Circumcision Question... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 12-02-2003, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am hesitant to post this question but I really would like good information and I know you ladies are well informed. I am due in March and we don't know what the sex of our child will be. Dh and I discussed circumcision and I am of the opion that it really isn't necessary but I wanted to leave that one fully up to him. Dh was not circumcised until the age of 17. He was cut due to very tight forskin and pain, cracking...something along those lines. It was not a pleasant experience, his forskin problems and subsequently the circumcision...he has not had any problems since (18 years later). That's why I am leaving it up to him. He decided, seemingly without a doubt that he wants to circumcise if we have a son. This is one of those things that could bother me and I don't want to say that I'm indifferent, but in picking my battles, this is well, just up to him. So, that being said, please don't try and give me advise on how to change Dh's mind...that's not what I'm looking for. I do want to be clear that I do understand the case against circumsion, which is why I'm posting here.

I wanted to know who exactly does circumsions? Pediatrition, General Practioner? (I'm asking because we are having a homebirth and will have to go in for this).

I have heard that there are some Drs. who will anesthetize and some who don't. I definately want anesthesia.
Where do I start looking for someone who will take as little as possible be as "humane" as possible.

I appologize again for posting on this board. I by no means meant to offend or make anyone angry. Just trying to do the best with my options.

Thanks,
Phoebe

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#2 of 24 Old 12-02-2003, 07:57 PM
 
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I'm sure you could post this in I'm pregnant or Life with a babe and probably get more replies.

It is very hard to read that you left this up to your husband. It's not his penis. Your son should have control over his own most private part.

I'll stop there.

No, I won't stop there. Before you do this you and your husband need to see pictures and video of exactly what will be happening to your baby's penis. Make an actual informed decision.
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#3 of 24 Old 12-02-2003, 08:08 PM
 
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phoebe, please order a copy of Dr. Fleiss's "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision." Read it, and require your husband to read it. Your son should not undergo surgery without both of you knowing everything there is to know about this procedure.
At the end of the book, there is a section on what parents should do if they are so bull-headed as to pursue circumcision after reading all the information. (that is a direct quote, i'm not calling your husband names!)

And your husband probably won't want to hear this, but there were almost certainly other options for his tight foreskin besides amputation. It is WRONG to punish your son for your husband's maltreatment at the hands of doctors.

I think you must know that deep down or you wouldn't have posted to this board.

Also, at the top of this forum there are stickies to the articles by Dr. Fleiss that were published in Mothering a while back. Please read them. I hope you are able to stand your ground and not allow your son to be mutilated.
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#4 of 24 Old 12-02-2003, 08:34 PM
 
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perhaps since you left the decision up to him, you should leave the research and scheduling up to him. And hope he never gets around to it. Or that as he does the research he changes his mind. As he reads about different choices for creams and streching that can be done IF your son doesn't retract naturally, instead of circumsision, he might decide it's a risk worth taking to leave him intact and see if nature will work the way it's supposed to. That is, if your mind is truly made up and you won't change it.

As someone who's been there, done that. I tell you we both regretted having ds1 circed. Even though we were completely opposite in our views beforehand. My dh never thought it would hurt a little baby that much, after the anesthesia wore off. Ds cried every time he moved his legs or wiggled at all. I felt completely worthless that as his mom I was the one that was supposed to protect him and keep him safe and I'd stood aside of my beliefs to let him be hurt this way. I could've prevented the pain he went through. It wasn't a great way to start off being a mom. I did stand up and ds2 isn't circed.
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#5 of 24 Old 12-02-2003, 11:35 PM
 
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Hi Phoebe-

I'm glad you had the guts to post here even though you anticipated that you might get a grouchy response. Although surely destined to raise some hackles, you are also going to get some real factual info, and hopefully it will be helpful to you. I tried to keep as much of my own judgement out of my post although I am sure it's brimming with it. I figure you don't need a lecture, you need info- so that's why I gave so many links. I hope the info I offer will help you out.

As for who can do a male circumcision... it can be a OB, a Urologist, a pediatrician, GP, a first year resident who has never ever done a circumcision before, a mohel who is willing to cut the penises of non-jews, a tattoo/body mod/piercer, a Tribal Practioner, you might even be able to go directly to a biotech company and see if you can sell your child's foreskin to them for high end anti aging skin cream- perhaps selling his penis part would defray the cost of the circumcision... really the possibilities are quite varied. There is no regulation, anyone can do a circumcision. You don't need any medical training, proof of good outcomes or follow up with the patients. Most circumcisers never see the child again- few can give information about the long term post puberty effects of their handiwork. It will be your job to research the person who you will be trusting with your son's penis and a clamp. You can do interviews, ask for pictures, videos (you should always be able to view a video of the procedure as a matter of informed consent) Ask for referals, and check with the state medical board or BBB. You might want to go to a pediatric urologist in your area and ask them about the PROBLEMS they deal with and if they see specific problems coming at them regularly for a certain practioner.

You might also check the legal issues of consent and if you have a legal right to consent to this and who would be ultimatly responsible if your son does decide that he has been sexually damaged.

One in five circumcised boys will wind up being circumcised a second time because "someone" was dissatisfied with the way the first one was done. There is a big buisness to be made on correcting other people's mistakes.

Here is an example of what some circumcised children will look like for a few years... can you live with this? if so... why could you not tolerate him having his WHOLE penis?

http://www.rogerknapp.com/medical/circ_incomplete.htm

As for anesthesia, that will be your job to be sure that the dr complys with the recomndations of the AAP, AMA, AAFP, OCOG... they ALL say that full anesthesia should be used. This page has a very detailed pain protocol... GREAT link for parents who WILL be circumcising...

http://www3.us.elsevierhealth.com/WOW/op043.html


As for taking as little as possible, perhaps you need to study the anatomy in question before you authorise that just a little bit be cut off- the very tip of the foreskin is the most sensitive part, and contains anatomy not found elsewhere on the penis. This "just a little" is like the "little" female clitoris... it's a signifigant and unique little part of the whole. Just a little cutting is going to crush a scar into all the continuou nerves and blood vessels of that skin system... if you had some pantyhose that were "just a little too long" would you think that you could just take a LITTLE snip across the ankle and attach the two raw ends together without really ruining the continuity of that weave? NO. You KNOW that if you take a scissor to pantyhose you RUIN the contuinity regardless if you cut out a section on inch or one foot long... well- why would you have less respect for someone's sexual nerve pathways than you do for a pair of nylons?

http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/taylor/

Another thing to consider is that if the circumcision scar is infront of the flare of the glans- you could have a circumciion CAUSED phimosis (inability to retract) this is listed in the AAP risks of circumcision. Amazingly more circumcised boys will get phimosis FROM their circumcision scar than intact boys would ever have from a problem with their foreskin. Ironic huh? More circumcised boys have penis infections too... and problems with dirt traped in the folds of their penis... might have something to do with the way their normal body's wicking system was mutilated... if you broke the spout off a teapot would it pour better?... or more sanitary?

Also, when you put a scar on the penis and couple that with the forceful tearing of theprepuce from the glans- you invite adhesions and skin bridges to form. To see what skin bridges are:
http://www.circumstitions.com/Botched4.html


To learn about adhesions: http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/gracely1/

When your husband was circumcised as a teen, his foreskin was already seperated from his glans and it did not need to be torn off it, an infant has a foreskin that is still adhered to the surface and that seperation in and of itself represents a major trauma of circumcision.
As a teen your husband also offered his Dr an adult size penis to work on, so there was no guesswork involved, the Dr could see just how much skin would be needed to accomidate an erection. When you baby is born his penis will be very tiny, the dr will have to guess and will remove about 50% of the skin of the penis... hopefully that will leave your son with enough skin to enjoy his sex organ without pain or pubic hair running up the shaft. Of course when you cut a baby, you can't tell if you are borrowing pubic or scrotal skin... that mess up won't be obvious until your child grows pubes.

Also when you circumcise a boy, regardless if YOU decide to allow him to keep his frenulum of not... the frenular artery will be cut, and the nerves leading to it will be modified. Changes to the bloodflow supplied by that anatomy can result in meatal stenosis, a problem affecting 1 in 10 circumcised boys.
http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2356.htm


If you would like to learn more about what your husband faced and what treatment options could have been available to him (had he been born in 2004 to intactivist parents) you might try searching in the CIRP database:

http://www.cirp.org/library/treatment/phimosis/

I wish you well on your homebirth and I also feel for you in the situation you are currently facing in regards to this circumcision... no matter what you do there are bound to be some tumultous feelings that are going to happen... I hope that the one feeling that never comes into the picture though is regret. No one should start their days as a parent feeling that they did not do what was best.

http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/mothers.html

Love Sarah
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#6 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 12:13 AM
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No matter how much research you do, you run the risk of complications.

Your son is MORE likely to have problems from being circ'd than from being left intact.

If you do leave him intact, and I hope you do, remember to NEVER forcibly retract his foreskin, and never let anyone else retract it, either. That may be one of the things that caused your dh problems.

If your dh had his tonsils removed as a teenager and it was very traumatic for him, would you automatically schedule a tonsilectomy for your infant? Why not? Isn't it the same?

Surgery for your son will not heal your dh's wounds. Your dh wants "proof" that he is "ok and normal" as a circ'd male, but hurting your son isn't the way to accomplish that.
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#7 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 12:42 AM
 
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I have heard that there are some Drs. who will anesthetize and some who don't. I definately want anesthesia.
You may want anesthesia, but your son may not want the procedure at all. Anesthesia is painful to administer, may not actually hide the pain, and wears off. The healing process is painful, and a baby can't tell you "Mom! I need more Tylenol!"
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Where do I start looking for someone who will take as little as possible be as "humane" as possible.
I think the most humane thing would be not to do it. Removing part of a helpless human being's genitals can never be considered humane.

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Just trying to do the best with my options.
Your husband may have the same parts as your son, but he's still your son. You do have a say in this, you cannot hand off all the credit/blame to someone else, you are his mother. You do have options and your son's health, well being, welcome to this world, sense of self, and ideas about sex are depending on you.
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#8 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 12:43 AM
 
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Your dh needs to watch the video at http://www.intact.ca/vidintro.htm. So do you. Better yet, ask to watch a circumcision done live by the person you are thinking about paying to do it.

This is your baby's penis, not your husband's. Your husband does not have the moral and ethical right to decide to cut off a piece of your baby's body, any more than you would have the right to decide to cut off your daughter's clitoris.

I assume you're planning a homebirth to welcome your baby into the world as gently as possible, without medical interventions for yourself or for him. Why would you want to then turn around and allow his penis to be skinned?? : This is an honest question....I would much, much rather put my baby through a hospital birth, a c-section even, heel sticks, Vitamin K, the works, than allow him to be circumcized.

Come visit the NEW QuirkyBaby website -- earn QB Bucks rewards points for purchases, reviews, referrals, and more! Free US shipping on great brands of baby slings and carriers and FREE BabyLegs or babywearing mirror on orders of $100+. Take the QB Quiz for personalized advice!

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#9 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 12:49 AM
 
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I am certainly no expert, just a mom with my own personal experience. When I was pg for the first time, my thought process was much the same as yours. I did not want to circ if we had a boy, but told dh he could make the decision (although I insisted that he read everything I give him, and make an informed decision). We learned a ton, and thankfully he decided NOT to circ. We had a girl so it was a moot point. We stuck with our decision not to circ when I was pg again, and it was a boy, and I cannot express to you how happy we BOTH are that our little guy is just the way he is supposed to be. I feel so strongly, I have to just repeat that, I cannot express in words to you how happy we BOTH are that he is intact. Thinking about it makes me want to wake ds and hug him!

Wouldn't it at least be better to wait and see if he has the same problem your dh had, and then let him make the decision at that time?

namaste.gif

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#10 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 03:49 AM
 
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Please,please really think about what you are allowing your husband to do.All the Mamas who have responded said everything I was thinking,but I have to add this.My hubby had a botched circ.I know this is way too much info(my hubby has allowed me to tell about this to save other boys from harm),but he has a horrible scar,as a teen had VERY painful erections due to the skin being very tight,and at age 28,is starting to lose sensitivity.He's trying to restore,he's actually been doing it for years without realizing it.He had to,to stop the pain.We have a 2 year old intact son.I can tell you that you do not ever want to see your child go through surgery of any kind.Our son had open heart surgery at 2.5 months old.The pain he was in was horrible.I have pictures of him a day after the surgery.I can't bear to look at those pictures without crying.Just thinking about them brings tears to my eyes.He had proper pain relief.He was on morphine for 3 days,and Advil and Tylenol for about 3 weeks.I know heart surgery sounds worse than circ,but even so circ HURTS.He will be wetting and pooping on an open wound.He will not have proper pain relief,even if he is given anestia(sp?).There are very big risks of complications,even death.There is no risk of death from a foreskin.My son's surgery was neccesary.He had a 99% chance of death by age 9.There was a 2% risk of death from the surgery,and that's only because we had it done why he was still healthy.The longer we waited,the higher the risk.It's the opposite with circ,as others have explained.He was lucky and had no complications,and you'd never know what he went through unless you see his scar.please really think about this.I know you only want what is best for your son,and I am in no way trying to upset you.I'm very thankful I had my daughter first,Had she been a boy we would have circ'd,since we didn't know any better.I thank Mothering and these great Mama's for making me question and research everything.

Lisa
SAHM to homeschooled Kasia,5 ,Gabrion,2 ,and 4 furry feline children(RIP Jibbey-Roo,11/20/03,we miss you!)Muldey,Ba-ba,Baby,and Silkey, Wife to Billy

Student mama to one awesome,talented and unique dd,15 and one amazing, sweet and strong ds,12(born with heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot,also on the autism spectrum),9 cats,and 2 gerbils.
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#11 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 12:00 PM
 
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Phoebe:

I'm going to give you the information you need to assure adequate pain relief but first, I would like to ask a question. I get the distinct feeling that you are opposed to the procedure and that you feel some guilt for agreeing to it. This is a guilt that will stick with you for a lifetime. Is that really what you want to do to yourself? There is a building crescendo against neonatal circumcision building on the internet and in the media that your son will surely see by the time he is a teenager. If your son is born in 2004, he will be in the minority if he is circumcised and that will surely engender questions. How will you answer those questions? What if he doesn't like your answers? How are you going to deal with the guilt? A lifetime of guilt is a very long time.

Next, let me address your husband's problem. It is called phimosis and occurs in about 2% of men. There are gentle stretching exercises that can resolve the problem permanently in a matter of just a few weeks. Your husband was the victim of a medical professional who was not up to date in the treatment of this problem. The gentle stretching exercises are effective in about 99% of these cases. If you would like to investigate this further, I'll be happy to provide links. Basically what I'm saying is that it doesn't make a lot of sense to circumcise to prevent circumcision especially when the probablity of that later circumcision is 0.01% or about 1 in 1,000. Does it make sense to you?

Now to the issue of pain relief. It goes without question that cutting off a piece of skin the size of your baby's hand will be extremely painful and even with the best anesthesia available, the American Medical Association says it only reduces the pain to an acceptable level. They have also said that the only effective method is subcutaneous ring block. Through a survey of their member physicians, they have determined that 78% use no anesthesia at all and less than 4% use subcutaneous ring block. If you doecide to go ahead with this, it is incumbent on you to be sure that your son is getting adequate pain relief.

First of all, it is necessary that you be there for the procedure. The doctor's assurances that your son will get pain relief is not enough. You must be there to witness the anesthesia being administered to be assured that it is in fact being administered and that it is given adequate time to take effect. Here is what should be done: First, EMLA cream must be applied to the penis. This is a topical anesthesia that is rubbed on to reduce the pain of the injections. The EMLA cream should be given about 20 minutes to take effect. Next, your son should be given 4 injections of lidocaine near the base of his penis. Lidocaine is an acid and if the EMLA cream has not taken effect, it will feel like four bee stings to your son. The lidocaine should be given at least 30 minutes to take effect. The first step in the procedure is to seperate the foreskin from the glans. At birth, the foreskin is attached to the glans by the same material and the same way your fingernails are attached to the nailbed and the pain involved is the same as you would expecrt from forcing a blunt instrument under your fingernail. If your son shows any discomfort, you should stop the procedure and get more pain relief or put it off until a later date when he can tolerate more anesthesia. The next step is to make a cut with scissors from the tip of the foreskin to the base of the glans. Once this has been done, you are at the point of no return. That's why it is important that you insure adequate pain relief before this point.

Next, the surgeon will put a metal bell over your son's glans and then put a clamp over it. This clamp crushes the nerves and blood vessels and through the force of the clamp, it seals the blood vessels to prevent hemorraging. To ensure an adequate seal, the clamp should be left on for at least 5 minutes before continuing. Then, the surgeon will make 5 or 6 cuts all of the way around your son's penis and pull the foreskin away.

That is the way that most circumcisions are done. However, there is another method that is sometimes used. It uses the plastibell device and is the same with the exception of the use of the clamp. Instead of putting the metal bell over your son's penis, the surgeon will but a plastic bell over it and will very tightly tie a string around the device and your son's penis. However, the foreskin is not cut around, only down the length. The foreskin is left in place to rot away and fall off a couple of weeks later. The plastibell device has a much higher rate of infections associated with it and i would strongly recommend against it. I'm sure you don't want a newborn baby suffering from a life threatening infection in the first week of his life.

After your son has been circumcised, he will be in significant pain for the first few days. You need to be sure he gets adequate after care pain relief. Baby Tylenol is not adequate for those first few days but can be used after the first 3 or 4 days up to about the 8th or 10th day.

Next, you need to be aware of proper after care of the wound and penis. The current "fashion" is for loose circumcisions. Your son may not even looked circumcised at all for the first 2 or 3 years with one of these. The penis tries to return to it's natural condition after circumcision and you must be on guard to not let this happen or adhesions can result. The remnant foreskin must be pulled back at each diaper change and vaseline applied to the glans and remnant foreskin. This must be done very gently since the area is like a nailbed that does not have the fingernail attached. It will be very, very tender. It is recommended that the vaseline treatment be continued for at least the first year and after that, you should inspect your son's penis at least weekly for adhesions for at least the first 3 years. Unresolved adhesions can have lifelong rammifications. By the way, loose circumcisions are being done because of the painful erections that resulted from the old style tight circumcisions. It's kinda one of those things that either way, you lose.

Just in case you have heard that an intact penis is hard to maintain, that's bunk! If you do not circumcise your son, the maintenance consists of washing the outside just like a finger and nothing more. You do not under any circumstances retract the foreskin and clean inside. It does not get dirty any more than a girl's vagina gets dirty and needs no more care than a girl's vagina. Just like washing out a girl's vagina would cause problems, washing out a boy's foreskin will cause problems.

By all means, check out the doctor carefully. Your son's sexual health depends on it and a botch can mean that he will have sexual problems for a lifetime. Even the very best occasionally make mistakes. Make sure that you are there for the procedure and if they tell you that you can not be there, find another doctor. If they plan on taking almost an hour for the procedure and doing it as it should be done, they have nothing to hide. If they do have something to hide, they don't want you to be there to witness it. According to the American Medical Association, 96% do have something to hide. That is they are planning on putting your son through immeasureable pain and agony.





Frank
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#12 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 12:15 PM
 
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please don't try and give me advise on how to change Dh's mind...
We have respected this, but is there anything we can say to change YOUR mind?

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#13 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the passionate responses. I definatley got alot of good info here...which is what I was looking for. I also got some responses that I was not looking for...which I expected and that's fine too. I will do more research on both sides and make an informed decision with my husband.
Thanks again,
Phoebe

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#14 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 03:34 PM
 
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Phoebe:

You've gotten great info from the other ladies here, I just wanted to share what my dh and I did....

I was going to leave the desicion up to my dh (he's the one w/the "hands-on" penis experience you know) but just prior to ds's birth (we didn't know his sex at that point) we decided that we needed to look into circumsicion more. Something just "didn't feel right." We were looking at a non-intervention filled birth, what made sense of then doing a medical procedure on our baby? And we were told by his ped (we've since changed for this and other reason's) that pain meds weren't used as "they are too dangerous for the life of the baby." Well, it seemed to us that cutting any part of your body would be painful and if we couldn't medicate ds, then it would be pretty barbaric to put him through that pain. Long story not-so-short....we decided to not decide for then and if/when we decided to circ, we would wait until ds could decide for himself or we could safefully medicate him to alleviate the pain.

Ds was born, I found MDC and I can't believe we ever even contemplated circing him.....In fact, DH and I now know that dh's circ took "too much" and how does he get that back? Problem is, you can always cut it off, but unlike your hair, you can't grow it back.

Maybe a desicion to not decide until age 5 or so is a desicion that y'all could make? Just buy yourselves some time to rethink it after you give birth.
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#15 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 09:41 PM
 
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Em:

There might be some help for your husband's circ that took too much. Would he be interested in a non-surgical remedy?



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#16 of 24 Old 12-03-2003, 10:11 PM
 
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Frank:

What would this entail? I asked him if he was interested and his answer, "Well sure, if it didn't cost too much or take too much time."

I'm all for it though! (And it isn't even my penis!)

Em
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#17 of 24 Old 12-04-2003, 01:25 AM
 
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frank, your response just about made me cry. i knew it all already, i've seen the videos, but thank you for reminding me of why i have been a passionate intactivist for two and a half decades. your clear declaritive offering of the facts does worlds more good to educate people than all the rantings i could spew. bless your heart. you and sarah (esp- there are many, many people here whom i love to read) just rock.

suse
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#18 of 24 Old 12-05-2003, 02:38 AM
 
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Em:

As you probably already know, I answered your PM about this but for the benefit of the others, the cost can range from about $20.00 to maybe a couple of hundred depending on the method, equipment and supplies your husband chooses. If he only wants to loosen up the tight skin, he may be able to accomplish that in just a few months. If he wants to go for a full foreskin restoration, he's probably looking at about 3 years.

I know! I know what you are thinking . . . This is an awful lot to go through to correct something that was done with so little forethought, consideration and reason. So true!

Thank you, Suse!


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#19 of 24 Old 12-08-2003, 06:55 AM
 
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I am makes my insides cramp up to read some of the stuff here. I was born in Europe, I lived in USA for about 10 years, now I live in UK..
I have not heard of any other country in the world that routinely circumcises boys with no religious reasons!
No men in my family have ever been circumcised, no men in my family have ever had any problems with their foreskins. My mom's friend from work had some problems with her boy's foreskin and they had to perform a circumcision for health reasons. With all the people I have known in all my life, that's the only case.

Why on earth do you want to take a perfect little baby and cut some part of him off, especially part of his penis? Well, why not circumcise girls; hood of the clitoris, snip it off, what is it there for anyhow?
Why not take your baby's appendix out straight after birth, why not cut out the tonsils? After all, what does God (nature, if you're not religious) know about creating a man's body, only American doctors know how a man's body should be like.

You'd think USA, one of the most advanced countries in the world, but some of your practices are simply barbarian. Yess....°

I thought I better not say it, but I will. Circumcision is a crime against your child, a sex crime! Go mutilate your own body, leave your child alone!
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#20 of 24 Old 12-08-2003, 11:13 AM
 
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Colaga:

You have to realize where we came from to understand how we got here. You have to go all of the way back to the beginning of our history to understand it.

America was originally a refuge for those who suffered religious persecution and many of our forefathers came here to escape that persecution. That means that many of them were hyper religious in their fervor and the religious thread still runs strong and deep in our culture. There are almost 300 different recognized sects in Christianity alone and more unrecognized sects in America. Most of us really do not understand the Bible and don’t read it with the intent of understanding it clearly. We have a tendency to be lazy and take what we hear from the pulpit as gospel and never question it. There are many false assumptions amongst our beliefs.

Back about 130 years ago, some of these religious leaders determined to take the biblical admonition not to “spill your seed” as a warning about masturbation and as a sin. Well, masturbation is just something people do and is driven by our biology. About 1870, a physician, Dr. A.J. Sayer, decided he had found the perfect means of discouraging masturbation. He knew well the pleasures that the foreskin provides the man and he determined that by reducing the pleasure by the maximum amount without preventing reproduction, that he could prevent masturbation. This belief was backed up by Jewish religious writings from the 13th century and from biblical writings in the New Testament relating to the sexual damage. After the procedure had begun to be accepted, all sorts of medical claims of the benefits were advanced including that it prevented mental illness and blindness. Of course, circumcision prevents nothing but many here fervently believe that it does. This belief is so strong that many choose not to believe medical evidence that there are not only no medical benefits but substantial risks and sexual damage. This even includes medical professionals even though their own organizations have been clearly saying there is no benefit for more than 30 years.

There is clear evidence to them that circumcision is not sexually damaging because of our ability to procreate. However, the thing they fail to recognize is that the clear intent of circumcision was (and always has been) to provide the maximum amount of sexual damage without preventing reproduction. This fulfils what they see as a moral imperative that sexuality is basically an immoral activity unless used solely for reproduction and should be avoided except for reproductive purposes. Circumcision is seen as an aid to maintaining this moral cleanliness in that it discourages sexual activity.

The evidence of what we are doing to our men is clear and compelling. Americans consume over half of the world’s production of Viagra. Malaysia, a circumcising country has the highest per capita consumption of Viagra. Israel is the # 1 counterfeiter of Viagra and all Muslim nations have a substantial problem with Viagra counterfeiting. The common belief here is that the male prepuce is a problematical feature of the male anatomy and that circumcision is almost inevitable at some point in the male’s life. We consciously ignore the experience of the rest of the non-circumcising world that clearly shows that foreskin problems are rare and in line with any other body part and less than many. The foreskin is also the most maligned feature of the male body and is seen as “ugly,” “dirty,” and dangerous to the female partner of these men. This viewpoint is advanced by many in the medical profession in direct contrast to all medical research.

You must also understand that the procedure generates almost a billion dollars in profits to the medical profession and is understandably a source of income that the profession is reluctant to give up.

Finally, in some circles, especially political circles, speaking out against circumcision is seen as a politically incorrect attack on certain groups that practice circumcision. Those groups fear that the rising crescendo against circumcision is a threat to their beliefs and are waging a counter campaign to preserve the practice.

On the good news front, the circumcision rate has dropped almost 50% in just the last dozen years and 2004 should be the first year since the early 1940’s that it has been less than 50%. The practice of circumcision has always depended on secrecy and misinformation to survive and thrive. While it was the Gairdner study and the poverty of post war England that ended it there through the discontinuance of insurance payments, the internet will end it here. In England, the clear implication of the discontinuance of payments for the procedure was that it had no medical benefits and that quickly ended the practice. The exact same thing is currently happening in Canada. While we don’t have the benefit of that defining moment, the internet is getting the word out. The support structure for the procedure and custom is crumbling. From the 1870’s through the 1970’s, the belief was that there was a benefit from circumcision. Since the AAP’s 1972 statement that there were no benefits, that false assumption has been falling away despite the attempts to find new benefits. If they have found no benefit in 130 years, it is highly unlikely that any benefit will be found and even if there is, that benefit will not be significant. If it were significant, it would have been found years ago. The social support structure is also crumbling. Prior to now, the circumcised male was in the majority and the modified genitals was viewed as normal and as it should be. As soon as the rate drops below 50%, the accepted view of circumcision will match your view. That is that circumcision is a crime against the individual and a clear violation of his rights. Once that happens and it should begin happening next year, the rate of circumcision will drop precipitously just as it has in all other formerly circumcising countries.

Keep speaking out. We need your help!




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#21 of 24 Old 12-08-2003, 01:43 PM
 
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Frankly Speaking'
wow, what a long, explanatory post! Thanks for taking your time!


Yes, about circumcision as income for some.. I heard in a scientific programme that one foreskin produces about 47 football fields of second skin! Maybe parents should be paid for the foreskins, not charged for the procedure..
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#22 of 24 Old 12-08-2003, 06:24 PM
 
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Yeah, sometimes I think I'm a frustrated novelist!




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#23 of 24 Old 12-10-2003, 06:47 PM
 
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Phoebe-

You have gotten lots of great links to information on here, but I thought you might not mind the ramblings of a BTDT mama.

When I was pregnant with my son, I started to think about circ. I was never one to just go along with things arbitrarily. I knew dh wanted him circ.ed, but I felt I should research, so I read some about it, I decided I didn't like the idea, but after talking to a pediatrician who said that "once you know someone who had to have it done as an adult, there will be no question in your mind", my mom (who is a nurse) and had horror stories about older male patients, and my OB who said that EMLA cream was good enough and that the shots (sorry don't remember the correct name) were too risky (she said they could result in needing to amputate ). I ended up going along with everyone, although it never felt right.

I knew what morning they were going to do it (while I was still in the hospital too), and I told dh to get there bright and early, cause I wasn't going to be waiting alone, well, the Dr. came early, so I was alone.

I was recovering from a c-section- so I was stuck in bed, the room they were doing it in was across the hall. I could hear him screaming (but my OB had said that the babies really only scream from being held down: so I clung to that). When they brought my son back to me, he was just not the same, and I am not being dramatic. He was awake, but wouldn't nurse, he had previously stared at my face, and now he was looking blankly at the ceiling, I know, I know, he was a newborn, but it just wasn't the way he had been. It was quite some time before he nursed again- many waking hours. His little penis was so raw, but, we took care of it, and it healed just fine thank you, so maybe this wasn't so bad after all.

Fast forward to when he was 14 months, he woke up one morning, I went to change his diaper and his penis was all red and looked bloody, etc. I called the pediatrician right away, I couldn''t think what could be wrong with it.

I took him in and got the "diagnosis"-* foreskin adhesion*- to which I said, "what- he's circ.ed!" and the Dr. said, "Actually this is really common in chubby circ.ed babies, their penis kind of is stuck inside the fat, and it gets adhered to the foreskin that is left- if he were not circ.ed this wouldn't happen as the foreskin would not be retracted, yada yada yada."

So, maybe it's not the most dramatic of stories about circ. out there, but it was enough for me, this time (pregnant with a boy again) I did all the research, including watching a circ. I cried and told dh that I just couldn't let it happen again, and I gave him the research, he agreed, thank G-d!

I have so much regret now that I am fully informed, not only for what I put my first-born son through, but for what I have taken from him in adulthood -some of his sexual pleasure - and his future partner's too

I hope that my experience (although I wish I did not have this story to tell) will stop someone else from making a choice to do things the way I did, regret is a terrible thing to live with

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#24 of 24 Old 12-13-2003, 03:08 AM
 
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Hi,

My ds is circ'd and it was done by a pediatrician at the hospital I gave birth at and they used anesthesia.
He had the plastibell thing that falls off as the penis heals.(Looked like a little twist tie).
Feel free to ask me any more questions.
Edited to add: you will have to request it b/c it is not done routinely.

Let's just say I'm glad this one I'm preg. with now is a girl.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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