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Looking for up-to-date video/info

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

DH and I are both researching and talking about our opposing circ viewpoints. I am trying to find info for him that is not incredibly biased as we all know that is a complete turn-off when you're trying to become an informed individual (let alone about a topic so sensitive.)


I really want to know what the current circ method is and detailed info on how it is done start to finish so I can tell DH. (He was unaware that baby could be strapped to the table for this and I assume in some cases they may not be strapped but held down by nurses- either way not cool to me.) Some of the videos you find online are obviously meant as scare tactics and who knows how old they are. I am NOT interested in scaring my husband with potentially false information.


I've been to all the "hot" sites and like I said, it all uses loaded words and will obviously put DH on the defensive.

post #2 of 20

If possible maybe you can see a live one? It all depends on the Dr. and the hospital... It probably isn't likely, but if you can see one in person it is the most recent type of circumcision done in your area. It would be a lot more informative I think.


Also, consider just learning more about the foreskin and what it can do. Going to the studies themselves that pro-circ'ers are always talking about and finding out just what the numbers actually are for the disease prevention. I have read through most of the abstracts and the studies themselves. The comparitive numbers are so out of sync with how much they are touted as a cure all.


Look up the penile cancer rates vs. the infant death rates for circumcision as well. You should be aware about the study that gives a death rate of 117 babies per year, the arguement against it is the way the numbers were crunched. The problem in general is that often the deaths aren't recorded as being associated with the surgery. So the number could be more or less.


Also, Wikipedia has a page on circumcision.


This is a no-circ page, but it has very good information about the make-up and benefits of having a foreskin. Obviously there is a bent towards not circumcising, but the information is solid.




Good luck.


This is a video of an American Veteran with one circumcised son and one intact son.



post #3 of 20
Have you found the one that just shows still pictures? I was only able to look at the first 3 in the set even without sound I just couldnt handle it. The way a circ is done now is exactly the same as it was done 10 years ago so most of the video's out there are accurate. They still either use the clamp or the plastibell and they still use sugar water sometimes and sometimes the shot in the penis or the EMLA cream (which should not be used the manufacturer instructions are very clear on that).

If you google plastibell and mogan clamp (not spelled right) you can find descriptions of their use.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'll look into this info, thanks!


I am curious about the specifics about the whole process though as I used to work as a veterinary technician so I'm pretty in tune with more than just how they cut off the foreskin. For instance, one video I watch showed them using towel clamps to clamp the drape onto the baby's skin- towel clamps are pointy and they hurt. In veterinary medicine we only used them under general anesthesia. I cannot imagine that using towel clamps is standard practice so I want to know what they do instead. Some drapes are sticky and would just be able to stick to the skin to keep it in place. When do they actually apply the anesthetic? Is it topical or injected? What kind of scrub do they use? Etc...


I need to ask my pediatrician I guess, but we never really go to the pediatrician unless my DD is sick SO here we are. I'm hoping someone knows or has a close relationship with a pediatrician whom could answer these questions.

post #5 of 20

The circumcisions I saw in person in 2000 were performed the same way as the videos I have seen. Based on accounts of friends/relatives that have accompanied their babies during circumcisions recently, the method is still the same.


I am not aware that a nurse can hold a baby down instead of using a circumstraint as that would put the nurse in the doctor's way.


These videos are how it really is. It's not like there are some circumcisions happening that are nice and flowery :(. It's scary stuff all around.


Here are still photos of all of the methods:









post #6 of 20

Would you be comfortable calling the hospital or doctor's office where your hypothetical son would be circed and talking to a nurse who assists with them?  That would give you the most relevant info to your situation.  Be sure to ask them (in a neutral voice) if the procedure hurts and if anesthetic is used.  My dh and I learned at our birthing class that not all the OBs at our hospital even use anesthetic, but that if we wanted our son circed to be sure to ask for it.  eyesroll.gif

post #7 of 20

I understand what you mean about unbiased information. When informing myself I was overwhelmed with opinions. I didn't want opinions, I wanted facts so that I could then have my own opinion and evaluate other peoples opinion. The best place to start for me was the anatomy and function of the foreskin. The anatomy and function are facts that cannot be disputed. What does the foreskin consist of? What is each component made up of? What does each component do? What is the foreskins collective purpose? http://www.circumstitions.com/Glossary.html I also used wikipedia to clarify information. 

The second thing I looked at was the history and how circumcision started in the United States. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_male_circumcision


The anatomy, function and history were the things that helped me form an opinion, I like referencing them because they are facts not points of view. 


Another idea is to look circumcision up in different countries. I found that circumcision in general as well as published studies (HIV and STD studies) were represented far differently in countries where circumcision is not found favorable. 

This is from the Canada's pediatric society http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/pregnancybabies/circumcision.htm

These are from the British association of pediatric surgeons- I found it interesting that they use general anesthesia. http://www.baps.org.uk/documents/Circumcision_2007 http://www.baps.org.uk/parents_forum/eido/PS02_lite_Circumcision_(child)1.pdf


An interesting study regarding STDs and HIV found that the Langerhans cells in the genital mucosa actually fight off HIV infection and do not act as a "portal" for disease. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/05/AR2007030500357.html


I agree that in order to know how the surgery would be performed you would need to get into contact with those who do them in your area. It seems the procedure varies by doctor regarding anesthesia. However, it is my understanding that they must be strapped down to avoid movement that could cause an uneven cut or catastrophic damage to the penis.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the links and info JulianneW!

post #9 of 20

Your welcome!

When you said you went to the usual sites I automatically assumed Dr.momma was among them. However, I really should not assume. I know quite a few people who have visited her site and changed their views on the issue and I have not found her to be offensive or use language that would cause anyone to become defensive. 

Here are some of my favorites




post #10 of 20

I'm curious if you are putting as much effort into educating yourselves in how a foreskin works in sexual intercourse, and it's function overall anatomicly- as you are in researching how to remove it.  Maybe that sounds snarky- but it seems that you are going about this backwards.  Shouldn't you first figure out if your child will be born perfect and beautiful...??? and why all of his anatomy is important and worthy of protecting ...before you set to researching about how to change the appearance and function of his sexual anatomy and all the pain and risks that go with it?


I will try to give you links with some "authority" and not opinion pieces from bloggers and trash editorials.


I've been an intactivist for over 13 years and there is NO new technology in circumcision in the past decade.  The only new news are the very conflicting (unethical, racist and dangerous studies) reports about HIV out of Africa. 

 The Mogen company is now out of business, filed bankrupcy after several major lawsuits for botched circumcisions....so don't bother researching Mogen.

The plastibell device (known for having a higher rate of infection) is the same. (google plastibell infected penis for the most horrifying photo of galloping gangrene ever)

The Gomco clamp (known for having a higher rate of bleeding complications) is the same. 

FDA warning about circumcision clamps: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/PublicHealthNotifications/ucm062279.htm 

There are a few new disposable plastic clamping devices (working with necrosis like the plastibell) used overseas in the Phillipines and in Africa, that also come in boy and man sizes...not applicapable to USA infant circumcision.  In African trials, the poor results were covered up so a lucrative government contract could be brokered with the sole supplier of these clamps... a man with a dubious history and wanted by interpol.


As for anesthesia, of course, as a parent, you have the freedom to see to it that your child does get anesthesia, you can choose your circumciser and you can make sure that he gets anesthesia and not that you just get reassurance that "pain relief will be used" if you actually stay with your baby during the circumcision.  It is very common for nurses to be ORDERED to lie to parents about what was used and tell mothers that the baby slept through it.  Nurses admit to this.  There is mixed evidence surrounding the use of a sucrose pacifier and this actually qualifies as pain relief, so it's a loophole in the outright lie that the baby will get pain relief.  There is also a great study by Anna Taddio about the long term effects on infant pain responses after circumcision.



Also very questionable is the use of EMLA ointment for pain relief as the packaging slearly states that the product is not to be used on infants or on mucosal tissue (strike two for circumcisions)... the risk is... oh crimminy I can't spell it.. methemoglobinemia   .... whatever- your blood loses it's ability to carry oxygen.... that's pretty sucky but doesn't stop it from being one of the most commonly used anesthetics for circumcision.


Now, regardless that you now know that you can advocate for your child to get anesthesia, most parents don't know this, so most babies will be circumcised (YES STILL) with no anesthesia.  I know for a fact that my farm vet treats my farm animals with higher regard and better ethics than these circumcisers treat human infants. It's also clear that parents are not giving fully informed consent because if they knew that either A:their child was denied anesthesia B: their child really does feel pain, quite exquisitely and C: The AAP says that anesthesia is both safe and effective and should be used.... there is no reason to go forward with a "informed consent"  circumcision without it.   


This survey was published in the journal of the AAP showing the anesthesia practice patterns among circumcisers open the charts of stats - 75% of OBs (OBs do the most circumcisions) use no anesthesia.  My favorite (and only) circumcision joke is about why OBs do circumcisions when they will not touch an infant for anything else and never do any followup on the infants they circumcise- "Circumcise him quick, before someone else does!"


This is my favorite piece of medical writing about the ethics of circumcision- from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Sascatchewan:



Although I have refered to the AAP, I feel that their policy statement is not to be trusted. 


I have posed a question to them about their numbers in regard to circumcision risks and have yet to get a reply.  In their paper they state that the complications are unknown and go on to estimate less than half of a percent... they go on to list TWENTY complications by name. One is meatal stenosis which happens to about 8-9% of circumcised males, only circumcised males because of their circumcised state- and another is post circumcision phimosis which happens to about 3% of circumcised boys... so right there we have over 10% complications and we still have 18 complications left, including the ones the AAP says are most common- bleeding and infection.  This is not to take into account the long term complication of every sucessful circumcision which is the lack of the foreskin which is a functioning part of human sexual anatomy. Their policy makes no effort to describe this anatomy or it function before offering to parents that they have permission to take non-medical considerations into account before authorising a physician to do the surgery (the AAP has no authority to grant this permission to parents - it is outside the scope of their profession)  The practice of circumcision in the USA is a self perpetuating cycle that relies on a history of medical practice that imposed circumcision on families without informed consent- and a generation later plays coy in suggesting that parents use their freshly granted new rights to make this informed decision so that son can look like daddy.


I suggest that along with researching sexual function- you look into the history of circumcision in your own family and find out how and why people came to be circumcised and see if those reasons alone would justify imposing this "tradition" on a new generation. 


This is a two part video on the anatomy of the prepuce.  You will need to log in to youtube to view it because it has photos of penises in the video.  It is a "biology class" style presentation, very scientific.

Foreskin functions: part 1 of 2



I hope that you found the links I selected for you to be helpful and I'd be glad to help out with any other social or emotional questions that come up. 

post #11 of 20

Google "The WHOLE Network"


They have a lot of information about the benefits of being Intact in their Library.


They also have a FB group you can join too!  Very helpful information comes out on a daily basis!

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks PlainandTall, this is all very helpful!


In regards to my focus on the process and not the reason for prevention (foreskin function), I think it's currently better to not focus on that as my DH is circ'd and I would rather avoid that emotional aspect until he really starts to believe that it is just purely unnecessary. In all else we have been able to communicate and come to agree whether it was our decision to homebirth (I was born at home and was first to be on board with doing it ourselves) or practicing attachment type parenting and not letting our baby cry-it-out. He has always been willing to listen to what I've read and what the facts are, but obviously none of those issues are quite the same as this one. Does that make sense? It will all come in time :) I have definitely read about all of it multiple times myself.

post #13 of 20

I couldn't read all the posts now, but did someone post the Stanford Medical Hospital site http://newborns.stanford.edu/Circumcision.html ?  They have (totally pro-circ biased) videos of circumcisions for teaching purposes, but I find them horrifying- because the baby is obviously in pain and hurting and the doctor is going on and on about the 'pretty penis' he's cutting.   It was on the website about 6 months ago, but I honestly cannot stomach checking out the website myself again, to verify what is on the site.  There are photos which show before and after.

By the way, all the 'warning' on the website have been relatively recently added- they used to not be there at all.


It is totally for medical teaching purposes, so it is not biased from an intact perspective. 


Also, some of the circ support boards (such as the one at ivillage) had had some very graphic and realistic descriptions of circumcision, including videos. Some on these boards pretty much chastise parents for not being VERY involved in researching the method that is going to be used and making sure the doctor is good at the procedure, going to have a result that you expect etc (ie not perform a loose circumcision because that happens a lot and families seem to wonder if it was done 'right', etc.).


I don't know, for me, even thinking about choosing which method is the 'best' and cosmetically how my sons penis should 'look' was enough to really solidify how CRAZY the whole thing was.  Besides, many studies out there show that most drs DON'T use the recommended pain relief standards.   In the past I've posted a research paper that compared the common circumcision methods for pros/cons of each one if you think that would help.... the link isn't working anymore, but I think I have it somewhere.  It has been a few years since I have posted it.


More random suggestions from me for unbiased stuff-   Google stuff like: gomco complications, plastibell complications or gomco plastibell comparison, etc and you'll get stuff like this:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2581731/    "Circumcision Complications Associated with the Plastibell Device and Conventional Dissection Surgery: A Trial of 586 Infants of Ages up to 12 Months" which concludes- "The overall rates of complications in CDS and PD groups were 1.95% and 7.08%,"


Anyways, both of those figures are greater than the 'lifetime' risk of needing to be circumcised if left intact which is often claimed to be 1%, although one can make the argument that is likely a high figure and that the complications rates as above only include immediate complications and not things like meatal stenosis that shows up in toddlers or sexual issue that show up in puberty.

A neutral link that I like for comparison of complication rates is this http://www.cps.ca/caringforkids/pregnancybabies/Circumcision.htm from the  Canadian Pediatric Society  (it seems to be the only site that really has a concise summary) and l like I mentioned above, it doesn't include meatal stenosis, or adhesions in the figures for circumcision but DOES compare lifetime risk of circumcision for those that are intact.


Here's the medical site w/ photos and vids-   WARNING VERY GRAPHIC   http://newborns.stanford.edu/Circumcision.html


Good luck.


post #14 of 20

Liea- I really appreciate your consideration of how your husband's circumcision and how this information will play into his emotional ability to process this.  Really I do, because I was in the same boat and when I was in your shoes 13 years ago I was possibly not as wise as you.  I didn't anticipate it at all.  I didn't plan my approach and just laid it all out. (and it blew up in my face in the most horrible way) For me, because I used to live in Europe and had first hand experience with this anatomy being masculine sexual anatomy- not garbage, this "question" was not a question for me at all- you don't cut a man's genitals...period... that's a given.  But in America... well we do consider cutting the garbage off a man's genitals to make him a nice man with nice genitals.  I will argue that you are not being honest by posing the question "Is it too dangerous and risky to cut (the garbage) off our child's genitals?" rather than "Our child is born beautiful and perfect and this anatomy has a role that should be protected."  My husband (back then) assumed that asserting that sexual anatomy he didn't have really was sexual anatomy meant that I hated him.  He said it. His brain was having a total tantrum inside his skull. In fact the breakdown progressed to a very dramatic situation with him curled in a fetal position with a pillow clutched to his crotch crying and yelling that he was not damaged.  I never asked him to say he was damaged, I just asked him to protect our son from genital cutting. But it's not about the baby.


One of the greatest risks of circumcision is that it creates circumcisers.  Along with removing the foreskin, it frequently will also destroy a man's objectivity toward the natural human form.  You are trying to do a rational dance around an irrational situation.  You are being an enabler to one of the biggest myths and harms of circumcision.  This may be a horrible place for him to go emotionally- but for the emotional health of your family I do not believe that it's ok to leave the foreskin intact on your child and the cognative dissonance intact in your husband.  In order for the circumcised father to an intact son thing to work- the circumcised father has to not just tolerate his son's wierd little penis... he has to get over his own modified concept of maleness and truly embrace the form of his own body that is coded in his own DNA which has been reborn in the body of his son.  Sometimes this can't be done before birth.  Sometimes a man has to hold his son in his arms (as mine did) to really have it hit home... or maybe it will take a few years. 


If you are a parent who wants to be able to let fears of the lockerroom or opposite sex encounters roll off you (and your son) like water off a ducks back... you son's foreskin has to be more than something you couldn't afford to cut off, or something that was maybe too painful to cut off, or to risky to cut off because you were a preemie... it has to be important normale male anatomy that is there for a reason. If you want to protect him from not just the circumstraint- but the trial of growing up intact in a broken world who doesn't value the normal male body- you have to really get this all the way to the core of your understanding.  You  can't do a good job instilling self confidence in your son if his foreskin is just a coin-toss away from medical waste to you. You don't want your son  to grow up circumcising your grandkids and wishing you had just gotten it over with when he was a baby and wouldn't remember it.


There is a book by Ronald Goldman called "Circumcision the Hidden Trauma" and in it he names this "The adamant father syndrome" and it's a very real thing.  I've long wished I could identify the character trait that allows some circumcised dads to bypass this with ease- what is it about them that's different? ...most men really have to "hit the wall", break down and then pick up the pieces when the illusion is shattered.  Of course we love these men and we don't want to hurt them, but you are mistaken if you think that protecting sexist and harmful ideas in them for the sake of an appearance of tranquility is prefered over the painful work of letting go and growing.  James Atherton writes about the learning process in people (nothing to do with circumcision) and he names this process "learning as loss" and "supplantive learning"  ... in supplantive learning a person is destabilized because what they once believed has to be unlearned before the new information can be absorbed.  People do not like to go backwards in their edcucation- they don't want to let go of what they already know.  Atherton explains the challenge to teachers who are facing a student who stands to lose by being open to new information... he warns that these teachers need to be aware of this emotional conflict and provide the students a safe compassionate surrounding to be able to manage that destabilization.  You have this half right... you are aware of the situation this strudent faces... but rather than work to find a solution to this learning barrier- you have chosen to modify the syllabus to avoid the difficulty.

post #15 of 20

So many wonderful posters here.  I liked watching this one with anyone in the fam who wasn't on board or didn't understand. 




post #16 of 20

I think there can be a difference between discussing foreskin function and sexual benefits. For instance the foreskin is made up of the mucosa, frenulum, frenular delta, ridged band. 






I think its important that a person know the composition of the foreskin and what it does, protective function, antibacterial function ect. I don't think the sexual benefits need to be brought up. Its obvious from the composition that sex with a foreskin would be different.


A few months ago I had a conversation about foreskins with one of me and my husbands best friends. I talked about the foreskin composition and function. He was very quiet and I could tell he had never really thought about it. Towards the end of the conversation he said well it prevents AIDS, to which I replied isn't that what condoms are for? The conversation ended and we never discussed it again. Seven months later he brought it up himself. He said he was circumcised and was none the wiser but that he believed that all natural things were there for a purpose and that you shouldn't mess with nature.

I agree with you Liea, sometimes it just takes time once an idea is introduced.

post #17 of 20

If you haven't read this yet: http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html  you should.  It gives a bit of insight into why this can be such a sensitive issue for dads, and might help you approach the topic with him differently (or not--sounds like you're already on a good track with him).

post #18 of 20

This came up on another discussion (which, of course, I can't find for some reason), but I wanted to mention that I came across an old thread from 2006 on what the old Stanford video was like- you can tell by the commentary how awful the gomco (as an example0 'teaching' video was:


It looks like they removed the gomco video that  was there in 2006 and replaced it with the current  video (different doctor and from the comments on the 2006 post, the dr did not have gloves on in the video I commented about in 2006).  


How do we make it known to parents, at the very very least, they need to be sure their doctor has the same idea about ethics and pain relief that you expect?


Garsh, that was 5 years ago.

post #19 of 20

I placed the old thread as a wiki so anyone who wants to update the video resources can do so: http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/circumcision-videos-graphic



post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by Carlyle View Post

If you haven't read this yet: http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html  you should.  It gives a bit of insight into why this can be such a sensitive issue for dads, and might help you approach the topic with him differently (or not--sounds like you're already on a good track with him).

I was going to suggest this.  It's just for YOU to read and think about.  Don't show it to your dh. 


But the pp's link doesn't seem to work, so I'm linking it again:



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