Please help. Doc wants me to circumcise my 3 yo ds. - Mothering Forums
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The Case Against Circumcision > Please help. Doc wants me to circumcise my 3 yo ds.
Mommay's Avatar Mommay 12:49 AM 11-17-2006
My ds had a second uti in a month and a half. This one is serious. I am very concerned. I don't like having to put him on antiobiotics, which are the only times I ever have. My doc suggest circumcision. I am not even considering it, but at the same time, I don't know what to do. I don't want to see him suffer.

My doc said that the "real" penis is what is under the foreskin, and that the extra skin was causing bacteria to get trapped. Though I don't agree with her characterization, I am noticing how urine will get trapped in there. I have been retracting and wiping with tp every time he pees. Anything else I can do? If this happens again and again, I don't what I'd do. I definitely am not going to watch my child screaming in pain every time he pees.

Please help. I definitely believe in keeping a child in tact, but this is my worst fear. Don't tell me his is the one rare case in which circumcision is justified. TIA.

myfairbabies's Avatar myfairbabies 12:59 AM 11-17-2006
How long have you been retracting?
gabysmom617's Avatar gabysmom617 01:00 AM 11-17-2006
Quick post, I have an antsy 17 month old in my lap.

2 things: 1) I think retracting and wiping after he pees may be contributing to the problem. At the very least, it's not helping anything. Bacteria from the wipe may be going up into his urethra to cause problems. Or it could be upsetting the delicate balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria underneath his foreskin, causing the bad bacteria to grow out of control and work it's way up his urethra into his bladder.

2) Did your doctor culture his urine? It could be that he got another infection because the first antibiotic did not work for the particular bacteria that he has, and therefore, made it seem to go away but really it didnt. Did that make sense? The doctor needs to get a sample of urine and see exactly what type of bacteria you guys are working with, and then go from there...

I think more people will have more to say.



Oh, ps. One more thing. That spill from your doctor about "the real penis" is a load of crap, and he needs to be told so.

And please don't circumcise him. There are tons of other options.
mika85's Avatar mika85 01:00 AM 11-17-2006
noooooo!!!! get a new doctor, please!! the "real" penis includes the foreskin as well!! that's bullsh*t! he's a bad, bad doctor!

someone else has better info for you, but i know your doc is just chop-happy. pee is sterile too, i'm pretty sure. good for you for wanting your DS to stay intact, i know a measily little UTI isn't gonna call for a circ, i've had tons of UTIs (i'm a girl) and i'm still intact, kwim??
willowsmom's Avatar willowsmom 01:02 AM 11-17-2006
Other people on here know more about this than I do...
that being said - I'm not blaming you at all...
Retracting and wiping may be part of the problem.
Find a new doc.
Keep your son whole.

Much love to ya.
hikingmommy's Avatar hikingmommy 01:04 AM 11-17-2006
I don't know much on the topic, but circumcision is a medical procedure. Like many medical procedures in this country it has its place and can help people but is often done when unnecessary. (Like c-sections - they can save lives but are very often done unnecessarily.) If he needs it for his health, then it's a necessary medical procedure and taking a stand to keep him intact doesn't make sense to me. If he needed his appendix taken out you wouldn't argue to keep him intact then. I would suggest getting a second opinion to make sure this doc isn't pushing his opinions on you and to make sure it's medically necessary.
Daisie125's Avatar Daisie125 01:06 AM 11-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikingmommy View Post
I don't know much on the topic, but circumcision is a medical procedure. Like many medical procedures in this country it has its place and can help people but is often done when unnecessary. (Like c-sections - they can save lives but are very often done unnecessarily.) If he needs it for his health, then it's a necessary medical procedure and taking a stand to keep him intact doesn't make sense to me. If he needed his appendix taken out you wouldn't argue to keep him intact then. I would suggest getting a second opinion to make sure this doc isn't pushing his opinions on you and to make sure it's medically necessary.
Circ is only a solution to gangreen, cancer & frostbite. This child has none of those.
Mommay's Avatar Mommay 01:09 AM 11-17-2006
I've only been retracting ds' penis for a few months even in baths. Did you know that I'm such an ignorant fool that I didn't really understand retraction. Long story, I was going by how the cut penis looked like.

Anyway, so after that I was like duh, I have to clean more in there. But can people explain more about how it's bad to wipe? Should I at least shake the penis more? I just think that wetness and bacteria is bad news.

The doc is a she, and though she's not exactly crunchy, she's cool with a lot of things. She never before questioned my decision to keep him intact. Never tried to retract him as an infant. Doesn't pressure me to vaccinate. Supported my bf (up to 2 years. Hey, that's good for a doc.) I think that it helps that she has a non-western background (she's chinese).

I don't think it's a regrowth of the original infection, but she did take cultures both times, so we'll see.

Also, I do understand about not cutting just because of uti, but I'm not sure that I can stand to watch him suffer over and over again.
Daisie125's Avatar Daisie125 01:13 AM 11-17-2006
You just leave the penis alone. Simple as that. If he is retractable on his own (not forceably) encourage him to retract and swish in the bath water once in awhile. Other than that don't touch it, don't wipe it, don't retract it. Just leave it alone. All of this handling is introducing bacteria, not making it any better.

When wiping, you wipe away all of the GOOD bacteria along with the bad, and you are pushing the bad right into the urethra.

Everyone gets UTIs, it's a fact of life. They suck, you take meds, you move on. If your DD was having UTI's would you be poking & prodding her vulva to get it clean enough? Nope.
gabysmom617's Avatar gabysmom617 01:17 AM 11-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikingmommy View Post
If he needs it for his health, then it's a necessary medical procedure and taking a stand to keep him intact doesn't make sense to me. If he needed his appendix taken out you wouldn't argue to keep him intact then. I would suggest getting a second opinion to make sure this doc isn't pushing his opinions on you and to make sure it's medically necessary.
But the thing is, doctors in this country tend to prescribe circumcision quicker than any other surgery. Most doctors look at other surgeries as a last option, but this mother's child has had, count them, all of TWO INFECTIONS and already this doctor is talking about circumcision.
willowsmom's Avatar willowsmom 01:19 AM 11-17-2006
You know how women are supposed to wipe from front to back to keep bacteria or what not from getting into the UT?

That's kind of what wiping the penis is doing. Pushing all of that into the urethra.
mika85's Avatar mika85 01:21 AM 11-17-2006
it's okay, some people don't know not to retract, i'm just happy that you kept your ds whole! the uti will pass, maybe there are meds he can take?? don't let your dr. circ him, like a pp said, it's not necessary with uti's.

it's nice your doc is so cool with a lot of things, but unfortunately, a lot of them don't know too much about intact penises.

if you can find one that does in your area, i highly recommend going to them instead. if not, just stand firm with this one that your son will not be circ'd unless he gets gangrene, cancer of the penis, or frostbite.
glongley's Avatar glongley 01:23 AM 11-17-2006
Not sure if this applies, but it can't hurt and is a good general health habit to instill - handwashing! If he likes to play with his foreskin a lot, this might help, as little boys tend to have grubby hands. Especially make it clear that he should wash his hands after wiping or other wise touching his anus.

Gillian
crsta33's Avatar crsta33 01:28 AM 11-17-2006
Would circumcision keep him from getting a UTI ever again?

I've had lots of UTI's too...and what they suggested for me was no bubble baths, avoid cola, drink lots of water, etc. Of course, since I'm female, they never suggested amputation of part of my body in order to prevent them.

Cranberries and blueberries are also great for helping the body fight UTI's. Hope he feels better soon.

Christa
kldliam's Avatar kldliam 01:39 AM 11-17-2006
I think gabysmom had a really good point. How long was it between infections? Many times if the proper anti-biotic isn't used, the infection still lurks and reappears. Was he on the same anti-b's both times?

Also, I have heard that cranberry juice/with H20 on a regular basis is a good "UTI preventative", it certainly seems like you might want to try that before rushing to have him cut.

Keep us posted, try to get more than 2 opinions, preferably not all from circ-happy docs. Try discussing this situation with a pro-intact Pedi. I am sure that we can help you find one who can trouble-shoot this with you.
enstar780's Avatar enstar780 01:40 AM 11-17-2006
First off, the foreskin is a part of the penis, and it is real. It accounts for around 95% of a man's sensitivity. Your son will be wanting that when he is older.

Forcibly retracting the foreskin is bad. Did you have to rip it off? Was it attached to the glans still when you started doing this? Did he seem uncomfortable or show pain when you did this?

I would say you need to get it cultured as well, and find out exactly what pathogen it is, and then it can be perhaps targeted with an narrow spectrum antibiotic.

Perhaps you should also consider some herbs and chinese medicine, naturopaths as well as complimentary treatment. Also, its a good idea to give the child some probiotics (one with both lactobacteria and bifidum strains, many different strains). This is good bacteria that needs to recolonise the body.

Some recommend cranberry, but it is important to not give a lot of this to the child, only a moderate amount. A pH check of the urine might be a good idea to see if it is in the right range. Cranberry makes it more acidic which is not good for bad bacteria. But you dont want to make the body too acidic, so use cranberry should be used in moderation.


Here are many websites that suggest herbs that can be used, they mention women but also can be used for men too:
http://www.healthandage.com/html/res...inWomencc.html
http://www.womenshealthchannel.com/u...reatment.shtml
http://nc.essortment.com/utiherbalrem_rbxa.htm
http://www.mothernature.com/Library/...cfm?id=1283006

When a girl gets UTI, we dont suggest amputating her body parts, and neither should we do the same for boys. There are better ways to treat this and I suggest assuring your medical help is determined to treat it without amputation without wanting to circumcise.
Mommay's Avatar Mommay 01:40 AM 11-17-2006
I have a mom friend who used to get lots of uti's. She had her urethra enlarged and it completely stopped. I know that's off-topic, but maybe there's a structural issue with ds. If he gets another uti, I would take him to a urologist first to get a second opinion. But that's only 10% likely. I do truly believe in intact boys.

Thanks so much for all the info. I had no idea about not wiping. I was better off being ignorant! Thank goodness for Mothering.com. Thank you.
willowsmom's Avatar willowsmom 01:42 AM 11-17-2006
*hugs* Mommay.
I hope he heals up quickly.
Mommay's Avatar Mommay 01:44 AM 11-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by enstar780 View Post
Perhaps you should also consider some herbs and chinese medicine, naturopaths as well as complimentary treatment. Also, its a good idea to give the child some probiotics (one with both lactobacteria and bifidum strains, many different strains). This is good bacteria that needs to recolonise the body.
When I asked around, the consensus was to go on antibiotics amongst my crunchy friends. Nettle tea helps strengthen the kidneys, and there were a few other remedies, but nothing to convince me that a kidney infection could be averted a "natural" way.

Thanks for your info. and links. I do give him cranberry juice and probiotics. I am trying to be as crunchy as possible given a very sucky medical route. He truly never had antibiotics before the initial uti.
SammyJr's Avatar SammyJr 01:45 AM 11-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommay View Post
My ds had a second uti in a month and a half. This one is serious. I am very concerned. I don't like having to put him on antiobiotics, which are the only times I ever have. My doc suggest circumcision. I am not even considering it, but at the same time, I don't know what to do. I don't want to see him suffer.
Tell that quack to look elsewhere for her BMW payment. Then, tell her you are finding a real doctor.

Removing the foreskin will not help his UTIs. The antibiotics are a good idea in the short term. As a preventative, try cranberry juice. When my wife gets a UTI, she cures it by taking cranberry tablets and drinking cranberry juice.

Quote:
My doc said that the "real" penis is what is under the foreskin, and that the extra skin was causing bacteria to get trapped. Though I don't agree with her characterization, I am noticing how urine will get trapped in there. I have been retracting and wiping with tp every time he pees. Anything else I can do? If this happens again and again, I don't what I'd do. I definitely am not going to watch my child screaming in pain every time he pees.
"Real penis"... how ignorant. Only an American doctor who is scared of the foreskin would think the foreskin isn't part of the penis.

Never, ever, never retract your son. Retraction is a recommendation of a foreskin ignorant doctor. Retraction and other manipulation of the area will push bacteria towards the urethra, causing the very thing the doctor thinks she is helping to prevent. Also, if a boy is not ready to retract, premature retraction will cause pain and lead to infections.

Retractable or not, he should be plenty clean from the occassional swish in the bath.

Quote:
Please help. I definitely believe in keeping a child in tact, but this is my worst fear. Don't tell me his is the one rare case in which circumcision is justified. TIA.
Your boy doesn't need to be cut. Just stop retracting, finish out the antibiotics, and have him drink some cranberry juice now and then. If he does have recurrent UTIs after that, there's an internal problem.

Ask your doctor what body part she would amputate if your DS was a DD.
mom2sol's Avatar mom2sol 01:47 AM 11-17-2006
Just wanted to add that my 3 1/2 year old is intact, I have never retracted his foreskin and don't wipe at all for him, just direct him to shake and we've never had a UTI.
I recently read "Doctor's Opposing Circumsion" and there is a study that disproves the correlation between foreskin and UTI's.
Bottom line a couple of UTI's is no reason to cut your son's normal and natural penis.
Don't let them do it.
I highly recommend picking up the book, "Doctor's Opposing Circumsion" or visit their site.
Great information for mothers of intact sons!
enstar780's Avatar enstar780 01:48 AM 11-17-2006
Yes, good idea to not use bubble baths, and not give the child lots of refined sugar foods. This is what they tell girls, not cut off their body parts.

I heard somewhere that epsom salt baths can help, I dont know if this would help.
Tinijocaro's Avatar Tinijocaro 01:50 AM 11-17-2006
Maybe you could ask your doc what she would be recommending if a circumcised boy had the same history of UTI's? My friend's circumcised boy had a UTI and a culture and renal ultrasound was ordered. Found out he has a urethral problem.

Let your son drip dry, stop retracting and see what happens.
gabysmom617's Avatar gabysmom617 01:51 AM 11-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by SammyJr View Post

Ask your doctor what body part she would amputate if your DS was a DD.



Girls can have recurrent uti infections sometimes too, and whatever the standard of treatment for them should also be the same for an intact boy. You should ask her about that.
Mommay's Avatar Mommay 03:07 AM 11-17-2006
Wow. I don't have time to respond to each reply, but there are some pretty powerful replies. I thank you all again. I knew not to force an infant to retract, but I really had no clue about not retracting an older child. I didn't even mention the fact that I've been applying neosporin there per doctor's orders. : I can't believe my friggin ignorance.
Daisie125's Avatar Daisie125 03:23 AM 11-17-2006
For sure no neosporin either! You should actually be able to find lots of threads about it here if you do a search. Doctors seem to think neosporin & penises go together for some odd reason.

No worries, mama. You are learning and researching! At least you didn't listen to the doc and THEN learn everything here.
RiverSky's Avatar RiverSky 03:32 AM 11-17-2006
Please don't even consider circumcision. That doctor was so misinformed, it's not even funny. I remember reading a thread where a man had recurrent infections, his doctor suggested a circumcision, he complied, thinking it was necessary and the infection continued yet the sensation slowly went away.

I think everyone else before me covered a multitude of ways to treat UTI and why not to have a circ.

Be strong, Mama! And find another doctor!!!!!! (preferably an intact male???)
kxsiven's Avatar kxsiven 03:33 AM 11-17-2006
Does the doctor also believe that real vagina is under clitoris and outer labia - uh just imagine what get stuck inside women's 'folds' - what a horrible doctor.

Other people have given you good advice, I just wanted to say one more time - stop retracting and whiping!!!!
sadkitty's Avatar sadkitty 05:27 AM 11-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommay View Post
I have a mom friend who used to get lots of uti's. She had her urethra enlarged and it completely stopped. I know that's off-topic, but maybe there's a structural issue with ds.
Ugg. Urethral dialation . I had this done TWICE as a young child. at age 4 and again at age 6. It was very very painful and I still had chronic UTIs... until I went vegan at age 19. I have done some research and found that my UTIs and prolonged bedwetting (not to mention my chronic tonsilitis) were most likely due to an ongoing dairy allergy throughout my childhood: .

I'm so glad no one ever tried to cut bits off of me!

Before they even start to explore invasive procedures, I would do some elimination diet stuff and see if it may be an undiagnosed allergy.
chaoticzenmom's Avatar chaoticzenmom 05:46 AM 11-17-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by SammyJr View Post
Ask your doctor what body part she would amputate if your DS was a DD.
I agree!

My son is almost 7 and has NEVER been retracted. I tell him to pull it back as far as it will go in the bathtub, but it doesn't retract even 1/2 way. My dh didn't retract until 8.

and wiping it? I don't think that's ever necessary, don't guys just shake it?

I had one ped. say that my son was abnormal at his 1 year appt. because it didnt' retract. She was headed for that "we need to circ." speech, so I changed peds, and suprisingly, he's been "normal" ever since.
Best to you.
Lisa
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