Reasons Circ would be "necessary" as an adult? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm expecting our 1st boy in a few weeks and I'm trying to build up my arguments/facts (for my MIL and Mother - DH is completely onoard)) for leaving our son intact.

Back when I had my first child, and I mentioned to my mother that if it was a boy we wouldn't circ, she told me that she circ'd my brothers b/c my father had to be circ'd as an adult and it was extremely difficult and painful. According to her he had some sort of infection/problem (something) that required the circ to "fix", and they had concerns that it may be hereditary.

Is there anything that legitimately fits this description? At the time I just let it go, and did not ask for any further details, so I have no idea what the problem may have been. And I don't really want to ask unless it comes up. And if it does come up, I'd like to have my arguments ready.
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#2 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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Infections:

Definitely not a reason for cirucmcision. Typically these can occur for reasons such as bad hygiene and improper treatment (ie, giving antibiotics for a yeast problem-- which makes it worse and it usually reoccurs)


"Problems":

The one that most people are referring to here is called phimosis. This is when an older boy's foreskin does not retract well (it should begin to retract by late teenage years, but for 1% there are some problems with the process)

In the USA, there is a run for the knife in these situations. However, there are plenty of nonsurgical remedies that are used to great success elsewhere. These include stretching exercises, creams, and even surgery that preserves the foreskin (such as a dorsal slit).


Chances are, his circumcision was not necessary and was just used instead of actually A) tackling the real problem- the source of infection, finding out what the infection really was B) hasty cutting when other things could have cured the tight foreskin

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#3 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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Gangrene and frostbite?

http://www.nocirc.org/publish/index.php
#6, 7, 8 especially

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#4 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thixle View Post
Gangrene and frostbite?
Well, it would only be necessary for frostbite if there were gangrene

So I'd say gangrene or cancer.

-Angela
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#5 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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Ah, the ever-elusive "infections" claim. Always non-specific and vague.
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#6 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 02:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
Infections:

Definitely not a reason for cirucmcision. Typically these can occur for reasons such as bad hygiene and improper treatment (ie, giving antibiotics for a yeast problem-- which makes it worse and it usually reoccurs)

Most infections are from forced retractions, then treated improperly with more forced retraction.

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#7 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jenoline View Post

Back when I had my first child, and I mentioned to my mother that if it was a boy we wouldn't circ, she told me that she circ'd my brothers b/c my father had to be circ'd as an adult and it was extremely difficult and painful.
Yeah, because ripping the skin off the glans, crushing it and cutting it with no pain relief is a walk in the park for a newborn. Did your father just walk into the clinic and have his foreskin lopped off? I highly doubt it. I bet he got a lot more than a sugar pacifier and a Tylenol for his pain.

Sorry for the snark. It just bugs the hell outta me when people say circ is sooooo horrible as an adult, so we should do it to little babies because it's "better". :

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#8 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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Most infections are from forced retractions, then treated improperly with more forced retraction.
Ah, yes, definitely true as well! I was just exploring the specific case of an adult with infections-- but, then can also be as a lingering problem from forced retraction (infection after infection for years, starting from the time of forced retraction)

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#9 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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The only true medical reasons for circ are: frostbite, gangrene, cancer or irriparable accident damage. As you can see those things would be extremely rare.

I want to add that some men who are diabetic might have trouble even with a simple cut on the penis because diabetics do not heal well. Just like they may loose a foot because of it. But again that would be rare.

If a man had untreated long term infection of the penis/foreskin (meaning years of infection that he for whatever reason didnt go to a dr for) he may end up having to be circed because of true phimosis.

Most cases of true phimosis can be treated successfully with steroid cream and stretching. For those that the scare tissue is to thick they may need a slit cut into the foreskin to allow it go go back over the glans. Cutting the whole thing off should only be the very last resort. Even cutting the slit should be dont only if aggressive stretching and steroid creams do not work.

 
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#10 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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My mom's first husband was intact, but his foreskin never retracted... she said that he had a lot of problems with infections and all sorts of things because of it. That is her argument for circumcision. But I don't have any more details on her first husband's situation than that... so I don't know if circ would have helped or if he tried other treatments or what...

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#11 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Equuskia View Post
Yeah, because ripping the skin off the glans, crushing it and cutting it with no pain relief is a walk in the park for a newborn. Did your father just walk into the clinic and have his foreskin lopped off? I highly doubt it. I bet he got a lot more than a sugar pacifier and a Tylenol for his pain.

Sorry for the snark. It just bugs the hell outta me when people say circ is sooooo horrible as an adult, so we should do it to little babies because it's "better". :
Oh, I agree completely! But that was her logic. And my MIL's logic (when it comes to the pain issue) is that they "won't remember".

Thanks for the responses. I wonder if it was actually phimosis, or issues related to earlier forced retractions. My general opinion (from reading these boards the last several months) was that it probably wasn't really necessary. But I wasn't sure, and didn't want to spout that to my mom without knowing.

It's hard, because I know both grandma's are going to comment on it. AND because they both ocassionally care for my children I have to make an issue of it to make sure they don't retract him during diaper changes. But what I'd really like to say is "It's my child and DH & I have made an informed decision on what we consider to be the best choice for him." I shouldn't have to defend myself because I've chosen to leave my baby the way nature designed him.
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#12 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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I shouldn't have to defend myself because I've chosen to leave my baby the way nature designed him.
That alone is a good argument.

The foreskin is not some kind of mass, worldwide birth defect.
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#13 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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To the OP, when I was pregnant, my family very much tried to convince me to circ my ds. After he was born (and intact), no one has said a word. Hopefully this will happen for you too - the matter will just be dropped.

Expecting a boy? Be sure to check out MDC's Case Against Circumcision!
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#14 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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I remember reading a urologists paper a while back. He said the only three medical conditions which necessitate circumcision are cancer, gangrene and frostbite. Everything else can be treated more conservatively.



Oh, and btw, if you didn't already know all three conditions are EXTREMELY rare!

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#15 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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Would you get your sons and daughters appendectomies or tonsillectomies because "they won't remember it"? It doesn't happen. Or a hysterectomy for a problem that may or may not happen in the future? It sounds out of this world, but you don't remove the nipples (breast buds) of girls to prevent breast cancer? Actually, boys, too, since MALES get breast cancer, too.

Besides... what about that new discovery that cancer can form in the circumcision scar of a penis? Defeats the purpose in for one "reason" to circ. [I don't have the study available at hand, but it exists.]

The PP stating that the foreskin is NOT a birth defect is true!

That's about all I can say.
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#16 of 22 Old 02-13-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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I think a good way to be tactful about it is to explain that there was and is a lot of ignorance about the necessary care of the foreskin that caused more problems than it solved. State that with proper care (meaning leave it alone) the chances of a problem are extremely extremely rare and there are alternatives to drastic action (circumcision) that are better established now. If she needs more you could mention the differences in 'necessary' circumcision in the US verses Europe and say that these false diagnosis are decreasing as intactness is becoming much more common.

If she is resistant, perhaps acknowledge that the circumcision may have become necessary and resulted in relief from the problem that he experienced. And that for that reason you can understand her/their concern and see where they would be coming from.

So while the circumcision may have been necessary (in the end) it would seem that it was the result of the knowledge of the era and not because of some absurb defect in foreskins.


Hope that is making some sense...

jessica

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#17 of 22 Old 02-14-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jenoline View Post
It's hard, because I know both grandma's are going to comment on it. AND because they both ocassionally care for my children I have to make an issue of it to make sure they don't retract him during diaper changes. But what I'd really like to say is "It's my child and DH & I have made an informed decision on what we consider to be the best choice for him." I shouldn't have to defend myself because I've chosen to leave my baby the way nature designed him.
I have three intact boys. When my oldest was a few days old my mother mentioned that I might want to consider circumcision because "it's easier to keep them clean". My cheerful response was "Oh, really? Shall I make a fresh pot of tea?" The subject never came up again. The few other times people broached the subject I just said politely but firmly "My children's genitals are not a topic for discussion." and pointedly changed the subject to the weather, the price of gas, seasonal vegetables, whatever.

My point is that you don't owe anyone any kind of explanation or justification. Your son's penis is simply none of their business. Any statements you make in defense of your position just invite further discussion.

Should the need arise for the grandmothers to change diapers, just tell them to wash off the penis like a finger and you will handle any residual poop that can't be removed with a simple wipe.
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#18 of 22 Old 02-14-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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You make a good point, Jessica.

When people started piercing the upper thick cartilage of their ears, some people didn't take care of it properly (some still don't), infections started, but that doesn't mean we cut off even the fatty lower cartilage traditionally pierced to prevent infections. KWIM?
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#19 of 22 Old 02-14-2008, 12:58 AM
 
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And my MIL's logic (when it comes to the pain issue) is that they "won't remember".
It isn't remembering it that is an issue, its EXPERIENCING the pain... and an infant's experience with inadequate pain meds is worse then an adult with proper meds. Remembering is an issue when people are psychologically harmed by what happened.

Men who are upset about being cut as an infant not only had to experience the pain, they are also psychologically harmed. With circ as an adult, the pain can be managed and the psychological issue is nearly eliminated.
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#20 of 22 Old 02-14-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jenoline View Post
Back when I had my first child, and I mentioned to my mother that if it was a boy we wouldn't circ, she told me that she circ'd my brothers b/c my father had to be circ'd as an adult and it was extremely difficult and painful. According to her he had some sort of infection/problem (something) that required the circ to "fix", and they had concerns that it may be hereditary.
The only thing that would be hereditary is diabetes. A rare complication of diabetes is phimosis or "tight foreskin." This is extremely rare affecting one man in probably hundreds of thousands and usually shows up in later life.

Quote:
Is there anything that legitimately fits this description?
There are a couple of other things. One study I read said lichen sclerosis that did not respond to treatment may be an indicator for circumcision but the article questioned it. It was from Sweden where the lifetime circumcision rate is 1 in 18,000 men.

Another is as a result of penile cancer that has been ignored for years and not treated until it has spread. This is also incredibly rare and probably affects no more than 1 per million men.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carriebft
Infections:

Definitely not a reason for cirucmcision. Typically these can occur for reasons such as bad hygiene and improper treatment (ie, giving antibiotics for a yeast problem-- which makes it worse and it usually reoccurs)

It must be remembered that the genital infections males get are the exact same bacteria and fungals that females get and they respond to the exact same medications with equal prognosis for success. When was the last time you heard of a female having her parts cut off as treatment for one of these infections? When was the last time you heard of a female having one of these infections that couldn't be cured?


.


At the time I just let it go, and did not ask for any further details, so I have no idea what the problem may have been. And I don't really want to ask unless it comes up. And if it does come up, I'd like to have my arguments ready.[/QUOTE]
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#21 of 22 Old 02-14-2008, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think a good way to be tactful about it is to explain that there was and is a lot of ignorance about the necessary care of the foreskin that caused more problems than it solved. ......

So while the circumcision may have been necessary (in the end) it would seem that it was the result of the knowledge of the era and not because of some absurb defect in foreskins.


Hope that is making some sense...

jessica
Yes, it makes perfect sense. It's a similar thing to breastfeeding issues of the era (women saying they would have liked to bf, but they had "no milk" when in reality they probably had misinformation and no support), and something my mother & I talk about (she was a LLL leader in the 70s, very strong proponent of bf). So I'd like to think that she'd understand this logic. however, she is extremely opinionated and thinks she's always right. And very defensive of her own choices. So, after an initial discussion I'm probably just going to have to firmly say "this is not a topic I'm willing to discuss" and leave it at that. Unfortunately that is something that I have a hard time doing (but the longer I'm a mother the better I'm getting).
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#22 of 22 Old 02-14-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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Honestly, I'd stick to the "My sons penis is none of your business" line
It's good to know this isn't something you have to worry about for your son after seeing all the great posts here but what it comes down to is that it really is none of their business.
I would add that you may want to be careful if you ever expect they will babysit your son unless they are open to the care of an uncircumcised penis. You wouldn't want them to pull back his foreskin

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