reassure me about not circing...dh and previous bf's had later in childhood circs due to "infection" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 09-23-2011, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am pretty set not to circ. I've been readin through this forum though and feel overwhelmed! All the men I have dated or am related to are circ'd (all older of course) and I sisters, female cousins, and a daughter! We just found out this baby is a boy. so circ'd or not I'm clueless about penises and special ways of cd'ing a boy etc. However, I feel really paranoid and in need of knowledge/back up because both my dh, and previous boyfriend were circ'd at about age 3ish? and told me nearly identical stories...mom didn't want to circ initially, then they got "infected" and "couldn't pee" and "swollen" and they got circ'd. I'm sure their mother's mourned...however, dh's mother had a similar story about what happened with bf'ing dh so...I'm guessing docs were maybe misinformed?

 

I know everyone says notto retract, leave it alone, clean the outside gently etc. I am also reading about separation in slightly older tots and preschoolers and thing becomign sore/red at that time...and that is the time both these men had their circ's....I really want to know my stuff without getting overwhelmed as dh knows nothign more than me, and all my friends with boys have boys under two if they aren't circ'd.

 

Are there EVER medical reasons to circ? What should I know? I expect to begin getting bombarded with misinformation soon here, and dh's mom will be helping after baby is born, and MY mom who only had girls, changed girl baby diapers when doing childcare, and had a circ'd husband... help me feel confident!


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#2 of 22 Old 09-23-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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I love having this little resource for people to read.  It's from Canada and is neither for or against circ, it just provides some info.  It would be a great site to pass along if someone wanted to see some stats and such. 

 

Beyond that, I'm sure other ladies will give you all kinds of great links and such.  That's just a nice neutral one to pass along to prying family or whatever. 


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#3 of 22 Old 09-24-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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Well first of all, infections are cleared up with antibiotics.  It would be *extremely* rare to have such chronic antibiotic-resistant infections under your foreskin that the only way to clear it up would be to circ.  Even minor infections under the foreskin are rare.  In young boys they are usually caused by mishandling the foreskin...in other words, retraction by caretakers.  This can easily be avoided.  If a boy ends up with an infection anyway, it can be cleared up with antibiotics.  Sometmes yeast can be an issue and that can be cleared up with OTC yeast cream or home remedies.

 

Sometimes boys are diagnosed with infections when it isn't even an infection.  Red, inflamed foreskin?  A doctor might jump to the conclusion that since the boy has a foreskin and foreskins are oh-so-yucky (this is what we are taught to believe after all) it MUST be an infection and he prescribes antibiotics.  If it doesn't go away, he would recommend circ.  But it could be yeast, or just diaper irritation, too many bubble baths, or the natural separation process.

 

Your DH and and ex were likely circ'ed unnecessarily.  You may never know for sure, but if you ask your DH's mom for more details you may find that she'd been retracting to clean, or the doc didn't even try antibiotics, or didn't even find out if it was really an infection.

 

For the record, my DD has had several vaginal infections in her short 4 years and DS has had no foreskin infections in his almost 7 years.  Girls are WAY more likely to get infections and we NEVER jump to surgery!

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#4 of 22 Old 09-24-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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You and dh should check out this website. I was written just for expectant parents like yourselves. It has the answers to all your questions including how to was his intact penis.

 

Circumcision Decision-Maker

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#5 of 22 Old 09-24-2011, 03:39 PM
 
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The only medical indications for a circ that I know of are gangrene, frost bite & cancer.  It's unlikely that your child will suffer any of these.  Now, these are not the only things that misinformed medical personnel will suggest a circumcision is the remedy for however.  As PP'ers have said, they will recommend it for just about anything.  And, when that happens, you ask how would they treat the problem in a girl.  The answer will never be circumcision.

 

I too know a man who was circ'd as a 5 y.o.  I do not know what his "problem" was, but I know he has an intact son w/ no problems.  

 

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#6 of 22 Old 09-24-2011, 04:55 PM
 
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Here is a link you may find helpful http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=764732 it talks about what you might run across and how to fix it and non of those include circ. Like pp said the only true reasons for circ are frostbite, cancer & gangrene and a few diabetic men will run into issues with infections not healing but as you may know with diabetics any wound can be a problem.

Even though some boys will have infections caused by a variety of things infection is never a cause for circ even repeat infections are not. It would be extremely rare repeat infections to cause scar tissue leading to true phimosis but if it where to happen then circ still isnt the answer either a dorsel slit or just removing the tip of the foreskin will resolve phimosis while leaving the majority of the foreskin intact.

 
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#7 of 22 Old 09-25-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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First, take a deep breath or two.

 

The foreskin is not going to spontaneously burst into flames.  It's not some fragile part of the body that needs extremely sensitive handling (if it was my ds would be in big trouble b/c he's NOT gentle with his!).

 

When others question you, be non-committal and respond with, "our pediatrician recommended against it, and explained proper care so that it won't become an issue."  If you can find a foreskin friendly ped, that would be ideal b/c then they will be able to calm your fears.

 

Once your ds is born, I think you will see that its no big deal.  As for CD'ing, no need to do anything special (although you do want to make sure you point his penis down into the diaper so that he doesn't pee on his shirt whenever he goes - this happened to us a few times lol.gif.  Other than that, its a non-issue.  Really.  I really do understand that you have a girl, and so you don't know what to do with a penis, b/c if you gave me a girl and said, "Here, she pooped, please change her" I would decline b/c I have no idea how to change diapers on a girl!  Totally not in my realm of experience.  Boys are easy, and once he is born, you will realize that his foreskin just isn't an issue.

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#8 of 22 Old 09-25-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

 

The foreskin is not going to spontaneously burst into flames.



LOL  It sounds funny but this statement actually makes a lot of sense because so many people are taught to believe that the foreskin is just an incident waiting to happen.  I'm sure you'll notice that there are a TON of posts on this forum about red foreskins, itchy foreskins, ballooning foreskins, etc.  Parents tend to run to this forum for every little thing.  I'm so glad everyone here understands that, don't get me wrong.  But you don't see an "All about vaginas" forum.  Because parents haven't been taught to worry when their little girl's vulva gets a little sore.  They just soak her in the tub and slather on some diaper cream. Every once in a while you'll see a post in babies or toddlers about an issue.  It's not not nearly as common as foreskin posts, even though girls tend to get more actual infections.

 

When DS was about 7 months old, I thought he had a UTI.  Turned out he didn't.  He just had a fever from something else and just happened to scream twice during diaper changes for whatever reason.  He just didn't feel good.  Anyway, when I told his dad I was worried about a UTI he got the most pitiful look on his face and said very sadly, "does this mean we have to circ him now?"  No....NO!  He was just waiting for what he thought was inevitable.  That's why he pushed so hard to have him circ'ed at birth.  He assumed it would just end up happening later and he believed it was easier on a newborn than an older child.  Once I calmed his fears he really breathed a sigh of relief and it's been a non-issue ever since.

 

So what the pp said was true.  It's not an incident waiting to happen.  No more than a girls' genitals, or a big toe, or an ear.  Yes, sometimes girls get infections, sometimes we get ingrown toenails, and lots of kids get ear infections.  But that doesn't mean it will happen.  And if it does it's treatable.

 

Above all, if you are educated about the subject, your son already has an advantage.  You will be able to call BS when the doc says he needs circ'ed because he isn't retractable at age 5.  You'll know better and disregard his opinion.  This board is a wealth of information.  Read as much as you can.  Even when you have all the info you think you need, visit often.  You'll be surprised all the new info you learn even when you think you know it all.  I still learn something new almost every time I come here and I've been researching circ since I was 16 years old, 5 years before I even HAD a boy.

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#9 of 22 Old 09-25-2011, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you everyone. TBH, I never really knew what the heck foreskin was until i was pregnant. I ahd a vague idea that most men I knew were circ'd, there may have been a sentence about it in health class. My family is very private so I never saw dad naked even by accident. Three girls, girl cousins, babysat girl babies, changed one uncirc'd boy this year and not a poopy diaper. I just want to be sure, more so when they're older, because I have strongly suspected that both my boyfriend and my dh did not need their circumcisions... I want to avoid anythign unncessary...just like with dd...with dd, though there weren't many issues with ehr vagina so far, she did receive what I now believe are unncessary antibiotics, unncessary spinal taps, unnecessary formula and I was a doula, had midwives, etc. etc. but when they tell you your baby could be dying and you're exhausted and defeated...sometimes even with all the info it's hard to know what to do!

 

and yes, I came to forum to read up then got quite overwhelmed with all the possibilities. I am going to read all the links posted! I knew nothign about this separtation happening.Hopefully I can find a good ped.


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#10 of 22 Old 09-25-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doulawoman View Post

 

and yes, I came to forum to read up then got quite overwhelmed with all the possibilities. I am going to read all the links posted! I knew nothign about this separtation happening.Hopefully I can find a good ped.


FTR - I didn't know what the foreskin was until I had sex with a man who was not circ'd.  He, btw, is a HUGE fan of his foreskin, and so was I!  He told me that he was really glad his parents didn't have it done, and then I decided none of my future son's would have it done either.

 

And, regarding the quote, relax.  People post about issues - they don't post about all the non-issues they have.  Check the thread (might be old, I'll try to bump it for you), about people with no issues - its pretty long, and lots of babies between all those posts.

 

Another thing to take comfort in, is that the US is one of the only countries that practices infant circ (I think we're the only one?  not sure, someone please come to my rescue and correct me!), and when I was in Haiti doing advocacy work on behalf of sexual violence victims, I had the chance to go into the displacement camps.  Thousands of people were living in each one, and LOTS of little boys were running around naked - not one was circ'd.  If the foreskin was something that always had loads of problems, infections, accidents waiting to happen, etc, those boys would have been in BIG trouble - b/c the camps they were living in were not sanitary, they didn't have clean water to bath in, or to drink.  And yet, no one was worried about them having a foreskin.  It just wasn't an issue.

 

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#11 of 22 Old 09-25-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doulawoman View Post

I am pretty set not to circ. I've been readin through this forum though and feel overwhelmed! All the men I have dated or am related to are circ'd (all older of course) and I sisters, female cousins, and a daughter! We just found out this baby is a boy. so circ'd or not I'm clueless about penises and special ways of cd'ing a boy etc. However, I feel really paranoid and in need of knowledge/back up because both my dh, and previous boyfriend were circ'd at about age 3ish? and told me nearly identical stories...mom didn't want to circ initially, then they got "infected" and "couldn't pee" and "swollen" and they got circ'd. I'm sure their mother's mourned...however, dh's mother had a similar story about what happened with bf'ing dh so...I'm guessing docs were maybe misinformed?

 

I know everyone says notto retract, leave it alone, clean the outside gently etc. I am also reading about separation in slightly older tots and preschoolers and thing becomign sore/red at that time...and that is the time both these men had their circ's....I really want to know my stuff without getting overwhelmed as dh knows nothign more than me, and all my friends with boys have boys under two if they aren't circ'd.

 

Are there EVER medical reasons to circ? What should I know? I expect to begin getting bombarded with misinformation soon here, and dh's mom will be helping after baby is born, and MY mom who only had girls, changed girl baby diapers when doing childcare, and had a circ'd husband... help me feel confident!


My DS is 3.5 and has never had any problems. In fact, neither kid has--DD or DS--and if something was amiss, ie. yeast infection or bacterial infection, I would not go anywhere near a doctor who advocated surgery as a routine course of action. As one of the PPs said, little girls also get all sorts of infections, but no doctor recommends surgery on their genitals for this reason.

 

The links and info you've received are helpful...start reading now, try not to get overwhelmed. Honestly, years from now you'll be wondering why you were stressing.

 

One final point, if your mother or MIL is changing diapers, make sure they know about proper care, ie. not to retract. That was standard care advice for our mothers' generation. I even recall reading a babysitting guide from the 60s/70s that advocated retracting and cleaning at every diaper change. Ugh. Thank goodness I only ever babysat girls just by luck. So, I'd make sure any family members of the older generation are up to date on how things should be done properly..."only clean what is seen."

 


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#12 of 22 Old 09-26-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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Remember that even if your child does end up wanting or needing a circumcision later on, it's still a good thing you didn't get him circ'd as a baby. The older the patient is, the fewer downsides there are to circumcision. The only reason people circ their babies is because either they believe believe that babies don't feel pain or they believe it doesn't matter when babies feel pain.

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#13 of 22 Old 09-27-2011, 04:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

Remember that even if your child does end up wanting or needing a circumcision later on, it's still a good thing you didn't get him circ'd as a baby. The older the patient is, the fewer downsides there are to circumcision. The only reason people circ their babies is because either they believe believe that babies don't feel pain or they believe it doesn't matter when babies feel pain.



This is so, so true.  And thank you for it, because it's a fact I recently reminded myself of due to circumstances surrounding my youngest non-circ'd son.


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#14 of 22 Old 09-29-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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I still think it's unbelievable that people think that circ'ing babies is the right thing to do because they won't remember the pain they were in.  Every person has every memory stored somewhere in their subconscious, even though it might be deep.  My DH says he doesn't remember having it done as an infant (and they didn't use any anesthesia then), but if you asked him to watch a circumcision video..... NO WAY!   I watched a video of a man watching a circ procedure, and I couldn't believe the body language of this man, as his eyes watered, face tightened, and he started to shake.  No man can watch one of those and feel fine, it WILL bring up some sort of memory even if he doesn't realize where it is coming from.  Afterwards, this man said he felt so violated, that this had been done to him without his consent as an infant, he looked like he was going to cry,  then he started to get very angry.  I think this would be the usual course of feelings:  mistrust; pain; violation; and anger

 

If people could just see this, circumcision would be banned!

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#15 of 22 Old 10-01-2011, 12:19 PM
 
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And on top of all these little intact guys not having issues I can tell you about...eh, maybe 13 or so boys I know who have had issues, BIG issues with their circumcisions. From buried penises that need to be popped out and cleaned to a little one who has had 3 surgeries to repair what's left of his penis (after the initial circ was 'too loose'). So even beyond leaving well enough alone, but keeping him intact you are preventing the loads of issues that come with circumcision.


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#16 of 22 Old 10-02-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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Gosh, and so sad to think that if the little guy who had a "too loose" circumcision was then just left alone after it was determined it too loose, he might have something left when he was a man. what a crying shame.  I am sorry, but to me, circumcision on an un consenting minor is just evil, that's all I can say about it.

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#17 of 22 Old 10-02-2011, 05:30 PM
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I have two intact sons, ages 19 and 16, who haven't complained about any problems. DS1 had a UTI when he was about 4yo. It was from bubble baths.

 

My children also have two intact grandfathers, four intact great-uncles, and 2 intact great-grandfathers, and everybody appears to be doing alright....even the 92yo. Unfortunately, their father was a victim of modern "medicine" and was circumcised at birth.

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#18 of 22 Old 10-04-2011, 03:42 PM
 
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Just wanted to chime in that I totally know where you're coming from, OP.  I had sisters, nieces, and a daughter when DS was born, and was pretty afraid of the idea of dealing with his penis at all.  Now that it's here, it's really not so scary.  lol.gif  He's 5 months old now, has a perfect little penis that makes me smile every time I see it cuz I'm so happy the whole thing is still there, and the only tricky thing about diapering has been that the second his diaper is off he loves his penis so much he starts grabbing at it and giggling, which is uncool when it's covered in poop.  I have several other friends with intact sons, and none of them has had a problem yet.  Once you step back and look at the whole preventative/cosmetic surgery on a newborn's genitals from the outside, it's so amazingly bizarre that it's hard to imagine you ever had any doubts. 

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#19 of 22 Old 10-05-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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what a gift you have given your son, to fully enjoy his body in it's entirety.  It is really strange in our society, that a newborn can be viewed as not a person who has rights to his body.  I just don't know where this comes from.  IT makes my heart ache.

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#20 of 22 Old 10-09-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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If you bathe your child regularly and change their diaper promptly, making sure no fecal matter is left around the genital area (using baby wipes or wash cloth or whatever means you are using to clean baby), there isn't any reason a healthy baby should develop infections as a matter of course.  Most men and boys throughout most of history have not been circumcised and did not suffer from chronic penis infections despite being swaddled or diapered in a number of ways, even under much less sanitary conditions than what we live under now.

 

My nearly 16 year old son was never circ'ed, never any problems, never really any special care done to it other than me being neurotic about cleaning in the beginning until I realized I was overdoing it and stopped.

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#21 of 22 Old 10-09-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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My son is 8 and has never had any issues. He may have been red and irritated at some point. I don't really remember as his penis is really a non issue with no major problems. And we didn't do everything right. His sitter was retracting him to clean when he was an infant before we learned that she was and instructed her otherwise. He was pretty darn rough on the thing as an infant and toddler. 


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#22 of 22 Old 10-10-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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In most parts of the world circumcising for some problem is almost unheard of.  In Finland fewer than one in 16,000 men will die without their foreskin.  That should tell you something about the really sad state of education of our doctors in North America, many of whom will whack off a foreskin for any issue - real or percieved.  There is a ton of information at www.cirp.org .  Should keep you occupied for many days!!

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