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The Case Against Circumcision > need some info (re: balanitis and circ)
Momof2xy's Avatar Momof2xy 06:08 PM 02-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix Rising View Post
Liv, you've given us some great detailed information and that will greatly enable us to help you. I'm going to address some issues that have already been addressed but I am only doing that for emphasis..
No worries glad i gave good info.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix Rising View Post
First, we have to understand the term "balanitis." This is a catch all phrase for any infection of the penis. It is not a specific diagnosis and that is what is needed so that it can be appropriately treated. You have mentioned that a sample for a culture was taken. What were the results of the culture? Did you get them? Were they positive or negative?..
maybe you misread? i said that they DID NOT do a culture of any kind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix Rising View Post
Most likely, this was smegma and not pus. I know you have already discounted this but I fully suspect it was smegma. Smegma and pus have amazingly similar physical characteristics and are often confused by doctors. If it were only a drop, yes, it could be pus but any more in such a short time indicates that it was smegma. I'll address this in more detail later...
ok, i think i'm going to have to admit i was wrong :P given that by day 3, things are *fine* (still a small lump, but otherwise not red/swollen/painful), it probably was sep trauma and smegma :P ok, ok, i was wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix Rising View Post
This is ill advised until the issue is cleared up as the boys can pass any infection back and forth. Some research has shown that circumcised boys can get the same infections as intact boys but are less likely to show symptoms so it is likely that your circumcised son has the same infection if there really is an infection....
good to know - so far we've had no issues (other than just his issues from his circ, which is what prompted the not circ-ing for ds2).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix Rising View Post
One concept that is important to understand if it is in fact an infection is that the bacteria, viruses and fungals that infect boys are the same exact pathogens that infect girl's genitals and that they respond equally to the same medications. Girls never get treated with amputative surgery for these infections and the only reason boys do is because of medical ignorance and the cultural acceptance of male circumcision.
i came for alternatives to circ (because i don't want to circ him, and the pedi just kept saying "well, circ is our recco if he has 2-3 infections") and i wanted alternatives . so thanks for pointing that out to me - guess it should've been obvious, but i guess it just wasn't.

Liv

l_olive's Avatar l_olive 11:26 PM 02-01-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momof2xy View Post
ok, i think i'm going to have to admit i was wrong :P given that by day 3, things are *fine* (still a small lump, but otherwise not red/swollen/painful), it probably was sep trauma and smegma :P ok, ok, i was wrong
It really isn't that you're "wrong" -- just, like most of the rest of us, not well prepared for what changes an intact penis goes through during its normal development. Just think how bad you'd freak out if your son started losing his teeth -- if you didn't know ahead of time that was going to happen.

It's unfortunate that our circ-happy society has lost this information.

But it's reprehensible that the doctors on whom we rely for solid medical advice are equally uninformed. How many boys who are simply going through separation has this doctor given unnecessary antibiotics or, worse, circumcisions?

I'm so glad your son is better!
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 01:29 AM 02-02-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momof2xy View Post
maybe you misread? i said that they DID NOT do a culture of any kind.
Yes, apparently I did. I'm sorry! This is the next step if you suspect an infection and the one that will either confirm or deny an infection. Moreover, it will identify the specific pathogen causing the infection if there is an infectious agent present.


Quote:
ok, i think i'm going to have to admit i was wrong :P given that by day 3, things are *fine* (still a small lump, but otherwise not red/swollen/painful), it probably was sep trauma and smegma :P ok, ok, i was wrong
Don't worry about it. Some of the best trained and experienced medical professionals have been wrong about this. This is a relatively new area for the medical profession that hasn't had the luxury of working frequently with intact boys.

Quote:
i came for alternatives to circ (because i don't want to circ him, and the pedi just kept saying "well, circ is our recco if he has 2-3 infections") and i wanted alternatives . so thanks for pointing that out to me - guess it should've been obvious, but i guess it just wasn't.

Liv

Well, I can tell you it is not obvious. I was involved in this issue for years before this dawned on me. I had never seen anything about this despite hundreds of hours researching the issue. One day it just dawned on me but it was such a simple concept that I did not trust my own conclusions and decided to check it out with some real medical professionals. I asked two MDs, a microbiologist and a viral geneticist and they all essentially said "Yep, you're right about that." It also appears that this has also not dawned on your pediatrician or he would not have recommended a circumcision after 2 or 3 infections. He certainly would not recommend the same thing for a daughter, he would just assume he could cure the infection with medications and set about finding the correct meds to do the job until he was successful. He is also amiss for not taking samples for culturing and that should have been the first step. He basically took a short cut and made a diagnosis off the cuff and it was the wrong diagnosis.

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littlemizflava's Avatar littlemizflava 09:29 PM 02-02-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momof2xy View Post
generally no, there is not already soap in the water - generally speaking, rinsing bits off is the first part of bath time. then they use soap (actually, they still like the baby wash, so we let them use it :P) to wash their hair and bodies. then they get to play (we bathe both boys together) until they get rowdy, then time to get out.

Liv
just another idea
if there is soap in the water even if he is just playing in the soap water it can and will still get under there what about having him rince it off under clean water before getting out of the tub.
i know we all are sensitive here. what i do is fill tub let them play drian it, soap them head to toe, rince and out.
fruitful womb's Avatar fruitful womb 12:53 AM 02-03-2008
My Uncle was the oldest of 4 brothers aside from 5 sisters. He was born around WWII. This was at a time when hospitals were committing mass circumcisions without the parents knowledge. Lucky for him he was born at home. Doctors would do home visits back then too. After one doctor found out grandma was having her babies at home he asked if her ds was circumcised. She wouldn't dream of such a thing. She told him no. He strongly suggested that she forcefully retract him, he was 5 at the time (I think, or maybe 3) and scrub the glans with soap. My uncle had NO problems with his penis until his parents acting upon Dr.s orders. He developed balantitis. The doctor then circumcised him. Unfortunately since he was the first boy in the family the rest of the boys got circumcised because they didn't want the rest of the boys to possibly get balantitis. Her next child was born in the hospital in case it was a boy just so he could be circumcised at birth.

Its so screwed up.

Had they just left him alone he wouldn't have faced the predicament of circumcision.

I wonder if the Doctor knew this would happen so he advised grandma to do what she did just so he could circumcise him. No doubt many doctors these days set it up that way.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 02:40 PM 02-03-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitful womb View Post
I wonder if the Doctor knew this would happen so he advised grandma to do what she did just so he could circumcise him. No doubt many doctors these days set it up that way.

I suspect this was the case in many intact boys. Before the internet, many doctors would have believed that circumcision was inevitable for virtually every boy that was not circumcised at birth. As early as the 1940's they had already started circumcising every boy born at hospitals which was virtually all at the time. Many pediatricians never saw an intact penis in their practices and it appears that many saw foreskins with disgust and disdain and viewed parents who didn't get their sons circumcised as almost criminally negligent. All of the elements were there that what you suggest is not only possible but probable. In their twisted minds, they probably thought they were ultimately doing the child a favor by making him ill so that he could cut his foreskin off "for" him.

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Fellow Traveler's Avatar Fellow Traveler 07:38 PM 02-03-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix Rising View Post
I suspect this was the case in many intact boys. Before the internet, many doctors would have believed that circumcision was inevitable for virtually every boy that was not circumcised at birth. As early as the 1940's they had already started circumcising every boy born at hospitals which was virtually all at the time. Many pediatricians never saw an intact penis in their practices and it appears that many saw foreskins with disgust and disdain and viewed parents who didn't get their sons circumcised as almost criminally negligent. All of the elements were there that what you suggest is not only possible but probable. In their twisted minds, they probably thought they were ultimately doing the child a favor by making him ill so that he could cut his foreskin off "for" him.
Although it isn't out of the realm of possibility I find it hard to believe that medical professionals believed circumcision was inevitable. To believe that you would have to discount millennia of evolution and the in your face fact that it was uncommon before modern times. I can believe that the average parent of the time would not have access to information and not know that say most people in other countries don't do this but doctors? Its hard to believe but I suppose (it seems) it is true.

I am wondering has anyone had a doctor tell them it is necessary and have you then confronted them with the facts? Like if it is necessary why don't people do it anywhere else? What was that discussion like?
eepster's Avatar eepster 08:24 PM 02-03-2008
I also consider it unlikely that many Drs in the the '40s believed it was inevitable. Most Drs in those days were family practitioners not pediatricians so they wll have had plenty of older patients who were intact with no problems. I suspect their many motive for encouraging it will have been the belief that it promoted "moral hygene."
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 11:41 AM 02-04-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhispers View Post
Although it isn't out of the realm of possibility I find it hard to believe that medical professionals believed circumcision was inevitable.
By the 1960's, many doctors would be in practice a substantial portion of their careers without seeing an intact penis. This would deny them the opportunity to have counter experience. It was also quite common for them to misdiagnose normal phimosis as pathological phimosis and in their practice, most boys would get a circumcision that they had escaped earlier. This would lead them to believe that circumcision was inevitable for most boys. Even today, we still see a lot of that.



Quote:
To believe that you would have to discount millennia of evolution and the in your face fact that it was uncommon before modern times.
Well, they are certainly ready to accept that evolution has made a serious mistake that they must correct or we would not have circumcision today. I doubt many doctors know that circumcision in The US was once extremely rare. Since it is mentioned several times in The Bible, they assume that it has been a routine of birth for thousands of years.


Quote:
I can believe that the average parent of the time would not have access to information and not know that say most people in other countries don't do this but doctors? Its hard to believe but I suppose (it seems) it is true.
Doctors are given virtually nothing in medical school about the origins and history of circumcision and do not generally witness or perform their first until they are in their internships. In this respect, they are no more knowledgeable than their patients.


Quote:
I am wondering has anyone had a doctor tell them it is necessary and have you then confronted them with the facts? Like if it is necessary why don't people do it anywhere else? What was that discussion like?
Only recently has this began to happen and that is only because of websites such as this one where parents can get the information. Sadly, it appears very rare that doctors visit sites like this one.

It appears that some doctors will go to any length to convince parents to circumcise their sons. I heard of one case where a doctor was telling Hispanic patients (who don't generally circumcise) that circumcision of all newborn males was required by law. This was obviously not true since if it were required by law, there would be no consent form, it would just be done. This doctor had found a vulnerable population and was taking advantage of them.

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3Chimes's Avatar 3Chimes 02:27 AM 09-29-2008
I have looked everywhere and have a pediatrician who has hinted at circ, which I do not want to do, or I would have done it when ds was born! Thank you for posting such comprehensive info!! I do have two more questions.

How long can this process last?

Should ds be pulling back his foreskin to clean it, because he does have a lot of discharge. It is whitish and he has had some very paperthin cuts that have mildly bled, but he has never complained of itching. (The suggestion to culture is exactly what we need to do!! DS had a knee surgery post-poned because the pediatrician thought it was a bacterial infection, when really it sounds like separation, but he never tested for it. Ugh!) We do have a topical called Vusion which is an anti-fungal. Should I have him use that just in case? It is very hard for him to wash it off because it is petroleum-based, though.
MCatLvrMom2A&X's Avatar MCatLvrMom2A&X 06:54 AM 09-29-2008
3Chimes The process of seperation can take months and years. If he WANTS to retract and rinse then he can if he does not he dosnt need to it is just something that ocne they learn to do they usually make a habbit of.

Here is a thread that you should check out http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=764732 lots of information there you will probably find helpful.

If he has a yeast infection then the antifungal should help. If he has a a bacterial then bacatracin OTC cream should help.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 10:43 AM 09-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Chimes View Post
I have looked everywhere and have a pediatrician who has hinted at circ, which I do not want to do, or I would have done it when ds was born! Thank you for posting such comprehensive info!! I do have two more questions.

How long can this process last?

It normally lasts months or years. In some cases, it seems that it is almost instantaneous and others, it seems it lasts for years. The process of foreskin separation is actually two separate processes, the bond between the foreskin naturally separates and the non-elastic tissue surrounding the foreskin opening is replaced with elastic tissue. If the natural bond separates first, retraction will appear to happen instantaneously. If the replacement of the non-elastic tissue happens first, it will appear that the process takes months or years as the foreskin will be partially retractile but the remaining adhesions can be observed.


Quote:
Should DS be pulling back his foreskin to clean it, because he does have a lot of discharge.
Only if he wants to. Cleaning inside the foreskin is no more necessary than cleaning a girls vagina and it does open the area to possible infectious agents. The discharge is most likely smegma which is normal.


Quote:
It is whitish and he has had some very paperthin cuts that have mildly bled, but he has never complained of itching. (The suggestion to culture is exactly what we need to do!!
Yes! a culture! A culture will quickly (in a couple of days) allow the doctor to identify the specific pathogen and prescribe appropriate treatment for a quick resolution to the problem. Just saying a child has an infection is like saying you have pets. What kind of pet? A dog? A cat? A ferret? Fish? A hamster? If someone were asking you to take care of their pet, it would be important for you to know what kind of pet it is before you agreed to take care of it especially if you were going to have to provide food, might have other pets that could be a problem or might have to walk it. A culture tells the doctor exactly what he is dealing with.


Quote:
DS had a knee surgery post-poned because the pediatrician thought it was a bacterial infection, when really it sounds like separation, but he never tested for it. Ugh!) We do have a topical called Vusion which is an anti-fungal. Should I have him use that just in case? It is very hard for him to wash it off because it is petroleum-based, though.

First, it is important to know if it is a bacterial infection or a fungal infection. Home treating a fungal infection presents no problem but using a bacterial medication can cause a flush of fungals if they are present.



Frank
thixle's Avatar thixle 02:02 PM 09-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Chimes View Post
I have looked everywhere and have a pediatrician who has hinted at circ, which I do not want to do, or I would have done it when ds was born! Thank you for posting such comprehensive info!! I do have two more questions.

How long can this process last?

Should ds be pulling back his foreskin to clean it, because he does have a lot of discharge. It is whitish and he has had some very paperthin cuts that have mildly bled, but he has never complained of itching. (The suggestion to culture is exactly what we need to do!! DS had a knee surgery post-poned because the pediatrician thought it was a bacterial infection, when really it sounds like separation, but he never tested for it. Ugh!) We do have a topical called Vusion which is an anti-fungal. Should I have him use that just in case? It is very hard for him to wash it off because it is petroleum-based, though.

WELCOME!
And just to add to what previous posters have said--
There is now an over the counter home test kit for yeast infections (I wanna say it's made by Vagisil) and Vagisil also has a test kit for "vaginal" bacterial infections. I have not tried either, but would choose them over going to a doctor to test-- since most doctors won't do a culture on a boy's penis without a lot of insistance and hassel... and you'll know what kind of infection, if any, you are dealing with.
3Chimes's Avatar 3Chimes 08:30 AM 10-02-2008
Thanks for all the support. It is so frustrating that our pediatrician does not know how to care for uncircumsized boys.

I realized something, too. The medicine, Vusion, that the pediatrician prescribed is anti-fungal, the same active ingredient as in Monostat for women. But in addition to that, there is petroleum jelly and zinc oxide- which made him really goopy and it was even harder for him to wash it off because of these other super sticky ingredients. What I thought might have been smegma, when he modestly showed me, was actually clumping of the medicine. Ultimately, when I looked up Vusion a little more, it stated it was for diaper rash with yeast infections. Well, that doesn't even fit the situation!!! DS is 10 and has been potty-trained since he was 3. So, I bought Monostat and it is not goopy, but is helpful. I wish I had considered that the medicine was making things worse earlier.

A week after the doc prescribed antibiotics for his "bacteria/yeast combo infection," his symptoms were back. I think this is also partly because he had IV antibiotics during his surgery and this was an antibiotic-induced yeast infection. We have seen this in him before.

So, the next step from here, it seems to me, is trying to educate the doc on what is normal for intact boys. Any suggestions there? We've been with him since ds was 4 and we do really trust him in most all other things...

Again, I feel so much relief at finding accurate info- thank you, thank you!! :
MCatLvrMom2A&X's Avatar MCatLvrMom2A&X 08:37 AM 10-02-2008
The resources sticky has a lot of information you could print off and give to the Dr. abx give a lot of woman yeast infections so it stands to reason that some men/boys will ahve the same reaction.

I hope the monistate is doing the trick and he feels better soon. Be sure to use it for the full 7 days and follow the directions on how often.
duckpond's Avatar duckpond 09:07 PM 10-09-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Chimes View Post
A week after the doc prescribed antibiotics for his "bacteria/yeast combo infection," his symptoms were back. I think this is also partly because he had IV antibiotics during his surgery and this was an antibiotic-induced yeast infection. We have seen this in him before.
Hi, 3Chimes! I know this is somewhat off-topic, but I feel compelled to add this.

Antibiotics are really effective at their job. They kill bugs - bad bugs AND good ones. They can kill off all of a person's beneficial bacteria, leaving that person open to being colonized by bad bacteria and fungi such as yeast. That's why yeast infections are soooooo common after abx. Anytime a course of antibiotics is undertaken, it is really important to take probiotics in pretty large doses to rebalance the body's flora. You can also apply them directly to the site of infection using moistened probiotic powder or plain yogurt. I hope that helps!
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