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I think I hit home with DH, but was my info correct?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
DH is circed, DS is circed, AAP was saying to circ when DS was born, so that's the way we went . Now I know better, and I'm trying to convince DH not to circ if we ever have another son. He's got a bit of the "but they won't look alike" issues, but I think he's warming up to the idea.

The other day, DS got ANOTHER rash under what's left of his foreskin and I was cleaning it and putting some cream on it and telling him that he should pull it back and give it some air after going potty and be sure to clean it well in the shower, etc. So DH is looking over my shoulder and says "imagine how bad this would be if he weren't circed." (no s please, he was saying it as an observation, not to be mean). So I said, "actually, he might not have this problem if he were in tact. When they remove the foreskin they don't want to remove too much or he'll have erection problems, so they try to leave just enough. But what they do snip off are glands that secret a protective mucos that actually keeps stuff like this from happening. Now he's got just enough skin to get cheesy and doesn't have the glands to keep the cheese from getting icky."

So was I accurate in a very layman's language sort of way? I couldn't remember the name of the glands and all the technical stuff, but did I get the jist of it?

I hope so, because after I said this you could practically see the wool being lifted from DH's eyes and the lightbulb go on over head.
post #2 of 9
You've got the gist of it. If the foreskin was there, it would be protecting the glans as well as the inner mucosal skin from what ever is causing the rash. The white stuff is called smegma and if the foreskin was in place, the smegma would be doing it's protective function. Smegma has been called "handcream for the penis." It's the Greek word for "soap." There's a clue in that. Most likely if the foreskin was there, it would not be retractable yet and the glans and mucosal skin is probably not ready yet for exposure.

Congratulations with your husband. It sounds like you made a home run and with a few more, you will win the World Series!

post #3 of 9
Well- you were off a little.

Point one:
I do not think that you are going to make a good "sell" on intactness if you eronously try to sell a concept of mucous (read: boogers- on my penis!?)
There is no mucous on an intact penis... mucosal tissue is NOT tissue that produces mucous... it is tissue that stands up to being wet.

Read the Taylor histological study for a detailed idea of what is in the anatomy of the foreskin.


Point two:
The major difference in the hygenic problem is that the protective tip of the foreskin serves to keep dirt, lint, the ammonia from urine soaked diapers, and feces away from the meatus (pee hole) and the sensitive surface of the glans. By removing the tip you mess up the natural "wicking away" property of the anatomical design. You also expose the raw glans to abrasion and substances that it was never designed to encounter... you turn a penis "inside out" Also, sometimes a scar winds up resting against the raw exposed glans- and grows attached, because it is the nature of the glans to want to be covered. This causes skin bridges or adhesions... these can make cleaning difficult, can be painful and can cause infections.

It is true that the hygenic care of a loosly circumcised boy is more difficult than the care of an intact boy (which requires no special care)

point three:

The AAP has never instructed people to circumcise. When circumcision was at it's peak a few decades ago the AAP statements said there was no medical indication- then in 1989 they wavered and called it an "elective" procedure rather than a procedure with no valid medical indication. Since then the AAP has backed further away from circumcision again.

You may have been misled to believe that it was recomended by the AAP... but that would be a misrepresentation of the actual statements. If you would like to read up on what was actually said in what year, CIRP has put together a nice cronological collection of the AAP statements.

It might help your husband come to terms with the fact that when HE was circumcised it was NOT recomended... and if he had NOT been circumcised as WAS recomended, he would not have been so eager to believe that it was recomended when his som was born.


Good for you for trying though! Keep at it and be kind and understanding, give him time.

Love Sarah
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Actually, the AAP was my bad - it's my "job" to look into all this stuff. It may have been a dr's write up that I read, but the AAP didn't clearly say not to circ until I think it was March of '99 then it started recommending anesthesia too. Unfortunately, the dr said anesthesia can cause an infection in “fair skinned” boys so she recommended it be done without any. The snippet I read in late '98 or early '99 (DS was born July of '99) was something along the line of “it's elective, but can prevent xy&z”...looked very similar to the 1989 addendum in the link you provided. Which, looking at it again, it does a good job of not committing either way. I can find statements leaning to both the negative and to the positive in regard to circ. This looks really familiar: “Properly performed newborn circumcision prevents phimosis, paraphimosis, and balanoposthitis and has been shown to decrease the incidence of cancer of the penis among US men. It may result in a decreased incidence of urinary tract infection.” And the link doesn't go back to when my DH was born '66, so couldn't tell ya on that one. I would guess more of the same, if not leaning even more toward circ.

As for the mucous that doesn't scare us...between the 4.5yr old and the baby, we have no fear of boogers. :LOL

But I was reading mucosal tissue as tissue that makes mucous. I'm glad you pointed out that's not the case. (Here I was thinking that intact men had boogery penises!) We think of mucous as protecting the body from germs and the such, so boogers are good as long as they're not on the back of my couch. So with that line of thought boogery penises didn't scare me or DH, but now that I know that intact penises should not be boogery, I guess a boogery penis should scare me.

But seriously, the foreskin does provide a protective function as well as an erogenous function doesn't it? So it is possible that DS wouldn't get all these rashes if he were in tact, right? - Even if I did get the mechanics of it a bit off. He's 4.5yrs old and he's been potty trained since he was 18m-2yrs so diapers aren't an issue. His foreskin would have probably retracted by now wouldn't it have?

Does anyone have a link to a good site that gives the functions of the foreskin? I'll do a search of the board too, sorry to ask a silly question without searching first.
post #5 of 9
Mucosal skin is skin that is designed to be moist like the inside of the mouth, inside of the eyelids, inside of the nose and the labia, clitoral hood, etc.

Circumcision does prevent all of those things jsut like cutting off all of the toes would prevent ingrown toenails and nail fungus. Obvioulsy, that's going overboard but it is not considered going overboard to cut off part of the penis for something that is very rare and easily treatable.

The AAP's first statement on circumcision was the early '70's, 1972, I believe. Before that they didn't have a position statement on circumcision.

Your son would have approximately a 50/50 chance that he would be retractable at 4.5 years. The best estimates I have seen are 60% will be retractable at 6 Y.O and 90% at 10 years old. Another 8% will gain retractablility in their teen years and about 2% will need to use some gentle stretching exercises in their late teens to loosen the foreskin for retraction. For them, it's kinda like breaking their hymen. :LOL Like "Hey, this thing's brand new! It's never been out of the wrapper!"

post #6 of 9
So it is possible that DS wouldn't get all these rashes if he were in tact, right?


You might want to look at this site. It talks about adhesions. And to me it sounds like your son has adhesions.

Also, did you ever read the book by Dr. Fleiss -What your Doctor may not tell you about Circumcision

You can get it from you library. It's easy to read and very informative. You might want to read some parts to your husband from time to time.

Here are some nice links for fathers:

An Appeal to Fathers

For Fathers
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Adhesions you say? Hmmmm interesting. It's a pink to reddish rash much like a diaper rash, sometimes under the skin, sometimes just on the tip. I always attributed it to residual ammonia, or not cleaning properly. If it’s not too red, it does well with just soap, water, and air. If it’s really angry red, I’ll put some A&D ointment or other barrier cream on it. It usually goes away in 24 to 48 hours.

But either way, I have not read the book you mentioned, and this is a great reason to pick it up without moving so quickly as to spook DH. I can say I’m getting it to research adhesions, since that seems to be DS’s problem. Then I can read anything that jumps out at me to DH.

Don't get me wrong, he really is an open minded guy, (I’m researching vaxs too and he’s all on board for delaying, possibly skipping DD’s) but if I were to come charging at anybody with my head down they’d either duck ‘n run or get ready to lock horns and neither one helps me out in the end. Kwim? This way I can give him info as he’s ready to hear it, and not overwhelm him. Thanks so much for the help folks!
post #8 of 9
If he really is open-minded just pick up a copy to 'research adhesions' and leave it out in plain sight--preferably somewhere near where he likes to do his reading.

Trotting off to find my copy which is always lent to pregnant mothers along with other good reads. . .
post #9 of 9
Hi there. Great job with your dh. Talk about thinking on your feet interjecting your comments that way. I' never that quick: Anyhoo....here are some links with the info you are looking for,

Take care,
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