. Through self-discovery a boy will learn to retract his own foreskin. After retraction is possible a boy can easily clean himself with a quick rinse in the same way that girl cleans her privates. It is a good rule of thumb to never let anyone touch your intact son’s penis. Many people, including care providers, will ignorantly try to retract the foreskin. Fact is, the US medical profession cut off so many foreskins in the past that the doctors rarely if ever saw an intact boy and have lost the base of knowledge of diagnosis and treatment. Now, they are operating in a vacuum of information or even worse, in an environment of false information. The only tool you need to care for an intact boy is a ruler to smack the hands of those curious people who attempt to retract his foreskin. Retraction happens at a different time for each boy. Some boys do not retract until puberty, that is perfectly normal.
http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet4.html
http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet6.html
http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/aap/
http://www.cirp.org/pages/parents/peron1/

MYTH 7: If I don’t circumcise my son, it may need to be done later in life. I’ve heard of some 5-10 year old boys having to be circumcised.
FACT: This misconception is another that stems from the problem that doctors are not being educated about the normal development of the intact penis. The only reason that a child or adult would ever need to be circumcised would be in the case of frostbite, gangrene, malignancy, or serious trauma. Doctors that do not know about the anatomy and development of the foreskin often prescribe circumcision for a multitude of incorrect “reasons”. For example if a 10 year old boy is not retractable a doctor might tell a parent that he needs to be circumcised. This is not true. In fact, only 50% of boys are retractable by age 10. Many boys do not become retractable until puberty. This is normal. In the rare event that a man is not retractable by adulthood, there is steroidal cream that can be applied which will allow the skin to stretch. Amputation is not necessary. Another example is repeated infection. The foreskin is NO more likely to become infected than any other part of the body. In the rare chance that there is an infection, antibiotic ointments are sufficient. Parents that complain of repeated infection are almost always parents that are trying to retract their child’s foreskin for “cleaning”. As stated before, there is not reason to try to clean under a boy’s foreskin. Trying to “clean” under the foreskin is the equivalent to trying to wash out a girls vagina. It will ultimately cause a floral imbalance and result in infection.
http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet7.html
http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...uncircson.html
http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...kinleaflet.pdf
http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/
post #10 of 107
The foreskin is fused to the glans in infancy and childhood and it should only be wiped like you would wipe a finger. Nothing can get under it it's designed that way. Retraction happens at different times for different boys and there is no set time they should retract by. Many doctors (medical personnel) are ignorant about intactness in general (in the US) but especially about retraction, they will say it should be retracted by xyz with no real reason for it and recommend circumcision if not retracted by whatever arbitrary age they have suggested.
post #11 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by latinalonestar View Post
Others have said some great things but I wanted to chime in.

The notion that there are pros to circing and that foreskin can cause "complications" is false. The reason we can not give you balanced discussion is b/c there really are no reasons to circ. If you have specific concerns like "cleanliness", "medical reasons", "matching daddy", etc etc, please ask us and we will explain to you exactly what the fallacy is behind each and every pro-circ argument. The research and facts do not support circ in any way whatsoever.

Do you have any specific things you have heard that are making you consider circing?

Here in CAC we have spent years (decades for some of us) researching this issue. We have heard it all from the pro-circers. Fact is, pro-circers do not do the research that we do. They often read one or two fallacious things and then make their position that they are pro-circ. Many of them base their decision on what they have done themselves even if it was done out of ignorance. I have never come across a single pro-circ argument that is valid.

Please use this forum to your advantage. We can share oodles of info with you that will knock your socks off.

Welcome to CAC and I look forward to seeing you on here asking your questions.
I have SO MANY questions!! And my reasonings for considering it are as follows:

1. I am not a boy, don't have a boy, and have never seen an uncirced penis. I don't know exact %, but I do know that most males are circed in the US. However, I do know that it is a "European" thing not to circ (my grandfather is from Germany, and I know he is not circed and that it isn't as common over there?). But the fact that most US males are has led me to assume that there must be a reason for it.

2. My fiance is circed, and when I even brought it up, he said "We are circ-ing him." His standpoint was that he wouldn't want our son to be made fun of when he has to change in front of other boys (or feel like he can't change in front of them), or feel like he is "different", or feel insecure with his body in front of a woman.

3. I have heard (and realize from PP that this is not true??) that it is harder to keep the area clean. I am wondering though-- when your boys get to age 5-10ish, when they really arent capable of cleaning it well themselves but it becomes uncomfortable to have mommy touching, what then? Or is cleaning not as big of a process or deal as I'm imagining?


These are my main reasons for considering it, but I do have reasons for not considering it.

1. I've heard of "botched" circs and it horrifies me.

2. The lack of pain relief given when the circ is done, and the excuse that "they dont feel it" or "it hurts but they wont remember it." That horrifies me as well.

3. Son being unhappy that he was circed, and nothing we can do about fixing it after the fact.


I just want to get all of the info so we can make a better decision, and can be comfortable with our choice.
post #12 of 107
Thread Starter 
Someone said to check out the circ video... where do I go about doing that? (are we talking an online video or one I need to get and watch at home?)
I'd love to see it.

Thanks!
post #13 of 107
I was like you. After doing my homework I became very anti-circ.

Yes, the fingernail comparison is accuarte. Our fingernails are attached to our nailbed. We do not pull back our fingernails to clean the nailbed - there is no need. And in fact, doing so is used as torture.
Even though many circs are done with some painkillers, those wear off. The pain lasts for days.

My friend just had her baby, and she had him circed. Days later, the little one was still stayed drowsy and not alert because the pain kept him hazy. And every time he peed, he moaned and sobbed. It was such a different sound than hungry baby, or tired baby. I never heard hurt baby before, and it broke my heart.

Cleanliness is not an issue while the forskin is still attached to the glans. Later, it will be as simple as washing any other part of the body. You do not aggressively scrub your labia - you gently cleanse it. An intact man will gently wash himself in a similar way.

If your child chooses to circ as an adult, it is possible. It will hurt, but pretty much any cosmetic surgery / body modification does.

I don't think that people who circ their children are evil mutilating bad parents, but I do think they are very uninformed. Please do all your homework - when you learn about it is just sad and brutal.

Also, hospitals have an interest in getting you to circ - they make money. Foreskin is used to grow new skin for grafts, and it is worth a good amount of $. The system is set up to encourage that industry, not to discourage it.

Finally, just like with breastfeeding - circing is not something that american docs know much about. They know what they were taught, and it's very out of date. For some real eye-opening reading, look into the history of circ and why it became standard in America but hardly anywhere else. Corn Flakes plays a part. Really.
post #14 of 107
well now that the circ rate in this country is about 50 percent, he is more likely to be made fun of for being circed than not being. So even if guys really spent alot of time comparing their junk (which they don't) it would come out in the wash.

Circumsision was originally brought to this country to curb masturbation. Didn't work, and ever since they have been trying to find a good reason to do it, but it was always theory trying to support the practice rather than science making clear that it was needed. All reasons have since been refuted so now that the major pediatric organizations have to admit it is a purely cosmetic procedure.

I would not worry about my son cleaning his foreskin anymore than my daughter cleaning her labia, which has a heck of alot more nooks and crannies. Both my kids will be expected to practice good hygiene after we teach them how. Your boy ends up with stinky junk you send him back into the shower to clean it, the same way you would make him go back and brush his teeth. (my brother used to avoid this like the plague) So there is alot of worry for nothing really.


there is no way around the fact that it is a painful truamatic procedure done on a newborn. Like getting here isn't hard enough, you got to start removing body parts as soon as they get here. And if your son wants to be circed he can choose that later, same way if he wants piercing or tattoos. You take something away and he can never get that back, and how will you answer that? My husband is quite angry about what his parents choose for him. I would hate for my son to feel that way about me.
post #15 of 107
Once the boy is old enough and is retractable which can take into the teen years he simply:

1) retract the foreskin
2) rinse with clean water no soap
3) replace the foreskin

Couldnt be any more simple really.
post #16 of 107
Hi mama! You are sure to get a lot of great, honest answers here. Congrats on your pregnancy! I'm going to answer your questions as best I can

It's true that most boys are circed in the US, but the rate continues to fall. I think only about 60% of boys in North America are circumcised now! The original reason for doing it was to prevent masturbation And some parents continued to do it because of (mistaken) beliefs that it was cleaner, boys should look like daddy, etc. You bring up an excellent point- in Europe it is not routinely done- and you don't hear European men or their partners complaining!

You need to share more research with your fiance. My husband is also circ'd and I think he just assumed it was something that was automatically done to boys. Once I explained to him how I felt about it though, he was on board with keeping DS intact. Honestly, you can't let it be up to him just because he has a penis and you don't For me it was just not negotiable. Show him a video of a circ if you need to so he can see what really happens. It's not just "a flap of skin that's cut off"- it's real surgery with real pain and risks. And as circ becomes more and more uncommon there is not really any stigma surrounding the foreskin anymore as far as locker rooms. I can't speak for other women but I always just thought it was normal, if a woman is really turned off by it, she's probably not the right one to be involved with.

As far as cleaning my boy is only 5 months old. But it's easy peasy- usually easier than cleaning my daughter since girls have more folds. All you do is wipe it down like a finger. By the time he is retractable, he will be able to retract the foreskin and clean himself easily.
post #17 of 107
I put a link to the video thread in my OP we xposted so go back up and watch it please.
post #18 of 107
I don't worry about my sons getting dirty anymore than I worry about my daughter (who has many more folds and places for the dirties to hide ).
post #19 of 107
:

It was so much more difficult to clean my dd than ds when she had a big bfed poo.

Something that is hard to clean on a boy is his scrotum all those tiny wrinkles and things moving around in there
post #20 of 107
Hi Bunintheoven!

The cleanliness thing is such a misconception. You will find a little boy is much easier than a little girl. Let's look at it this way - when your little girl gets older will you douche and clean all the way up her vagina and scrub every fold to get the ickiness off it? No of course not. All that is required is a little warm water, a gentle swish and mild mild soap. Same with a retractable boy. When they're in diapers and for quite a number of years afterwards it's like cleaning a finger. An let's be frank - do you think a little boy is going to have to be coaked to play with his bits in the bath

Men and women have different version of the same parts, we're just put together differently. I have experience with both an intact son and an intact husband and neither are dirty. My husband showers daily and isn't icky or smelly. Neither is my son. And you know what? I am a CLEAN FREAK! I have the stereotypical OCD American thing of showering all the time and washing everything and worrying about germs. Trust me when I say I would be more than honest if an intact penis smelled gross. An unwashed penis smelled, it's intactness has nothing to do with it at all.

But that's beside the point, it's there for a reason and should be left that way. If your son wants it done he can do so as an adult.

Finally momma if you don't want it done it is your choice as mother in the hospital. I know your fiance will be upset and bluster about if you're not able to convince him but eventually he'll get over it. And you're the momma bear, hardwired to protect your child and will hate yourself if you have it done and know better (which sounds like you already do).

As for getting made fun of, our generation of boys will be around 50/50 so I wouldn't worry. And if your lived in a country that all the girls had the prepuce of their clitoris (same stuff as the foreskin) would have that removed so she wouldn't be made fun of?

Good luck, glad you're here!
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