To circumcise or not to circumcise?

Jessica - posted on 01/28/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I did a lot of research on this topic, and I found that less and less people are circumcising their baby boys ( other than religious reasons). I read that the percentage of boys circumcised in North America has dropped 30% since the 1980's. When I asked my doctor she told me that she does not recommend it and that it is no longer covered by Health Care (Canada)., because it is considered cosmetic and no longer considered more clean or neccessary. My husband was worried about him going to school with other circumcised boys. I just figure that baby boys are born with the foreskin for a reason. What are your opinions on this matter?

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Clean - posted on 09/13/2012

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Well i am a 30ish y/o uncircumcised man and have never had any problems with my penis, just as easy to clean as a circumcised one, and as for the locker room/showers back when i was in school in the 80-90's- 6th grade on up, no one worried about anything like that, granted there were a lot more circumcised boys than uncircumcised, no one picked on anyone about it. I think the girls were more fascinated with uncircumcised penises than they were with the circumcised ones for some reason......and yes the girls saw us naked every time we showered or changed clothes in the locker room, their changing room was right beside ours and had a door connecting the 2 rooms that was supposed to be locked at all times, but was not, but that's another story. There was a Boy i went to school with in the 8th grade, who had no penis, he got circumcised as a newborn, but something went wrong and it slowly rotted off in the few weeks afterward, or so he told everyone.......kinda breaks your heart to see someone like that. As for me, my wife and i have been together for over 13 years now, and she told me she prefers uncircumcised, if that helps at all. Would we get our son/s circumcised? nope, we sure would not.....my grandparents gave me the best advice when i was little, they said "son if its not broken, please don't fix it." In other words if the penis is not broke, don't circumcise it. Words to live by.....

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Anecdotally- my pediatrician told me that "jungle rot" is the main reason that the American government began a mass circumcision campaign early last century. He said that penises and feet are the first areas of the body to get infected when you have to go months without a shower or changing your clothes while exposed to the elements, so our government convinced everyone to start circumcising our boys so they would last longer in war. He said they even went as far as creating false studies to aid in their efforts, such as increased risk of cervical cancer in women. Also, they like to cite increased risk of penis cancer which my Dr. says is a joke because not only is penis cancer the most rare form of cancer, but the only reason it reduces the risk is because you are reducing the amount of penile tissue.

Amy - posted on 02/04/2009

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we did not circumcised our son.... its not necessary... there are many benefits of an uncircumcised penis.. we know because my husband is not circumcised.  i wouldnt do it. 

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As an RN and a mother, I would not choose circumcision for any child. It both reduced the penis in size and leaves it scarred and raw, a ripe spot for infection in a diaper with feces and urine. That choice should only be a choice for the adult man who wishes it. 1% of men left intact (uncircumcised) as children will decide to get cut as adults for personal or medical reasons. That means that 99% of babies cut as infants and children would have decided NOT to be circumcised! This is a no-brainer, don't allow anyone to come at your new child with scissors, scalpels and knives. There is no medical reason to circumcise a newborn, cleaning and care is easy. Just wipe the outside of the penis, like you would a finger. No retraction of the foreskin, it is adhered to the glans like your fingernail to your finger. It will retract on it's own, the only person who should ever try to is the boy it belongs to. Don't affect your son's future sex life, leave him as nature made him. His body, His Choice.

Kelly - posted on 02/04/2009

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I am thinking of circumcising my son, but the doctors wont do it here in Brisbane until he is 6 mths old, and then that wld be done under a GA, but it is covered by my health insurance, so there is no out of pocket expense to us. The main reason why we have decided to get it done is personal preference and my partner has had it done too. Also, my father has told me some stories about some older guys in his army unit that had to get circumcised at 21yrs old, due to the risk of infection while out in the field. He said he has never seen grown men cry so much, and he would never put his kid through that if he cld help it. I guess it all just comes down to personal preference of the individuals and whether or not u can live with the idea that it may need to be done in the future when/if an infection occurs. I am still not 100% sure that i need to do it, but i think that it is wat is best for my son in the long run.

Trina - posted on 02/04/2009

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We got our 9 week old circumsized as well as our 20 month old, both at birth.  Now that the 20 month old is starting to potty train, and it's going at a 90 degree angle (literally DIRECTLY left), and he DOES have a lot of skin still there.  His looks nothing like the newborn's as there's no defined "head".   Today the family doctor said that there wasn't enough skin removed at his original circumcision, and has referred us to a urologist for a possible "re-circumcision".  :(   Not sure how to proceed.  If we don't, the brothers won't look the same.  And I'd hate to think about the complex he may have in later years when his jewels look like a cross-breed between a circ'd and an uncirc'd.  Any advice?

Nicole - posted on 02/04/2009

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I decided to circumsize my son. His father said he wished he had been circumsized. Plus I had heard of a 4 year old boy who had an infection and could not urinate, he had to get circumsized at age 4. I could not imagine my son going through that pain.

Trina - posted on 02/03/2009

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We didn't do it for our son. Not because of money, but partly because his dad isn't and partly because we think since we're created that way, not to change it. Our son was born half cerc'd though naturally so he's got the best of both worlds I suppose.

Chantelle - posted on 02/03/2009

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I circumcised my son at 8 weeks. My sons father wanted it done for cultural reasons, and there was a health scare in my family (Someone in my family had to get it done when he was 16 because of an infection). I guess its just preference. If the child learns how to keep it clean, he should be fine:)

Margaret - posted on 02/02/2009

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When i was pregnant with my first son his dad wasn't around, so i quizzed all four brothers, males mates and work mates. I got a mixed response and i was more then confused, until... a friend of mine who i worked with sat me down and explained that he had been circumsied at 15 due to medical problems, i'd never want what he described for any one to go through.



So i had my first son circumsised... Which led to problems anyway because he tore and required stitches down there! His dad finally accepted fatherhood and we have been happily engaged for 18 months and we have, on November 26 2008, welcomed our second son, we discussed circumcision again... We were at a loss because dad isn't but big brother is... So i left it to my partner and he decided no to doing it, so i have one of each i cant reccomend either as better, they both are pretty much self cleansing and all u basically have to di is was them and make sure they are clean at each nappy change.... The only thing i found was that circumcised ones seem to get things like powder and poo under them so they require a little more cleaning if that happens...



I hope this is helpful to someone... Cheers Margy

Alison - posted on 01/31/2009

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Quoting carolyn:

And I don't see why people make the argument that they want their son's penis to look like their father's. How many of you grew up seeing your parents private parts? We sure didn't. And even for those families who do run around naked together (I'm not judging), what's so bad about explaining to your son, "dad had part of his cut off when he was a baby, but we didn't want to do that to you". I think that your kid would say, "poor dad, thanks for not doing that to me!". I simply can't imagine a boy crying when they see their dad's circumcised penis, "I want mine to look just like dad's!" I really don't get that argument- but I'm open to hear someone's explanation.


 



When I let my husband make the decision, it wasn't necessarily so our son and his father would "look alike" and run around naked together and compare penises. 



I was pretty impartial on it, but my husband said he'd rather have him circumcised because that's what he was familiar with...he was circumcised, never really thought much about it (he was a baby when it happened and doesn't remember it being traumatic), and respected the decision his parents made at the time regarding his circumcision.  If our son comes to us one day offended that he was circumcised, we'll just explain that every parent tries to make decisions on what they think is best for their child, and that it is done out of love.



I think every parent will do what they feel best for their child based on their past experiences as a child, and their personal situation.  As anyone would do (and should do), we did the research, talked to friends and family of boys, and then listened to our initial feelings about it.  If you chose not to circumcise, then that is totally fine...if you chose to, then that is fine too.  No child should ever have to feel like they have to look exactly like someone else!

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I really researched this, too. I have a few points to make. First, I've read that the foreskin is firmly attached for the first several years of life, so you don't need to worry about cleaning under it until your child will be old enough to do it himself. Second, it seems to be universally accepted that sex is better for both men and women when the penis is intact (uncircumcised). Third, I don't care what anyone says, it is DEFINITELY painful for a baby to be circumcised. I had to listen to my poor baby scream through it for not 30 seconds, but 30 MINUTES straight. I will spare you the details, but it is MUCH worse than the doctors make it sound. It was the cruelest thing I've ever seen in my life and I would never do it again. And I don't see why people make the argument that they want their son's penis to look like their father's. How many of you grew up seeing your parents private parts? We sure didn't. And even for those families who do run around naked together (I'm not judging), what's so bad about explaining to your son, "dad had part of his cut off when he was a baby, but we didn't want to do that to you". I think that your kid would say, "poor dad, thanks for not doing that to me!". I simply can't imagine a boy crying when they see their dad's circumcised penis, "I want mine to look just like dad's!" I really don't get that argument- but I'm open to hear someone's explanation.

Lisa - posted on 01/30/2009

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I am strongly against it because I figure if he wants to get it done when he's older, it's his choice but I'm not going to make that choice for him now.  My husband agreed with me and we chose to not get him circumsized. 

Kristi - posted on 01/30/2009

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My son will "look different" from his father, but after our research and talking to a couple of doctors, we decided that we would deal with him looking different, given all the negative's that come along with circumsion. I guess I just don't understand the need for it. If you look at the stats around the world, most other countries don't routinely cut off parts of their son's penises, for no real reasons at all.



This is definitely a personal decision, but like other controversial subjects, people have some strong opinions!

Abbey - posted on 01/30/2009

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Quoting Ana:



p.s. I just saw someone talking about uncircumcised penises as hard to keep clean, and that is just simply not true. Ask any uncircumcised man.





I didn't say it was hard to clean, I said not good at cleaning.  There is a difference.  And this is just what several pediatric nurses told me they see.  Although I am sure one infection teaches a child how to clean well.

Ashley - posted on 01/30/2009

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i had my baby boy circumcised at only a day old.the insurance didn't cover it but we paid out of pocket, when i learned my baby was a boy i did some research because it is a painful procedure, but my fiance is and i didn't want my son to wonder why he looked different than daddy or other boys. it's all your choice.

Ana - posted on 01/30/2009

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p.s. I just saw someone talking about uncircumcised penises as hard to keep clean, and that is just simply not true. Ask any uncircumcised man.

Ana - posted on 01/30/2009

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Circumcision is not common in europe like in the us. Being from europe i dont understand why you'd do that. All european male population functions perfectly fine without such a thing, and honestly, it seems to me like a cruel thing to do to your child. I also don't think it is parents' decision to make. Men should make that decision themselves...

Abbey - posted on 01/29/2009

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If you don't have him circumcised, just make sure he really learns how to clean it. I have talked to several nurses who say they have seen many kids with infections because they don't clean it well.
We chose to circumcise and will probably continue to care for his circumcision for quite a while, because the foreskin that is left can reattach incorrectly. I work with a woman who had to redo her son's circumcision after he was a year old because something went wrong with it. But I am still glad we did, because there will come a point when he is too old for me to help him clean it, but he still won't be good at cleaning. I know I was bad at simply brushing my teeth and cleaning my ears as a kid, boys are worse.

Jen - posted on 01/29/2009

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We're also in Canada where they wont do it in the hospital... We had decided before our son was born that we would have it done (solely because my husband is), but then when the hospital said that they couldnt even give me info on it, I did some more research and decided against it.. Most of what I read said that it was painful and that studies had disproven what they had previously thought were reasons for it.... One thing I read also suggested that men could choose to have it done later in life if they wanted and that got me thinking.. how many men would choose to cut off a piece of their own penis given that choice?

Stacey - posted on 01/28/2009

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i forgot to say that ours was covered we didnt have to pay anything at all they just bulk billed us.

Stacey - posted on 01/28/2009

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We had our son sone at 7 days old. We got told that they no longer done it but its all about asking the right person, it ended up the dr that delievered him done it for us..

But we did get it done only because we have seen two of our friends kids get infections and boy they were in so much pain it was swollen dramatically. From then on we said we would get it done. But in saying that its a decison that you both have to agree on.

Kristi - posted on 01/28/2009

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My husband and I decided not to circumsize our son. At first my husband was dead set on Wes being circumsized. We started talking about it and I asked him why he wanted Wes circumsized?  His answer - because I am so he should be. We did a little research and realized that it wasn't medically necessary, and was going to cost us. We also talked to our doctor, who wouldn't really give her opinion until I said I didn't want it done, and she said she doesn't recomment it. I wasn't willing to put my son through unnecessary pain either.

Alison - posted on 01/28/2009

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Look at the American Academy of Pediatrics website...they say there are some medical benefits they've found, but it hasn't been so groundbreaking that they recommend it necessarily.

We chose to circumcise our son. I didn't have any strong feelings against or for it, so I left it up to my husband like Amy, above, did. And again, it was just because he was also circumcised when he was a baby and it was familiar to him. My only thing was that if we were going to do it, I wanted to have it done as soon as possible, which at the hospital where he was born, it was two days after he was born.

The pediatrician came in beforehand and discussed with us the pros and cons of circumcision and what the AAP says. He also went over what the procedure entails and any questions we had.

Once it was done, the doctor came back in and explained that he might been really sleepy the rest of the day, may not nurse as well as before, or may be fussy, but that it would all be okay. And we were surprised that our son didn't seem to have any issues at all and was in a very good mood.

So we've had no regrets.

Sharon - posted on 01/28/2009

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Our pediatrician said circumsize is not recommended however if hubby was circumsized then our boys should be too. We chose to go with the circumcision route and are glad we did.

Krista - posted on 01/28/2009

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I did a lot of research too, and it seems that the norm now is not to circumcise, at least in Canada. We didn't circumcise our 10 week old and were supported by our doctor. Actually, there are only two doctors in town that will even perform circumcisions anymore. I hope that this weird trend completely goes away in coming decades so that baby boys no longer need to go through pain at a few days old just to make them look "better"!

Amy - posted on 01/28/2009

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We got our baby circumsized when he was 4 weeks or so. I let my fiance make the choice as I didn't have a preference. My fiance wanted to circumcize him because he himself is circumcized and is familiar with that. We thought it would be easiest in terms of cleaning. But as far as I know either way is equally clean - it's just a matter of teaching your little boy how to do it. And litle boys' foreskins are attached and don't retract for the first couple years anyway. We did have to pay $300 for it though so pretty expensive. But it took 30 seconds and totally painless for him. I was very impressed.

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