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Phimosis hereditary?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Tonight I heard a new excuse for circ that my ears had never heard before. Apparently *every* adult in this certain family ends up with phimosis (in their early 20's) so all boys now get circumcised.


Sounds like hogwash to me. What do you all think?


post #2 of 12


Originally Posted by Lauren82 View Post

Tonight I heard a new excuse for circ that my ears had never heard before. Apparently *every* adult in this certain family ends up with phimosis (in their early 20's) so all boys now get circumcised.


Sounds like hogwash to me. What do you all think?


I call BS. First I've never heard that Phimosis was a hereditary condition. Second, even if it was, hereditary, it would only increase your risk for the condition, not guarantee that all would get it. The sheer fact that you're introducing other genetic components (from the mother's side) means that if there was a gene that predisposed someone to phimosis, there would be some chance that it wouldn't occur.

post #3 of 12
Well if they have been given improper care instructions for the last generation or so and every boy has been subjected to vigorous cleaning and forced retraction I can see how it would look like a hereditary condition. But I dont buy that it is passed along like eye color or anything like that.
post #4 of 12

I have a friend who has that same excuse.  Her husband's family had phimosis cases so all four of her boys are circ'd.  Its too difficult to try and discuss it with her.  I'm hoping her upcoming birth at a birth center with midwives will help her change her mind.  I'm really hoping the center and midwives will manage to have the subject come up and educate her a bit so this fifth boy can remain intact.

post #5 of 12

Sounds to me like the hereditary link is a misinformed mother hurting their foreskin in early childhood. I think the idea of a genetic problem linked to the sex organ is one of the FIRST genetic weaknesses to be weeded out by natural selection.

post #6 of 12

My husband had to have an adult circumcision while in college.  It hurt every time he got even a little aroused while healing.  So, he wants to get our son circumcised because he is thinking it must be a hereditary thing but no real proof.  But, his father's family is Jewish, so he was the first not to be circumcised on that side.  So, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the possibility that it is hereditary.  If circumcision has been happening in his family for generations, that genetic problem would not have manifested until someone decided to break the chain.  I also think that mixed heritage and penis size may play a part more than a genetic defect. No real answer but I don't know which risk is worse, subjecting a newborn to surgery or waiting until he's in college and making him go through a more serious surgery and longer recovery.

post #7 of 12


Edited by YogaMama82 - 1/24/12 at 5:14pm
post #8 of 12

So yoga mom, I'm sure others may be more eloquent, but first I'd like to welcome you to Mothering.com. I really hope you stick around the case against circumcision boards, because there is so much to learn. I would HIGHLY recommend you read the thread about moms who regret the decision to have their sons cut :) I am thankful every time I change my son's diaper that I educated myself here.


So a few thoughts


1) Circumcision is a cultural phenomenon and has nothing to do with health benefits. In other countries, they treat phimosis with a cream. I'm sorry your husband had to go through that in college, but it still seems like overkill to say the least that we amputate here in the states.


2) It is the same surgery. The poor babe doesn't have the strength to fight back nor the words to protest. There is less tissue to work with and a great chance that something will go wrong. The recovery is just as long, and the wound must heal while rubbing in urine and feces.. hardly and easy recovery. My good friend's 4 year old had a botched job and his penis constantly hurts. He will have to go in to get things fixed. My cousin developed scars around his urethra as a toddler because there was no protective tissue... he had to go back in and get things fixed too. In neither case was there an easy recovery and those are both extremely common side effects of RIC.


3) Even if phimosis WAS hereditary based on penis size and whatnot, one should wait to see if it  actually manifested itself before "treating" (breast cancer is hereditary in my family, therefore, should I have a preventative mastectomy just to be sure?)


4) Your husband might be traumatized by his surgery, but why on earth would he want to pass that feeling on to a newborn?


Again, welcome to the boards though. So much to think about and learn here! Love this community thumb.gif

post #9 of 12
I wholeheartedly agree with #3 in the pp even if it is hereditary (though I really dont think it is) doing the circ on a tiny penis is much harder and there is no way to know how much skin to take off. Plus the foreskin must be ripped free of the glans with little to no pain relief to then be stuck in a diaper with urine and feces . While in the adult there is pain relief along with the foreskin already being unattached to the glans and the main thing knowing exactly how much skin to take off.
post #10 of 12

Even if phimosis is inherieted .... the boy gets some genes from mom and some from dad. It may run in dad's family, but that does not mean that dad's gene for this is dominant.  He might get mom's gene for non-phimosis.


When I've observed dad's and son's at the pool locker room .... uncircumcised brother's do NOT necessarily look the same. I thing of one pair of brothers. One had a long overhand while the other had barely enough foreskin to cover the glans.  Neither was circumcised. They both inherieted from the same dad with different results.


This is a bogus reason to circ.


post #11 of 12

There is absolutely no reason to circumcise because of phimosis. It happens here because our doctors and urologists are ignorant of all the non invasive procedures that can be used to treat phimosis and do not amputate any foreskin.  Yogamama, I am sorry for what happened to your DH, but I believe that he was a victim of this ignorance if he was not offered any other treatment. These would include the application of Betamethasone cream and stretching and various methods of preputioplasty. Please see:  www.cirp.org/library/treatment/phimosis/ and www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2490/8/6 .  I find it absolutely incredible that the medical schools in North America do not teach anything about the form, function and value of a foreskin, nor how to treat the odd, rare problem without amputation.  The trail of destruction that they are leaving behind them is heartbreaking.

post #12 of 12

Let me see.  Phimosis may have a hereditary component.  Sounds reasonable.  Based on that, there may be a tendency in some family's for the men (not boys) to have phimosis.  But you won't know if they do until well into or after their puberty. 


If they do have phimosis, then there are treatment alternatives to circumcision.  these can be tried first, and, form the material I have read, these other treatments are most likely to succeed, so there is little likelihood that circumcision will be needed.


So a parent needs to decide whether to RIC or not.  They need to evaluate all the pros and cons for either choice.



Causes unbearable pain, so much that the infant typically goes into shock.

Many complications, including death are possible risks.

It violates our society's widely held standard for bodily integrity.

It goes against medical guidelines for doctors to act in the best interest of their patient.

It goes against widely held views that the parent's duty is to act in the best interest of their child, unless they can articulate why this choice is the best.

It takes away the child's options and choice.

It amputates the most important and valuable anatomical feature foe sexual function and feeling, for both the child and his future partners.

It is harder to achieve a good outcome as an infant, compared to adult circumcision.


Leave Intact:

No risk, no pain, no complications from surgery.

Protects the child's rights to bodily integrity and getting good medical treatment.

Leaves options open, so if the child want s to be intact he is, if he wants to be circ'd he can.

Waits until there is a need, before amputating healthy body parts that are highly valuable.


I don't know, seems like an easy choice to me, leave him intact.



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