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Does anyone regret NOT circumcising? *this is NOT a pro circ thread, just curious about the... - Page 5

post #81 of 133

Maggie i think what you said is very insightful and it actually applies to a lot of things.

 

I have had 2 homebirths and my main motivators were a real fear of being out of control in a hospital environment and being forced to have interventions i didn't want.  All my friends know my choices and my reasoning and all but one of them ended up with a disappointing/traumatic first birth because though they understood, theoretically, why i did what i did, they didn't REALLY get what i was on about until they had hindsight.  They all knew the basic facts about birth and i'd told them that if you go somewhere where there's a 60% cs rate you're more likely to get a cs than not, but they didn't "get" what i meant, truly, until they were post cs and looking over notes on a fairly normal labour disrupted by interventions.  So even giving people information, doesn't necessarily they will KNOW afterwards.

 

I think a lot of decisions we make can be that way.  I had a thyroid problem after i'd had DD1 and in order to make sure she "had enough milk" i ended up topping up with formula (because my supply was dropping and she was hungry).  Of course within a few weeks she was weaned because she began to refuse the breast and my supply totally bombed.  But i thought the "don't mix feeds unless you're willing to wean completely" advice didn't apply to ME, someone who had BFed for 4 months already - i thought it only applied to women with newborns struggling to get a good latch!  I look back and know that though my thyroid problem was at the root of my supply issues i COULD have avoided weaning if i'd fed fed fed and never offered alternative milks and pumped and taken herbs and so on.  I know now, having pumped for a friend and managed to increase by 9oz/day on herbs and pumping, having BFed #2 for 2 years, what is possible.  Back then i just. didn't. know.  And being told unfortunately didn't really change that.

post #82 of 133

 

"So even giving people information, doesn't necessarily [mean that] they will KNOW afterwards.  I think a lot of decisions we make can be that way... Back then i just. didn't. know.  And being told unfortunately didn't really change that."

 

I hope you don't mind that I just took this part of your quote...but for some reason it just summed up my experience parenting PERFECTLY!!!

 

Heh!!  If we knew then what we know now...how differently would we parent?  I did a lot of things right...but I did a lot more of them wrong.   The funniest part about it all is that the more I learn, the less I feel like I know!  A very humbling experience to be sure!!!

 

How wonderful that women have the internet, rapid communication, digital technology, and all of these new inventions by which to share information.  If only I could have texted a girlfriend with a son and asked her opinion on circumcision...she probably would have had articles right on her phone that she could have forwarded to me ;)

 

Thank you for sharing your experience!! 

Maggie

post #83 of 133

I do. Had way too many foreskin issues growing up. Phimosis stayed no matter how much the doctor stretched my foreskin.

post #84 of 133

That's too bad Rondloper, sorry you had trouble. Luckily, true phimosis is a rare occurence (someone help me... in countries that are informed about intact penises, it's like 1%, right?)... meanwhile, unfortunately, once it's cut, and you have a problem, you can't do much.. like my friend's son, poor little guy's penis is in constant pain and needs corrective surgery due to a botched circ :( I'm pretty sure this is not such a rare occurance here in the states.

post #85 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by rondloper View Post

I do. Had way too many foreskin issues growing up. Phimosis stayed no matter how much the doctor stretched my foreskin.



The very act of the Dr. "stretching" your foreskin is probably what caused the problems. I dont know what age you where when the Dr. started doing this but I do know that repeat force retraction of the foreskin causes scar tissue leading to true phimosis down the road. It used to be thought that the foreskin should be retracted and cleaned from birth and many Dr's would forcibly do this at every appt. and mothers where told to do it at every diaper change. We now know that this is actually what caused many of the issues with the foreskin and that it should never be done.

I am sorry that you went through so much growing up. It makes me even more thankful for the internet and boards like this one that actually teach parents how to protect their children from Dr's who are still not up to date on the proper intact care ie leaving it alone to let nature take its course.
post #86 of 133

Started around the age of six. Urinating became very painful and the foreskin just started getting tighter and tighter. It had never been retracted before. At that age, it should have been a lot looser, maybe fully retractable, but was not. The doctor did not try to pull back the foreskin at all, the first thing he did was to insert a blunt probe to feel how loose it was and it was about 50% loose at the time. He then used a forceps to stretch the retractable part of the foreskin and in the process of doing this scarred the glans with gouges as well as tore the inner foreskin. This happened many times over a few years. I used to try to retract it on my own and it was very painful and a few times the foreskin got stuck behind the glans. At age ten or so the last of the foreskin tore away from the glans. I was shocked at the buildup of smegma. That was an incredible turnoff. Never could get rid of the stuff. At that point the outer foreskin was regularly tearing with retraction as well. It was very painful when this happened. Overall I always had a feeling of pressure around my glans which was very uncomfortable almost all the time.

 

Tammy, to answer your question on percentages in countries that do not circumcise as we do here in the US where foreskin problems occur, I would guess way more than 1%. There are no statistics as to what percentage of uncircumcised boys/men have foreskin issues as none of these are every published. Depending on what stats are published, I would say that figure is probably about 10% on the low end and as high as about 20% on the high end.  I grew up outside the US, where circumcision was not widely practiced at all, and from what I recall, there were at least 5 or 6 of my friends that all had similar problems and I know at least 4 of them finally got circumcised because of it. If I recall about 1/3 (10 - 12) were circumcised from early school days in the gym showers. Towards the end of high school there were probably another 5 or 6 that had been circumcised as well. So that would make it closer to 50% by the time we were all sexually active.

post #87 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by rondloper View Post

Started around the age of six. Urinating became very painful and the foreskin just started getting tighter and tighter. It had never been retracted before. At that age, it should have been a lot looser, maybe fully retractable, but was not. The doctor did not try to pull back the foreskin at all, the first thing he did was to insert a blunt probe to feel how loose it was and it was about 50% loose at the time. He then used a forceps to stretch the retractable part of the foreskin and in the process of doing this scarred the glans with gouges as well as tore the inner foreskin. This happened many times over a few years. I used to try to retract it on my own and it was very painful and a few times the foreskin got stuck behind the glans. At age ten or so the last of the foreskin tore away from the glans. I was shocked at the buildup of smegma. That was an incredible turnoff. Never could get rid of the stuff. At that point the outer foreskin was regularly tearing with retraction as well. It was very painful when this happened. Overall I always had a feeling of pressure around my glans which was very uncomfortable almost all the time.

 

Tammy, to answer your question on percentages in countries that do not circumcise as we do here in the US where foreskin problems occur, I would guess way more than 1%. There are no statistics as to what percentage of uncircumcised boys/men have foreskin issues as none of these are every published. Depending on what stats are published, I would say that figure is probably about 10% on the low end and as high as about 20% on the high end.  I grew up outside the US, where circumcision was not widely practiced at all, and from what I recall, there were at least 5 or 6 of my friends that all had similar problems and I know at least 4 of them finally got circumcised because of it. If I recall about 1/3 (10 - 12) were circumcised from early school days in the gym showers. Towards the end of high school there were probably another 5 or 6 that had been circumcised as well. So that would make it closer to 50% by the time we were all sexually active.

 

20% of intact boys having problems? That's 1 in 5! That seems extremely high to me, seeing as how I know lots of intact men and exactly none of them have suffered the least inconvenience. I am suspicious of your post, rondloper.

post #88 of 133

I am sorry you had to go through that, as I'm sure it was painful (like it is for newborns) and traumatic (like it is for newborns). I do thank you for contributing though, because your thoughts are valued, as is sharing your experience. It has an important place in the discussion. But as a mom who was so worried about the decision (and as a marketing person who understands how this thread will probably pop up in many google searches :-) I just want to put it in perspective for others...

 

This from the Canadian Pediatric Society

"Of every 1,000 boys who are not circumcised:

  • 7 will be admitted to hospital for a UTI before they are one year old.
  • 10 will have a circumcision later in life for medical reasons, such as a condition called phimosis. Phimosis is when the opening of the foreskin is scarred and narrow because of infections in the area that keep coming back. Older children who are circumcised may need a general anesthetic, and may have more complications than newborns."

 

so that would be 1%

 

Furthermore:

Of every 1,000 boys who are circumcised:

  • 20 to 30 will have a surgical complication, such as too much bleeding or infection in the area.
  • 2 to 3 will have a more serious complication that needs more treatment. Examples include having too much skin removed or more serious bleeding.
  • 2 will be admitted to hospital for a urinary tract infection (UTI) before they are one year old.
  • About 10 babies may need to have the circumcision done again because of a poor result.

 

http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/circumcision

post #89 of 133

Just to make sure I'm being clear... it would seem that whether the child starts out circumcised or not, 1% will have to have it done again... so why do it in the first place if that is what you are worried about?

 *edited to add*

I was thinking about this, for the sake of other parents who are searching for answers. I'm sure one would come back "surely if 1% had to be circumcised, there were many more who suffered problems without ending up circumcised." I thought I would try and answer that.

 

1) Being alive has the general side-effect of occasional health problems... sometimes even serious ones (this applies to all body parts)

 

2) Just because only 1% of circ'd boys have to be re-circ'd, that doesn't account for the many, many more who suffer problems with things like too-tight cut, skin bridges and meatal stenosis.

 

My take-home point, for a mama or papa who is in the mental place I was two years ago.... Problems can happen no matter what you choose. Why not let your child stay as they were meant to be? If something comes up... deal with it when you actually know what the problem is. I can tell you that the minute my son was born, all of my trepidations and my husband's protest evaporated. His penis is fine, his foreskin is ridiculously benign and easy to care for... not even getting diaper rash once. All you need to know is this: Take good care of them. Make sure you are getting proper medical advice. Nature knows what to do :-) (after all... have you ever heard of a dog/cat/cow/horse/ANY OTHER MAMMAL needing circumcision... even though they don't have thumbs or access to showers? Isn't that a weird thought? Of course... because having foreskin is NORMAL, just remember that
 
(PS, directed at rond... being circumcised is normal too! if you are an adult, or old enough to know that is what you want or need, than it is merely a medical tool...  neither good nor bad. I just want to make sure circ'd guys reading this don't feel attacked, because that isn't the point of this discussion)

Edited by tammylsmith - 8/24/12 at 12:15pm
post #90 of 133
How many of the 1% were caused by doctors or nurses not knowing how to handle (or when not to handle) a whole penis?
post #91 of 133

Michelle,yYour call on what you want to believe or not. I am not disputing, just stating what I was exposed to and those that I know that had foreskin issues growing up. Again I will state, foreskin issues are not statistics that are recorded. You are entitled to your opinion.

post #92 of 133

Tammy, this is an extremely heated debate and a very sensitive issue for many, yet others feel its very normal to be circumcised even those that were not done at birth, but at a later time in life. I like the way you call it a medical tool. Thanks!

post #93 of 133

rondloper-

I want to direct your attention to our forum guidlines

 

Quote:
We are not interested in hosting discussion on merits of routine infant medical circumcision.
post #94 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by artekah View Post


I find this really interesting. If you are willing to discuss, what do you think are some of the common assumptions surrounding circumcision that keep people in that faith-based mode where they won't respond to reason or facts? And how do you work with those assumptions so you can get to the point where you're speaking the same language, if you will?
I struggle with this a lot, because when you simply look at the information before you, it is SO completely obvious that infant circumcision is SO completely wrong. It is a no-brainer, once you know the basic facts (and I mean BASIC, like reading one page on the functions of the foreskin.) I've always assumed that if we could just make sure everyone has the facts, the practice would just stop immediately. But obviously it's not that simple. So how do you talk to people who are not only uninformed but also invested in faith-based thinking around the subject? In a way that actually makes a difference for more little boys?
ETA: Perhaps that is a better discussion for a new thread. Didn't mean to go off topic! But I am interested in communication strategies for bridging the gap on this issue.

I am, but think we should probably do that in the subsection on intactivism.  I will start a new thread there.

 

Cheers!

post #95 of 133

That was great, Tammy: I like to think of it as a medical tool too.  Although my boys are circ'd unnecessarily (read my previous posts for explanation), I do think that it's a great way to put it in proper perspective.  You wouldn't give your child a sinus lift or a nose-job (even if you had had a problem with your sinuses or were self-conscious of your nose) at birth, even if you thought they might run into trouble later on.  If they needed it when they were older, or wanted cosmetic surgery when they were adults, you would advise them based on your experience, but you wouldn't necessarily just standardize the procedure at birth.  

 

I think that's a great way to think about circumcisions: totally unnecessary unless problems arise.  

 

Again, if I had the chance to make over, I would rather circumcise my child at a later date if I found it to be a problem than to change them at birth.  Why perform any surgeries if you don' t have to?  I think it's much better to do later in life anyway.  Less risk of infection (no diapers, no fecal contamination) and the ability to communicate pain: these are two things that posed problems for me when my boys were infants.  

 

Maggie

post #96 of 133

   I do not regret it at all. Here is why: 

 

   After asking my husband to research it and after his horror learning so much he is 100% against it. He has that opinion 7 years ago and still has it. He wishes his mother would have known better. Every man I know who has researched it feels much the same way my husband does it seems. 

 

  Another reason I do not regret it is that my sons body is simply not my own and he can make that choice when he is older if he chooses. Body modification is painful, be it breast enlargement, a nose job, or penis change. If they really want it, they will get it. There is evidence showing how harmful it can be as an infant, I think a grown man can choose to take the risks, choose to deal with the pain. Our minds remember everything and everything we experience effects us, even if we are not aware of it. 

 

   You are the Mom though, you have to live your life in a way that is right for you. Plus, I could always be wrong! :)    I will say I am happy with my choice to not have my son changed in that way. 

post #97 of 133

FWIW... Even if the number was as high as 1 out of 5 boys having issues with their foreskin (which I doubt is really that high) that means that 4 out of 5 do NOT have issues.  So the odds are in your favor.  If 4/5 boys went on to have problems, that would make more sense to me, but to cut off a body part on the really off chance that something MIGHT happen... it doesn't make sense to me.

 

Also, since when is a UTI considered to be drastic enough to require, again, the cutting off of a body part?  I've had UTI's before.  OK, I'm a woman, so they're not exactly the same.  But they're not pleasant.  And once or twice I did end up in the ER and needed strong antibiotics, the infection spread to my kidneys, it sucked hardcore.  Bad, bad, bad.  I would NOT wish that on my child.  But even if that was the case, I still wouldn't recommend a routine circ to prevent that!!  Maybe if you had them really often and there was NO other way to handle it (diet or anything)... but not just as a routine intervention for it.

 

ITA with the poster who said that for cases when there IS a true medical necessity for it, and can be helpful, great.  (Like a C-section!) Just like amputating any other body part.  If I have gangrene on my toe, I would rather have it cut off than to have it spread to my leg and then kill me.  But you don't just amputate body parts before there's even an infection, because there MIGHT be an infection down the line.  It just doesn't make sense to me.

post #98 of 133

My first son is circumcised and it is my deepest regret. The surgery was extremely painful for him, and he has had common complications.

My second son is healthy and intact. He has benefitted from his foreskin, and will continue to benefit for the rest of his life. I am so glad we learned more and did better for our second son.
 

 

post #99 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueberry159 View Post

My first son is circumcised and it is my deepest regret. The surgery was extremely painful for him, and he has had common complications.

hug2.gif to you both.

 

So glad you learned more before you had your second son.

 

Best wishes,

Sus

post #100 of 133

That was my most difficult decision, Blueberry.  My boys were 16 months apart, tandem breastfed and they are best buddies.  I knew that I didn't want to have my second son circumcised, but I just couldn't bring myself to make them different.  I was not as brave as you...that takes a lot of courage!!!  If I had another boy now (my boys are 11 and 9), I would absolutely not circumcise him.  But it was so much harder when they were so close together.  

 

That is really great!!!  I wish I could have been so strong...

Maggie

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