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Circumcision: Do you know the facts? - Page 2

post #21 of 48
Thread Starter 
hey chisub,

I get what you mean.

Here's the dealio: With an intact son, it's good to interview pediatricians ahead of time and ask them how they tell patients to treat intact penises. If he says "you just pull it back a little and clean under the tip," you should try another doctor, because this one is likely to try to retract your son. (Plus, personally I find it annoying to be peppered with misinformation by my ped.) Once you find a doctor you feel has some knowledge, at every visit before the diaper comes off you remind them to please not pull back the foreskin at all. Stand right there while they examine the genital area (they like to check the testicles to make sure they're descended or something) and be ready to intervene if they go for the penis.

It sounds like a lot, but really, once you have a trusting relationship with your son's doctor you don't need to be so vigilant. I stopped saying anything to my son's doc after the first couple of visits; she never tried to do anything to his foreskin. I did have an incident with one of her partners who pulled it back a little despite my objections. I left the practice and have found a better one.

As far as retraction and how *you* care for your son, that part's easy. The thing to remember is that the only one who should ever retract the foreskin is the owner of the penis. It naturally begins to separate sometime in childhood...maybe at age 3, maybe not til the early teens. Your son will be playing with it one day and discover that he cal pull it back, and from what I've read they're usually pretty psyched about it. Once you've seen him do that, you show him how to pull it back and rinse under there with plain water when he bathes. That's it.

The reason you need to be careful about premature/forcible retraction is that it can cause tearing, introduce infection, and can cause a condition called phimosis which is a tightening of the foreskin that can interfere with urination. The previous generation of parents and docs were taught that you have to pull the foreskin back and clean under it, which probably caused most of the stories you hear about Uncle Joe who "had" to get circumcised at age 12. The idea that intact penises are harder to care for was actually started as deliberate propaganda by turn-of-the-century docs who wanted to encourage everyone to circ.

Does that help a bit?
post #22 of 48
I'm not in your DDC; I'm due in 8 weeks with a boy. But I wanted to say that I'm SO glad that someone thought to bring this up. It's easy to assume that we're all boycotting circumcision because we're members here; and easy to forget that not everyone knows yet! Good call OP for bringing up the subject. I had no idea with my first and didn't find out about circumcision or MDC until it was too late. I wish I'd had the information I have now, then!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booflies View Post
I am sure DH will love my sharing this...
but he was circumsized at age TWELVE...wanted to see if he'd grow more by being circumsized....
Holy hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chisub View Post
...DH was not on board until I showed him the video, for some reason the data wasn't enough for him...
That's the way for some people. I'm really glad he's watched the video! Your son (if you have one) will be entirely better off for it; as will his future partner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chisub View Post
...I have to be honest that I'm nervous about the upkeep of it...
I'm nervous about that too. I was talking to my sister about it; and I remarked how strange it is that we're so mis-informed that we're worried about how to care for a normal body part! Interesting, isn't it? I'm glad we have a forum in which to ask questions, and I'm super glad to have been forewarned about retracting (do NOT retract, if you didn't know!!). As someone else said, the scrotum is very difficult to clean; I think it'll be a heck of a lot easier than what we're thinking. But whatever the challenges we may face, it's far more worth it than making our babies suffer, so I'm in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Om Girl View Post
Arrgghhh...sending DH over to the MDC circ threads...the circ decision nearly started WWIII in our family...
Feel free to use your "My body made that child, and he's perfect the way he is. Are you doubting my work is anything less than perfect??" card.

In all seriousness; you decide not to, and in the end, he'll find out that it's really not that big of a deal. If you want information, I have a really well written information email complete with information on how circumcision is just a money making driven-by-fear-and lies business at the expense of your infant; common myth-busters and links. Any one of you is welcome to PM me your email address and I'll send you a copy.

Now, if you'll excuse me; I have to go have a talk with the expectant mama's in my DDC!!!
post #23 of 48
If this baby is a boy, we won't be circumsizing. I think it's an unnecessary procedure, and since my DH is from France, he isn't circ'd, so there's no way he'd let that happen to a son of his!
post #24 of 48
For me it's the opposite. I'd be scared to death to try and care for a circ'd penis while it healed. I'd be terrified about adhesions and other problems for a long time.
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe View Post
For me it's the opposite. I'd be scared to death to try and care for a circ'd penis while it healed. I'd be terrified about adhesions and other problems for a long time.
This is pretty much how I feel about it.

Ds is intact, thanks not to MDC but to Mothering magazine. When dh & I were still dating, we were at a bookstore one day and he picked up a magazine at random - it happened to be Mothering's coverage of circ, in 1997. He walked out of the store saying that no son of his would EVER be circ'd.
post #26 of 48
My husband is intact... Both my brothers are circed. I would have never even thought about it if it wasnt for my husband. If we have a boy he will stay intact.
post #27 of 48
My DS is not circumcized, even though I knew NO other men who were not. I just couldn't imagine putting a newborn through that type of surgery... that was my main concern. DH agreed.

It's weird because now when I see a baby that is circ'd it looks so unnatural and strange. You start to realize that the head of the penis is not supposed to be so exposed!

In Seattle I heard that way less than 50% of boy babies are being circumcized. Almost none of my friends circ'd their boys. So I'm sure these LOs won't have the problem of being the "only one" who is intact. In fact, circ'd boys might start being the unusual ones.
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AugustineM View Post
It's weird because now when I see a baby that is circ'd it looks so unnatural and strange. You start to realize that the head of the penis is not supposed to be so exposed!
I totally feel this way, too. When I change a circ'd baby's diaper at church or something, I feel like I'm seeing something I shouldn't, ya know?
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe View Post
For me it's the opposite. I'd be scared to death to try and care for a circ'd penis while it healed. I'd be terrified about adhesions and other problems for a long time.
My son is circ'd (before finding MDC) and it is hard. If this is a boy, I will not do it again. The foreskin still covers his penis but we have to pull it back and clean it constantly now. I constantly have this sick fear that something is wrong. If it's not pulled back enough, a build up of something called Scegma will develope and if it gets bad enough the foreskin reattaches and has to be cut back again *shudder* It's awful. Save your boys the pain.

Where can I go for information about explaining to a future son why his brother and father look different, if I have a boy? I don't want to be a thread stealer so feel free to PM me.
post #30 of 48
PookieMom If your son still has a foreskin, I say leave it alone. Let it reattach and heal. Smegma is perfectly normal and healthy and is nothing to avoid or clean away. Here is a site with some good advice...


http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/aap/


Quote:
Infant Smegma: Skin cells from the glans of the penis and the inner foreskin are shed throughout life. This is especially true in childhood; natural skin shedding serves to separate the foreskin from the glans. Since this shedding takes place in a relatively closed space - with the foreskin covering the glans - the shed skin cells cannot escape in the usual manner. They escape by working their way to the tip of the foreskin. These escaping discarded skin cells constitute infant smegma, which may appear as white ``pearls'' under the skin.
Quote:
Smegma

When the foreskin separates from the head of the penis, skin cells are shed. These skin cells may look like white, pearl-like lumps under the foreskin. These are called smegma. Smegma is normal and nothing to worry about.
Here's a couple more.

http://www.aap.org/publiced/br_uncircumcised.htm
http://www.circumcision.org/index.htm

If he still has a foreskin after circumcision, I don't know how that would happen actually since circ. is supposed to completely remove that organ, then treat him as uncirc. and let him heal! And don't let anyone cut him again!

Oh and here is a google search for prematurely retracted foreskin. I found this interesting tidbit too.

Quote:
Your son may develop adhesions when his foreskin and glans heal but you might not know whether these have separated by themselves or will need to be separated surgically until he has completed puberty.
So in other words if his foreskin reattaches or becomes "stuck" you won't know if it's normal healing or adhesions until after he reaches puberty! So as long as he can pee, let him heal and don't worry about it!
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by PookieMom View Post
Where can I go for information about explaining to a future son why his brother and father look different, if I have a boy? I don't want to be a thread stealer so feel free to PM me.
From what I have heard from mothers of older boys whose fathers are circ'd and the boys are intact, it is not nearly the issue that you might think it would be. It may never come up. If it does, you can answer very simply that daddy and brother had a surgery when they were babies, but then you decided it wasn't necessary, so didn't have it done to him. You can say that it is fine and normal to have a penis that looks either way. He will probably end up seeing penises of both kinds as he grows up, so he'll know that both are normal and OK. I bet that it really won't be that much of an issue, though, and I can't imagine any hard feelings about looking different, IYKWIM. My DS is almost 4 and is intact, and DH is circ'd. So far DS hasn't said a word about it.
post #32 of 48
Thanks Katie and all you other gals as well! I agree about the pediatrician, I think I'm more scared of the pediatrician than anything. I emailed NOCIRC today for referrals in the area, hopefully that will be a good start. Duh, need to put that on my list of questions for my midwife at my next appointment, I bet she would be a good resource as well. LOL at wrinkled scrotum, never thought of that!
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by chisub View Post
Thanks Katie and all you other gals as well! I agree about the pediatrician, I think I'm more scared of the pediatrician than anything. I emailed NOCIRC today for referrals in the area, hopefully that will be a good start. Duh, need to put that on my list of questions for my midwife at my next appointment, I bet she would be a good resource as well. LOL at wrinkled scrotum, never thought of that!
Oh yeah, that's the worst bit! That and the fact that if they pee while you're changing them, it really can be a fountain, and gets everywhere! If I wasn't ready right away with the new diaper, I'd leave a cloth or prefold or something over DS, just in case he peed while nakey. At least that way it wasn't spraying up into the air and all over me, him, the change table, the floor, or anything else in the immediate vicinity (the best was the time the cat was next to us while I was changing him on the floor--never seen a cat look so shocked and so offended!).
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by PookieMom View Post
Where can I go for information about explaining to a future son why his brother and father look different, if I have a boy? I don't want to be a thread stealer so feel free to PM me.

I posted about this very same thing in the Case Against Circ forum a while back (I am having another boy - very soon now) I stared this thread http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=831504 it has lots of helpful links to other threads by moms in similiar situations.

When we learn better, we do better.
post #35 of 48
I wish we'd known. I really do. All future sons will be intact.

I grew up in house full of circ'ed boys. It was normal to me and I am ashamed to admit the first time I saw an intact penis it grossed me out. So when we had DS, I was partly relieved that we were doing it, though it was mostly for medical reasons. DH is iffy on the details, but his father apparently had to be circ'ed later in life for medical reasons (apparently a tight foreskin that would not retract). DH (intact) grew up with just his mum, and he was never shown how to clean it properly or retract it, and then I guess she finally talked about it with him when he was a preteen or something... can we say awkward and uncomfortable? So he had issues with a tight foreskin and had to work at stretching it, and sometimes it can still be painful for him when he's aroused. So that was about 80% of the reasoning for DS - prevention of the same issues DH and his father had. When he was a few months old, I realized what we'd done to him (courtesy of MDC), and I sobbed every time I changed him for weeks. Now I realize that I can't take it back, but I can educate my children and my friends about it... and you wouldn't cut off a breast because you're worried you're going to get cancer, so "prevention" really is no reason. If a furture son has problems, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
post #36 of 48
Honestly, if K had been a boy, she would have been circed. I just did not know it was even an option to be left intact. The "funny" thing is that I was terrified of having a boy b/c I did not want to have to deal with surgery right after birth. I have since learned the statistics and facts on the whole subject, and will not circ. Surprisingly, DH has been fine either way.
post #37 of 48
We will not circ either. I didn't even know about not retracting until a friend told me about it. I am so glad she did. We had other reasons for not circ'ing, now we have one more.

I am hoping it is ok to post this link and I am not violating any rules here. http://www.foreskin.org/3zones-c.htm It shows the 3 zones of penile skin of an intact male. It is pretty interesting.
post #38 of 48
I'd never even consider circ-ing.
post #39 of 48
Thread Starter 
It's been a while, so I thought I'd give this a bump for new members and anyone who may have missed it.

Not much new to add, so I thought I'd share a minor funny. I was browsing through the guide menu on the TV, looking for something to watch, and there was a show called "Uncut and Out of Control." My first thought was, "Is that something they can show on regular cable???" Then I realized it was one of those reality shows with video clips of people doing crazy things. "Uncut" video clips, apparently.

Oh I thought of one more thing. I read back through the thread and someone had mentioned peeing during diaper changes. This is very unscientific, but in my experience the baby boys who are cut do this WAY more often than intact boys. My baby did this a bit when he was a tiny newborn, but for the most part I never got peed on. It makes sense, because in a circed baby the urethra is right out there, exposed to air, while the intact baby's glans and urethra are more protected. I remember changing DS's diaper at my aunt's house when he was about 5 months old, and I was taking my usual leisurely time, and she was all nervous about him peeing and shocked that I was going so slow. I was just like, "Huh? That never happens!" But then I thought about how all her grandsons are cut, and it made sense. Anyway, it's just anecdotal, but from talking to other moms of intact boys it seems to be true.
post #40 of 48
It's crazy how many times you have to remind them at the hospital if you are not circumcising. We've had to refuse to sign the paperwork several times and as we're getting him ready to come home (maybe), every nurse asks us about circumcision and we have to keep telling them we're not.
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