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to circumcise or not to circumcise? - Page 3

post #41 of 92
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
That is Meatal Stenosis..My DH has it.

I didn't know how to spell it thanks, I also didn't know if everyone would know what that means because if Ds didn't have it I would not know what it meant.
post #42 of 92
My perspective is, circumcision is not a decision I, as a parent, need to think about AT ALL. It is not a decision that I need to make. Because there is nothing wrong with the penis, no treatment is necessary, therefore as a parent I do not have to make any decisions on any course of treatment.
To clarify: yes, parents do indeed have to act as proxy for the child until the child is old enough to make his own decisions. So, since the child has to sleep somewhere, I have to decide where he will sleep. Since the child has to eat, I have to decide what to feed him. Since the law requires children must be educated, I have to decide what form that education will take. If my child has an illness or an injury or develops a disease, I have to do research and decide which course of treatment will be best for him. But in the case of routine infant circumcision, parents are mistaken in thinking they have to "make a decision." They no more have to make a decision for the child on circumcision than they have to "decide" whether or not to get the baby a tattoo or trim off his earlobes. (How many expectant parents spend much time "deciding" on those?)
For instance, when my daughter was 1 she developed early childhood caries. She was in pain and I had to make a decision on how to treat her. There were a number of ways we could have gone for treatment: temporary fillings, pulpotomy, crowns, etc. In the end and after much research we made the agonizing decision to have the affected teeth pulled. Now when my son came along, he has had no problems with his teeth. Therefore, I have had to make no dental decisions for him. We brush his teeth and take him for checkups, but since he has no decay I don't need to decide whether to drill or whether to extract. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with his penis so I have had to make no penis decisions for him, so of course we have left it the way it was when he was born.
I hope that is helpful to you.
Congratulations on your baby boy!

Originally Posted by eepster View Post
- dad, who is not circumcised, feels that it is a lot of effort to keep his penis clean and not smelly
Then maybe dad should look into getting circumcised himself. If he makes a horrified expression and crosses his legs when this is suggested, then he obviously doesn't really think it's worth it.
If dad does not think it worth having himself circumcised for "cleanliness" then how could he make that choice for his baby?

post #43 of 92
My son is intact. I would never circumcise. It's not my penis, therefore not my choice. Plus, it impairs function, and what guy (or girl) wants that?!?!?
post #44 of 92
If dad does not think it worth having himself circumcised for "cleanliness" then how could he make that choice for his baby?


beautifully said

I would look at it like if you would not do that to yourself why do so to a newborn baby so brand new to the world and life outside the womb!

Just like the saying.......Do unto others as, you would do unto yourself.
post #45 of 92
FWIW, my circed son *I was young and didn't know better* got several UTIs, rather my intact son has NEVER had one. And, they were/are both bed wetters. So, as I do think that bedwetting could have contributed, it was first son that had UTIs.

My best friend's DH was circed, and had a botched job. I know that when my baby had to have a procedure done, there was a baby boy in there having reconstruction on his penis. Sad.

It really saddens me. Moreso, because I am constantly reminded how I didn't know better with my oldest, and they didn't do anesthetic back then.

I babysat another friend's baby, who chose to have her son done, as her DH and older son were done. When I changed his diaper, he had no penis. He was really chubby, and it sank in (the ironic part of this was that she had made it very clear to me on one of our first visits how well endowed her husband was ). My circ'ed husband (who used to be very pro-circ) looked at me horrified, as I am changing him on the floor. I was taken aback (just as much as I was when I changed first son for the first time, never having seen a uncirced penis before ). I have seen boys in the nursery be changed, that have been circed, after I know that both of them were HBed. Weird. I think one would have to go out of their way to find a dr willing to do a circ after a HB.

I know that many insurances won't pay for a cosmetic surgery anymore. I pray that this barbaric practice will fade someday. I know it really hit me HARD when I saw a medicine man in front of a naked little girl, ready to do a female circ. I was totally APPALLED!! How could ANYONE circ a girl!? It was then that my mind was made up. Kymberli
post #46 of 92
I live in Europe where hardly anyone at all circs.
I simply DO NOT GET It. What is the point. If all the myths about hygiene, UTIs etc were true - we should have dirty men all over. They arent. They are just normal. I have never known a boy who had a UTI - never - not once have I met a man who had one, a mother whos son had one or - well I just never heard of it. And we have pretty low HIV rates compared to the states.
Of all the men I have been intimate with only two were circ'ed - and both of them had problems. One had a very tight circ that was done when he was 6 (no pain meds). He said it was the single most painful thing he had ever experienced. He couldnt wear pants for a month afterwards.

Imagine putting a newborn baby through that - a baby who pees and poops and needs the open wound cleaned several times a day. WHY? None of the circ'ed men I have been with were comfortable wearing a condom. While intact men I have been with may not have exactly enjoyed having to use a condom - only the two circ'ed men were down right reluctant to use it.
Also - being used to intact males when I came across a circ'ed one - well it just didnt function all that well. THere was no foreskin to glide back and forth - it just didn't work like it was supposed to.

To the OP - what are your thoughts on the things we have shared here? I know this is in its nature an anticirc forum - but does that make you discount the opinions and experiences here? Or do you actually consider them?

Please try to imagine the absolute worst case scenario if you dont circ? (looking different, having to clean under foreskin, getting a (treatable) UTI)
And imagine the worst case scenario if you do (infection, amputation or death)

If your child grows up and wants to be circ'ed later in life - he can just do it. He can look at the statistics and the reseach and make a decision to circ or not circ.
If he later looks you in the eyes and asks you "Mom - why did you remove a part of my penis - I can never have it back now" What will you tell him? If he comes up with all the arguments we have mentioned here - then can you still defend having it done to him?

Please please listen to the wise ladies here. We may be against circ - but not all have been against it from the get go. Many ladies here have children that are circ'ed. They have educated themselfes the hard way. They base their opinion on fact, knowledge and compassion. I assume you read pro-circ debates elsewhere? If so - what is their motivation to circ? Do they believe they protect their babies? Have they researched the background of the studies they keep referring to? Do they believe its "better looking"? Do they base their opinion on prejudice or knowledge? Please please ask yourself those questions - think carefully about them before you choose to permanently alter your babys genitals.
post #47 of 92
Originally Posted by fwlady View Post

It really saddens me. Moreso, because I am constantly reminded how I didn't know better with my oldest, and they didn't do anesthetic back then.

They still don't in most cases now.
post #48 of 92
: even when they do they usually start the removal before it takes effect
post #49 of 92
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
: even when they do they usually start the removal before it takes effect
One can also presume that getting a needle filled with burning lydocane injected into your penis feels nothing like being licked by kittens.

Then there is also all the recover pain and open wound with urine on it pain that babies get no relief from at all...Just moms that wonder why on earth they won't breastfeed and why the baby ism so 'fussy'
post #50 of 92
I'm in the UK and my sons are not circumcised. They are the norm here and circumcision is not something that is even mentioned at birth here.

Penises are formed in the womb with foreskins as an integral part of their growth. There is no reason why a baby boy on the outside needs his foreskins any less than when he was in the womb. If a foreskin isn't necessary then males wouldn't have them at all.

Don't do it.
post #51 of 92
Standard of care is to use lido. How that is practiced, I don't know. But lido HURTS when it's injected and it wears off PDQ.

We have a pretty low circ rate in my neck of the woods. But for those families that DO choose, I always warn them beforehand that baby will be fussy that day and will often not eat terribly well. "Imagine skinning your finger, then having it dipped in pee frequently. You'd be fussy too" And that we have to observe them for bleeding and infection afterward. SOmetimes they say "Infection???" Uh, yeah. It's an open wound exposed to urine and feces.

Anyway, the foreskin is not an *error* to be corrected. Especially not on a helpless infant. The potential risks far outweigh any "benefits" a circ might provide.
post #52 of 92
Thread Starter 

To the OP - what are your thoughts on the things we have shared here? I know this is in its nature an anticirc forum - but does that make you discount the opinions and experiences here? Or do you actually consider them?


I do not at all discount the opinions and experiences here, although of course I have noted that the voices here are in a lot of agreement and know that there is a bigger diversity of opinions out there. I have found this discussion useful, especially the links and statistics with references. I have appreciated the generally supportive and helpful tone, and occasionally been turned off by what feels like implied personal judgements of me rather than judgements about circumcision.

As I said at the outset, I have all along been leaning against circumcising my son. This conversation has naturally swayed me more against doing it, although I doubt I'll ever feel as strongly about this particular parenting decision as many here do. I still plan to read some peer-reviewed medical articles and talk to those who made the choice to circumcise before making the final decision. Since my baby isn't due for 4 months, there is a bit of time. I am not concerned that anyone is going to put pressure on me to make the decision one way or another.

By the way, as a point of interest, the baby's dad is in fact currently investigating having himself circumcised. As I said before, though, he is comfortable leaving this decision to me and has shared his experience of his own body as information to help me think through the pros and cons.
post #53 of 92
Originally Posted by beep View Post
The big reasons I have come across for circumcision are:

- decreased risk of penile cancer
Penile cancer is the rarest form of cancer it is more rare than male breast cancer. If you wouldn't remove your son's breast to avoid breast cancer why would you remove his foreskin. Btw, anytime you remove a part of the body you eliminate the risk of that particular body part getting cancer. Removing the foreskin only prevents cancer of the foreskin, not the penis. Again penile cancer is RARE!
- decreased risk of getting HIV (this child is likely to spend some of his life in developing countries where the risk is higher than in the US or Europe)
The Uganda study is highly debatable. It was done with the goal of proving circ did indeed prevent transmission. More importantly, even if you buy into that study, 60% is not enough protection to warrant not using condoms. Condoms are the single best protection against HIV. Studies show circed men are less likely to use condoms, increasing his risk of STDs. A circed man with a condom is no more protected than an intact man with a condom. Finally, US where most men are circed has the highest rate of STD transmission of any developed country. That should tell you enough about the benefit of circumcision against STDs and HIV.
- decreased risk of childhood UTIs
Those studies done in the 80s were very poorly carried out. They compared intact premature babies with circumcised full-term babies. Premature infants have a higher chance of UTI b/c their kidney function is not full developed. Also those invalid studies only show a slight decrease in risk for the first year of life only. During these studies the parents of the intact boys were told to retract the boys for "cleaning" We now know this tears the foreskin, which is fused to the glans, and introduces infection, causing UTI and other problems. Later studies show that with proper care an intact boy is LESS likely to get a UTI b/c the foreskin protects the urethral opening from feces and other bacteria. Here is a link about that (about halfway down it discusses the protective function of the foreskin against UTI): http://www.nocirc.org/statements/breastfeeding.php IF you truly want to prevent UTI, breastfeed your baby. This is the single best way to reduce the risk of UTI. By the way, baby girls are 4-6 times more likely to get UTI than intact boys. We use antibiotics to treat UTI, not amputation of genital tissue.
- dad, who is not circumcised, feels that it is a lot of effort to keep his penis clean and not smelly as well as that the foreskin sometimes decreases sexual sensation when the hood slips up during intercourse; he leans towards circumcision but doesn't feel very strongly and will leave the ultimate decision up to me
The foreskin actually increases sensation since it consists of over 20,000 nerves, muscular bands, blood-flow, and a specialized ridge band of nerves. The foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis. As it rolls over the glans (head) it provides stimulation to the ridge-band and the glans. A circumcised man, especially if he was circed at birth, will develop layers of skin over his glans to do what the foreskin was intended to do. This puts the blood-flow further from the surface and causes a drying out of the glans which are meant to be an internal organ. Dad must have some other issue that is happening to cause him to feel less sensation. This is not foreskin related. The gliding of the foreskin should be a good sensation. I suspect he might have some more complex problem with his penis b/c the movement of the foreskin should feel wonderful. This gliding mechanism is one of the great wonders of the foreskin. If circumcised is your hubby's preference, that is fine. But remember that his personal sexual preference should not be inflicted upon your son.

Hope this helps. I will be happy to provide any more information if you need it. I hope you decide to give your son the choice over the function and appearance of his most private area!

If you do leave him intact, you will want to read these so you can protect him from harm:

post #54 of 92
http://www.cirp.org has a huge library of studies (with anti-circumcision commentary in a different color, but the studies really do speak for themselves) if you want a place to find many studies in one place

I'm due in November and if this baby's a boy he will remain intact. Even if your husband does choose to be circumcised himself, it really doesn't matter about "matching" (if you're at all concerned about that - a lot of people seem to be). My dh is intact and my FIL is circumcised and it was never an issue at all. My dh is actually very glad that they don't "match." They went camping a lot as a family and had a hot tub that they used sans clothing so dh did see his father's penis a fair amount as a child.

Best wishes to you and thank you for looking into this issue more!
post #55 of 92
Hi Beep - I just thought I'd chime in again. My twin boys were born 15 years ago (Ack!), before I had access to the Internet, and I had no idea that infant circumcision was controversial. DH and I chose to leave our babies intact based on gut instinct rather than research. Luckily our family doctor was supportive of our decision - I don't know what we would have done if our trusted doctor had tried to talk us into circumcising our babies.

Here were our reasons:
1. That's got to HURT! We didn't want to cause our babies any unnecessary pain.
2. Baby boys are born with a foreskin, so it must be there for a reason (even if we had no idea at the time what the reasons were).
3. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
4. Even though DH is circumcised, he didn't have any problems with the idea that his sons' wouldn't "match" him (good thing, too, since they look just like me).

After the babies were born, I found a circumcision debate board. In those days, there were a lot more people on such boards who argued in favor of circumcision. I actively sought out reasons TO have it done to my babies - after all, I wanted what was best for them, and they were still little enough I figured it wasn't too late. The more I researched, read journal articles, and talked to knowledgable people on both sides of the debate, the more clearly I could see that the medical advantages to circumcision were very minor, and could be achieved without surgery, and that the risks and harms were much greater than I thought. I learned how the operation is performed - how the foreskin has to be first torn away from the glans before it can be cut off - and how that creates an additional wound. I learned about complications of the operation, ranging from bleeding, infection, and adhesions to meatal stenosis, amputation of part of the glans, and worse. I talked to a woman whose DH's circumcision was so tight that he experienced terrible pain every time he had an erection - they were barely able to have sex, and were lucky to conceive a baby.

But even so, I still felt very strongly that it was up to the parents what they wanted to do with their own son.

Then I saw a headline in our local paper about a baby in Ohio that died as a result of circumcision complicaitons. His name was Dustin Evans. I was absolutely appalled - it had NEVER occurred to me that a baby could DIE as a result of having such a "simple" operation! That single event flung me off the fence and into the anti-circumcision camp. Since then I have comtinued to read research articles, discuss the issue with parents, and debate, and I have not yet heard one single valid reason to circumcise an infant. No medical organization in the world recommends infant circumcision on the basis of medical benefits (because the risks are at least as great as any benefit), which means it boils down to cosmetic surgery. I strongly believe that no one has the right to force cosmetic surgery on someone else - particularly when the body part in question is not damaged or deformed in any way, and is covered by clothing almost all the time. The foreskin is not a birth defect.
post #56 of 92
Please leave your son intact. Then if you do, make sure NO ONE retracts his foreskin!!! I can not stress this enough, it is extremely painful. Synchae(sp?) is the adhesion under the foreskin. Synchae is the same thing that keeps your fingernails on your fingers. So, would you want someone to rip your fingernails off?

Also, do you believe in episotomies? I am guessing not. So, if you do not want to be cut, why would you want to cut your son?

Sorry for spellings...in a rush, but had to post.
post #57 of 92
Beep, thanks for taking the time to read and research here. Since you say you are leaning towards not having it done, I am wondering what your reasons would be for leaving your baby intact? Would you mind sharing them with us?
post #58 of 92
beep, one of the aspects that i haven't seen discussed to a great extent in the questions you have posed or the answers people have given is the structure, function, and purpose of the foreskin.

the debate is often framed as if the pros and cons of circumcision are disease prevention/hygiene on one side and the short-term risks of the procedure itself on the other (pain, bleeding, scarring, infection, meatal stenosis, adhesions, buried penis, lower pain threshold, death, etc.).

very rarely do people stop to consider what exactly the foreskin is and what it does, and how the penis is altered in structure and function when it is circumcised. loss of the foreskin is the complication that occurs in circumcision 100% of the time. yet very few people focus on the long-term effects on sexuality and sexual functioning of the loss of the foreskin.

although your husband is intact, he (like many intact men) may be only vaguely aware of the foreskin's structure and function.

to put it in perspective, one of the main reasons most westerners are horrified by female circumcision is that we are aware of the importance of the female prepuce and clitoris (i.e. the female foreskin and clitoris) to full female sexual functioning. that is why westerners do not accept any justification (religious, cultural, health, etc.) for female circumcision. to put it in personal terms, it's hard to imagine you researching circumcision (removal of the clitoral hood) for yourself or your daughter, precisely because you are presumably aware of the benefits of fully intact, functioning genitals.

and yet the male foreskin is much, much larger in terms of area-- and has more nerve endings -- than the female foreskin. so why do people not consider its loss when considering the pros and cons of circumcision?

i commend these studies to your attention (all peer-reviewed and published in the British Journal of Urology):




This page explains the ridged band based on the research of Taylor et al. (a page I highly recommend your dh read before he makes any decision to get circed):


This page summarizes some of the sexual problems that may occur as a result of circumcision:


Finally, I'll end this post with one more thing:

Circumcision is not a "parenting" decision. It is a decision parents make for children, but it has nothing to do with "parenting."
post #59 of 92
Been thinking about this thread - and thought I would ad a little.

Circumcision is a great source of income for many doctors. Please take into consideration that they often have a very personal and not so beautiful motives to carry out routine infant circumcisions. They make money from every single one they do. A lot of money. So if a doctor recommends you have it done to your son - consider what his personal interest in it would be.

About that particular aspect of circ - someone recently posted a link to a nurse who told about her experiences with circ. I found that very informative:
Nurse about circumcision

Also ask him if he is circ'ed himself. Most cases he is. Circ'ed men are often hestitant to question their own circumcision because for one they never had a choice. They have never known any different - so in other words they are not aware what they are missing out on. For a circ'ed man to admit, that when circ'ed he lost valuable tissue is not easy - then he would have to admit that his own penis is not functioning the way it was supposed to. And how many men want to acknowledge that their penis is not perfect?
Otherwise - if he is intact - it would be appropriate to ask why he never got circ'ed himself if he truely believes that any benefit outweighs the risks/sideeffects.

Also - whether you are into the "intelligent design" or evolution theories - then circ'ing doesn't make sense.
Through thousands and thousands of years men with foreskin have been the most likely to survive and reproduce. If the foreskin wasn't necessary we wouldnt have it.
From an intelligent design perspective - then if we were intelligently designed - then there would be a purpose with foreskin too - or the design wouldn't be intelligent.
Getting all philosophical here - but - well IMO it just doesn't make sense to remove it.
post #60 of 92
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by leila1213 View Post
Beep, thanks for taking the time to read and research here. Since you say you are leaning towards not having it done, I am wondering what your reasons would be for leaving your baby intact? Would you mind sharing them with us?
Basically it would be mostly along the lines of not doing unneeded surgery with its inherent risks, not causing the baby pain, and a general feeling that in general "if it's not broke don't fix it".
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