My 5 year-old is facing possible circumcision, any advice?

Rowena - posted on 01/30/2011 ( 35 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone. Im just wondering if anyone has any advice about a delicate topic concerning my son who is nearly 5.
I recently took him to the docs as he was complaining of pain when he was going for wees. The doctor concluded that he did have an infection and prescibed him some anti-biotics. However this is the 2nd time that he has had this problem and the doctor said that he thought that my son's foreskin was quite tight and that potentially he may need to be circumcised as he believed the problem would be re-occuring. If im honest, Im very reluctant to do this. As his mum, I want him to remain 'whole' and dont like the idea of the surgery. However, I obviously dont want him to have regular problems with this.
Just wondering if anyone has experienced the same problem. Any advice would be greatly appriciated. Many thanks, Rowena xx

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Erin - posted on 02/02/2011

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Being Circumcised DOES affect the person. Not a statement meant to be a negative or a positive, just as a fact.
A circumcision routinely done with perfection, removes over 20,000 fine touch nerve receptors. Which is almost all of them. Granted, if it were a medical necessity, I would totally go with getting the procedure done, but as a last resort. I have heard a few stories from other women who were extremely against circumcision, and their sons had a problem similar to the ones ive read here. They were prescribed a few different types of creams over the course of the year or two, to see which ones worked best with their situation. None of them needed to get a circumcision afterwards because the problem cleared up.
This isnt a debate about circumcision specifically for me, its a debate on surgery being a last resort. The same goes for Tonsils these days. They used to routinely take them out if you had sore throats 5 or more times a year. Now they try quite a few other routes before turning to the knife, which I think is the safest decision for the child. Surgery includes being sedated and a risk of infection rises, as well as possible malpractice or misdiagnosis. Accidents or mistakes on the table are not unheard of. I would definately ask around, and do as much research as possible!
If at the end of it all, your son needs a circumcision, and thats the end of discussion, then I wish your entire family and your son the best of luck! Hopefully you find a perfect solution to your problem :)

Lallie - posted on 02/03/2011

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My son had the same problem at the age of 3. His doc did not recommend a circumsision but did refer him to a urologist. The urologist pulled his pull up back and took one look and said "ah, there's the problem, he needs to be circumcised." My husband and I are against the proceedure unless it becomes medically needed. My son also has a "tight" foreskin. We floored the urologist on our knowledge in the matter, there are steroid creams that you can use to help "stretch" it, and there is also an alternative surgery called a dorsal slit where they do not remove the foreskin but just cut a slit in it to allow it to be pulled back. Now with that being said, the previous poster mentioned that most kids can not retract till the age of 10, well, this is true, however it is also not unheard of for it not to retract until adulthood. My sons UTI passed and he is now 5 with no other issues. I personally would have beat myself up knowing I did that to him and it was not needed. If you do decide to have it done, I wish you and your son the best of luck, but please read up on the matter and have a good knowledge on the matter. I think doctors don't expect people to have a in depth knowledge on things. I know his urologist started stumbling on his words when we came back at him with the other options :) Good luck hun!

Abbie - posted on 02/03/2011

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NO WAY!
First of all, the average age of retraction is around age 10, so it's 100% NORMAL for your sons foreskin to be "tight"--thta is NOT a reason to hack it off. Secondly, would this doctor prescribe a labia removal for a 5 yr old girl who had gotten yeast infections or UTIs? Doubtful. Circumcision will NOT prevent it from recurring, but can, in fact, make it worse (especially when you consider the high likelyhood of infection during the surgical healing time).
I would find another doctor immediately if not sooner. lol One who is knowlegable of intact/whole boys. I know that this can be so much easier said than done.
www.NotJustSkin.org has some great info on this subject as does www.NoCirc.org (great pamphlets). Whole Network is another excellent source.
Bottom line: keep your son in one, perfect piece! A change of diet may be in order and the addition of some good probiotics (ie: acidophilus) would likely help the situation greatly. Cutting out bubble baths and probably cutting back (no pun intended) retracting the foreskin to clean under it if you're doing that, might be a good idea as well.
Upping Vit C if he's getting UTIs can help. Probiotics would probably help a great deal though.
I wish you & your beautiful boy the best of luck & I hope that he gets better soon. But for the love of all that is good & holy: FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS AND KEEP HIM WHOLE.
Good for you, mama for protecting your son!

Sammie - posted on 02/04/2011

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Please NEVER pull the foreskin back on a child. That is where A LOT of the problems stem from. The foreskin is attatched to the glans (head of penis) like a fingernail is attatched to the finger. Forcibly retracting causes rips and tears, which can and does lead to infections, and scarring, and is painful to the child. Until the child is old enough to do this himself, then it is not necessary.

Christy - posted on 02/05/2013

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Marisela,
I am so very sorry that you were given wrong advice by doctors and now your son is suffering. :( It's true that intact (uncircumcised) babies and boys should never be retracted by anyone other than themselves. Over time, the foreskin will naturally loosen and separate, but that may not occur until after puberty, and rarely not at all. The average age of natural retraction is ten, and forced retraction to clean underneath is what causes injury and infection.

Does your son realize that his surgery is to cut his foreskin off? If not, he will likely be infuriated and may very well develop deep, lifelong emotional issues, rage, and distrust. And, yes, circumcision is exceedingly painful and takes a long time to heal. Babies can only cry and have no words to tell how much they hurt.

I would strongly encourage you to cancel his surgery! Most American doctors have not been taught properly about the natural penis. Many medical textbooks show the circumcised penis as normal, so it is very likely that your average doctor will recommend circumcision, as that is all they know. Here is a list of doctors knowledgeable about foreskins. Hopefully, there is one near you. http://www.thewholenetwork.org/intact-fr...

If it was my son, I would use high quality coconut oil and natural vitamin E (get the oil or pierce the capsules to get the oil) on his penis several times a day. No one even has to touch his penis, just drip the oils on it, and they will seep into all the folds, etc. It will be messy, so use a towel underneath. (The coconut oil will melt from the body heat.) You could gently wrap a lightweight piece of sterile gauze over his penis to protect clothing and hold the oils in. As much as possible, let him be free of restrictive clothing that could rub his penis, such as jeans, etc. Sweatpants or loose shorts with no underwear would be better. When he needs to pee, let him pee in a bowl of warm water. Do not use soap on his penis (water is sufficient), but you can add baking soda to his bath to help soothe his irritated foreskin.

Amputation should always be a last resort! Please try the above natural remedies. I'm confident that if you do not attempt any further manipulations of his foreskin, and let it naturally heal with the assistance of the coconut oil (heals skin and kills bacteria, etc.) and the vitamin E (very healing for skin), that you will see improvement within a week. Give him plenty of vitamin C right now as well, which is also excellent for tissue repair. Vitamin C rich foods are important, and I would also give him supplements. Lypo-spheric C is by far the best form of vitamin C, but even C from a local store will help. You can't overdose on C, but megadoses of several grams will cause diarrhea. Don't worry, as that's a lot, and it's not harmful either.

The body wants to heal itself, and will if allowed. Explain to your son that it was harmful to forcibly retract him, but you were doing what the doctor said, but now you know better. Tell him that he needs to leave his foreskin alone for now, and faithfully apply the healing oils until it gets better. Keep us posted!

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Amanda - posted on 05/10/2013

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my son was 6 weeks early.. we had to wait 2 weeks after he was born to have him circumcised.... so we did it... but while it was heeling it began to attach again.. i became concerned, so i ask his doctor... the docto was you havent been doing what you should have been doing.......

HE THEN RIPPED APART WHAT HAD STARTED TO GROW BACK TOGETHER WITH OUT ANY FORM OF NUMBING MEDICINE AT ALL... i am a female and it hurt me.....

i am also a nurse, during my lab and del rotation i got to see all differt kinds of circum. becasue every doc dose if differt... some use medal claps, some use string that cuts of blood supply to the foreskin.... those little babys screem..... the doctors and nurse in there try to say it is because the babys get cold..*** NO IT ISNT*** they apply numbing cream, but they start cutting before the cream has time to work...

i have no idea why i put my son thru that, when he was a baby, because i know what happens....

my son now still has some foreskin i would NEVER**NEVER PUT HIM THRU THAT AGAIN...

Marisela - posted on 02/04/2013

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I have a 8 yr old son that has an appt. on Friday 8th of Feb. to get circumcised he has constantly had problems with his penis infections and doctors told me to pull back foreskin to clean the area infected I did so and the foreskin did not go back and hurt him because the foreskin was too tight I am now reading these posting and know now I shouldn't have retracted the foreskin but its too late all I know is that he is constantly telling me that his pee pee hurts and he has leakage... concerned I turned to another doctor and she suggested that he have a circumcision I just want to know if he will be in a lot of pain and if anyone has experienced this before? Need answers asap. Thank you...

Christy - posted on 01/19/2013

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Rowena, I'm thrilled to hear your wonderful news that your son is well and still has his whole body to enjoy! :) Amanda, have you tried to pull back your son's foreskin to clean underneath? If so, then that is likely why he would have any problems. Doctors often tell parents to do this, but it causes injury to the penis and is what causes infections. The foreskin is fused to the the penis often until after puberty and should be left alone. Just wash the outside only. Also, it's totally normal for boys to frequently rub their penis as it feels good to them. And, there's no such thing as a boy having too much excess skin as the doctor told you. Everyone is different. Some women have larger labias than others, but we don't cut them off. The foreskin has many thousands of nerves, so your son just has more nerves to enjoy. Getting him circumcised will cause him extreme physical pain and much emotional pain that he may never heal from. Please switch doctors to one who does not push circumcision. So many American doctors push parents to circumcise because that's all they know. Circumcision is not normal in most places around the world and boys are given medicine for infections just like girls are.

Amanda - posted on 01/19/2013

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Im goin through the same thing as yu basically. My son is 3 and when he was born he was 4 months early so they couldnt and wouldnt do it then and they told me until he was 2 or 3 he wasnt strong enough to be put under to haveit done i am scared to death but its always irritating him constantly, its like he always rubs it and jt seems to make it feel beter to him but it jjs seems weird he has to do that, but the sr said he has way to much excess skin and circumsision had ro be done, i juss dont want him in amy,oore pain, but lately it sewms like thats a constant reoccuring thjng for him. So ifeel yojr pain godbless yu and your son

Rowena - posted on 09/11/2012

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I thank everyone for their input and advice in this topic. I'm very proud to report that my son is now 6 and a half (7 in Feb) and is still in tact! Im so glad that I didnt just "do what the docs said" and since the last infection he has had no more and I hope that he wont. If he does I'm fully prepared to combat it with the normal anti-biotics and encourage him to STOP "fiddleing" as all boys do! I think that was the main problem. Dirty fingers + delicate area = infection! I really would encourage anyone else in my position to wait things out and see what happens. Please dont be to hasty to follow doctors advice, ALWAYS seek a second opinion and go with your gut instinct as a mother. I love my boy (and my girl) to the end of time and back and I would have constantly felt guilty if I had put him through the drama of circumsision just because of my lack of knowledge and believeing that what the docs tell you is "always right". Thanks again for all comments and help!

Angie - posted on 09/11/2012

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Hello, Rowena, my brother was 35yrs. old when he got circumcised, he was not in pain but some discomfort for about a week, I think it would be ok now, not when he gets older, just do what your heart tells you to do. Good luck

Margarita - posted on 09/10/2012

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my eight year just got circumsized and he had a fever the first two days then diarrehea.. but it had to be done. i felt bad for him having to go through the surgery. of course... he'll be fine

Ron - posted on 06/24/2012

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I didn't see this mom say anything about retracting her sons foreskin! But the point is real.

Ron - posted on 06/24/2012

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hey
it comes with the territory so to speak. Personally? I would not-it is a tad late for that-an infection now and then is not a real issue .

Sammie - posted on 02/04/2011

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Sherri, how do you know it wasn't painful for your sons? And circumcision always causes damage. Just as if you were to have your ear cut off, or finger, or toes.

Not meaning to be a snob here, but do you know the purpose/functions of the foreskin?

Rachel - posted on 02/03/2011

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Hi Rowena,
First of all I must say that you are a very brave woman to go against the anti-foreskin stigma that seems to constantly circulate on the internet. As a female who has suffered from infections my whole life, I must say antibiotics are the best way to go. Never would I ever put myself through surgery unless it was, quite literally, a 'last resort'. In regards to your son, surgery is not a guarantee that these infections will stop or that your sons foreskin is even the root cause of them. I won't bore you with statistics or anti-circ rhetoric, though I am sternly against it.

However, in order to give you any credible advice, I would require more information about the situation you are facing. Circumcision is something that shouldn't be taken lightly, and all too many women in my country are manipulated into feeling it is what's 'expected and normal'. I'm proud to see that you aren't of that breed. Please feel free to contact me via facebook.

Rachel Weisberger

Klara - posted on 02/03/2011

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I know it is generally recommended when boys are babies to pull the foreskin back each time you change the diaper IF they are not circumsized. If they are, no need. I am not sure if this would help, or if he would even be willing to do this each time he urinates, but drying the end of his penis after urinating may help to decrease the moisture that may be causing the infection and harboring bacteria. It would be good for him to learn to pull the skin back as well, and it may not be too late yet, since he is still growing. It would certainly be better than the operation at this age. My nephew was 8 when he had to be circumcised, and it was quite an ordeal at that age, so the earlier the better IF it has to be done. I honestly believe keeping the area as clean and dry as possible, and him learning to pull the foreskin back would eliminate many of the issues. Good luck to you both!

Erin - posted on 02/03/2011

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I dont see a single thing wrong with what Sammie posted. She even specifically stated that circumcision wasnt a disease. A foreskin is not an extra finger or toe that should be considered a malformation. But if its family tradition, or BOTH parents feel strongly enough that they want it for their son then let them. Only their son though, the female version of circumsision, while its less invasive, a much faster healing time, and barely any foreskin is removed, has already been deemed inhuman and illegal.

Sherri - posted on 02/03/2011

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Well all of my kids were circumcised it wasn't painful for them, wasn't damaging. My hospital, OB/GYN and pediatrician all strongly recommended it for all of my children 14, 12 & 4. Wasn't damaging to my husband, brother, dad, uncles, my 3 nephews, cousins or any of my friends boys either.

Sammie - posted on 02/03/2011

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There is most likely no reason to have your son circumcised. Until retraction takes place (anywhere from birth to puberty, the average being 10yrs) the foreskin is supposed to be tight. Some people are just more prone to infections. And usually has nothing to do with the foreskin.
As long as there is no forcible retraction, its very rare that problems happen with an intact penis. Just dont ever push the foreskin back to clean it, and dont let Dr's do it either. It is very harmful.

No, circumcision isn't a disease, but it is very painful, damaging, unnecessary, and considered nothing more than cosmetic surgery. No medical organization in the world recommend it. The foreskin is part of the penis and should remain on the penis.

Good luck and i hope your son gets better real soon.

Tara - posted on 02/03/2011

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My son is going through the very same issue as well.. he is 5 and my Dr. has said the same thing... I have a 7 month who is circumcised and we are have a different set of issues with that too... My friend just had her 7 year old circumcised and her advise to me was not to do it... Her son was really freaked out by it, and it was really painful after the fact... I would say, do your very best to keep that area clean, and show him as well to clean it... When he gets older it will all work its self out.. I have googled this same question, and every one says that as he grows, the skin should loosen.... I hope this helps...

Jessica - posted on 02/03/2011

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That sound horrible. I had both my boys done at about 2 months old because I saw my brother go through the same thing at 15. My mum regretted not getting him done when she could. It heals very quick and only takes about 5 mins. Kids at 5 usually forget thing very quick so it really would be the best time to get it done rather than him always have problems and have to get it done as a teen or adult.

Cindy - posted on 02/02/2011

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Both of my sons are circumsized, but I have a friend who's stepson, now 16, is not circumsized and he has had multiple infections. He's very active in sports and sweats a lot. She wishes that he had been circumsized as he is in discomfort a lot.

Rowena - posted on 02/01/2011

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Thanks for all your advice and support! I know being circumcised idnt a disease, my partner is circumcised and its obviously not affected him. I just didnt want to rush into decisions that may not strictly be neccessary and I dont want to cause my son any discomfort if it can be avioded. I think I will wait and see how he goes for the moment. His infection has allcleared now so thats promising. Im definately going to get a second opinion aswell though as im not too keen on the doctor who gave me the advice, to be honest! Thanks again guys! xxx

Lesley - posted on 02/01/2011

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My son callum got done last april i didnt want him to have it done but he needed it he was gettin loads of wee infection too but his foreskin was gettin that tight due scaring he could hardly wee. but he's fine now its not caused him any harm and he didnt have to the dilation afta. xx hope all goes well for u and ur son xx

Sherri - posted on 01/31/2011

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Being circumcised isn't a disease all three of my children are. So is my husband he will go on to be a normal male. Better to get it done now while he is young rather than wait till he is older if it needs to be done.

Jennifer - posted on 01/31/2011

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I would get a second opinion. The average age of full retraction for boys is 10 years old, so your son is well within the norm to not be retractable. I do know, however, that if they truly feel the non-retraction is a problem that there are steroid creams that can treat the issue. Also, if it's only the second infection of his life, although it's painful, I don't think that's enough to warrant surgery. I would ask for non-surgical routes to treatment and get a second opinion as well. Doctors in this country are far too quick to offer circumcision as the be-all and end-all of treatments. It's time that we get our heads around the fact that circumcision is the normal state of the male body and get doctors training to be able to treat the issues that affect the intact male. Best of luck to your son!!

Beth - posted on 01/31/2011

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I am sorry you and your son are going through this. I don't have any advice just support =) I do know that when we had our son circumcised he was three days old. It was tramatic for my husband and I but our son seemed to fair pretty well. I don't know how a five year old would do however. He did have some discomfort being only three days old he didn't know/understand why or what was causing the discomfort he was just cranky (like after shots) I don't know that this helps but best of luck to you in finding the answers you need

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