Circumcision

Ashley - posted on 05/25/2010 ( 73 moms have responded )

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I am having a boy soon, and just learned there is a big debate these days on having your son circumcised? My husband is, and he says almost every guy his age is too, so we thought we would do it. Now people are telling me it is not the norm, most boys aren't having them done? I'd love to hear both sides of the argument here! We are uneducated about it and undecided...curious what people have to say.

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Charlie - posted on 06/07/2010

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"All medical procedures have risks so parents debating that decision must be informed of ALL the pros and cons. "

Except most medical procedures are medically necessary circ is NOT it is a cosmetic procedure people run the risk of death ( a higher death rate than SIDS ) purely for a cosmetic procedure on a non consenting person , the so called pro's have been debunked over and over again by world medical authorities , its an amazing anomaly that the USA is the only country that continues to promote this archaic practice but then again money does talk and its seems thats what the US health care system is run on right ?

Charlie - posted on 06/08/2010

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The Truth About Male Infant Circumcision:

http://www.circinfosite.com/43.html

This is a comprehensive site that uses research and recommendations from the worlds leading medical authorities , you can find all the information you need from What is the foreskin and its function , the history of circumcision , videos , pictures , facts and myths exposed , personal stories from both circed man and nurses and doctors who are speaking out against the traumatic event of circumcision and what they have seen , as well as reputable resources and links .

Rosie - posted on 06/08/2010

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it's a piece of skin not an arm, leg, or whatever other body part you mentioned. your analogies are ridiculous to me. you all act as if my child will be upset as if i took their foot off. no man i know has ever been pissed off that they were circumcised, quite the opposite actually. and if by some miniscule chance, my kids are upset, they will know i did it for their health and INFORMED myself of both sides of this argument, and did what i thought was best for my child. good god, you parent your child and i'll parent mine. i may not understand why you DON'T get your son circumcised, but i don't sit around and wonder why you choose to increase the chances of HIV, UTI'S, or penile cancer, and try make you feel like you are some monster or something.

Rosie - posted on 06/08/2010

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Lack of circumcision:

• Is responsible for a 12-fold higher risk of urinary tract infections in infancy. Risk = 1 in 20 to 1 in 50 for uncircumcised infants and 1 in 200 to 1 in 500 for circumcised infants. Higher risk of UTI at older ages as well. Overall lifetime cumulative prevalence of UTI = 1 in 3 for uncircumcised males compared with 1 in 20 for circumcised males, respectively.



• Confers a higher risk of death in the first year of life (from complications of urinary tract infections: namely kidney failure, meningitis and infection of bone marrow).



• One in ~400–900 uncircumcised men will get cancer of the penis, which occurs more than 20 times more commonly in uncircumcised men. A quarter of these will die from it and the rest will require complete or partial penile amputation as a result. (In contrast, invasive penile cancer never occurs or is extraordinarily rare in men circumcised at birth.) (Data from studies in the USA, Denmark and Australia, which are not to be confused with the often quoted, but misleading, annual incidence figure of 1 in 100,000).



• Higher risk of prostate cancer (50–100% higher in uncircumcised men)



• Is associated with 3-fold higher risk of inflammation and infection of the skin of the penis. This includes balanitis (inflammation of the glans), posthitis (inflammation of the foreskin), balanoposthitis (inflammation of glans and foreskin), phimosis (inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (constriction of the penis by a tight foreskin that will not return after retraction). Up to 18% of uncircumcised boys will develop one of these by 8 years of age, whereas all are unknown or much rarer in the circumcised. Risk of balanoposthitis = 1 in 6. Obstruction to urine flow = 1 in 10–50. Risk of these is even higher in diabetic men.



• Means increased risk of problems that may necessitate 1 in 10 older children and men requiring circumcision later in life, when the cost is 10 times higher, the procedure is less convenient, and the cosmetic result can be lesser, as stitches or tissue glue are required, as compared with circumcisions done in infancy.



• Increases by 2–4 fold the risk of thrush and sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes (HSV-2), syphilis, chancroid, Trichomonas vaginalis and thrush.



• Is the biggest risk factor for heterosexually-acquired AIDS virus infection in men. 2 to 8-times higher risk by itself, and even higher when lesions from STIs are added in. Risk per exposure = 1 in 300.



• In the female partners of uncircumcised men lack of male circumcision is associated with an up to 5 fold higher incidence of cervical cancer (caused by sexually transmitted HPV), genital herpes, Trichomonas vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis (formerly called “Gardnerella”), and possibly Chlamydia (which is a cause of pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility from blockage of fallopian tubes, and ectopic pregnancy).





i think this new debate over circumcision is overdone. if you don't want to do it, then don't. if i want to have my child circumcised then i'm going to. it's not like i just cut off a piece of my childs skin for no reason. what i posted above is reason for me, it may not be for others. others here have stated that they think that the child should have a decision in the matter, but i look at it this way, i decide what my child gets healthwise for 18 years, and chose to do this for his health. if he doesn't want a vaccination, i don't care, he's going to get one. same with this, i'm his parent i choose. inform yourself and don't let anybody elses opinion on this change your mind.

Lindsay - posted on 06/06/2010

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My oldest son was circumcised. My hubby and I were very niave. We beleived all the healthier/ cleaner myths. Never once thougt to look into it, because why would a doctor do a surgery that was NOT medically recommended(or so I thougt). Well my oldest son is almost five and still suffers from reattchement complications from his circ.Yes we've seen a doctor and when his penis really starts flaring up we have some special cream. We are leaving his penis alone until he hits puberty or later and will go from there. There is a good chance his puberty erections with be extrememly painful, becuase his erections now can be sore. Anyway, there are many risks involved in circumcision for very little benefit. Sure you will find A small list of pros, but once you dig into the pros, they are very weak. And this is why NO health orgnization recommends routine infant circumcision, this includes the AAP(which states the benefits don't out weigh the risks). Europe has almost a non exsistant circ rate and Canada and australia is well below 50%. So as you can see the US is really the only country doing so many circumcisons. I know I was floored when I found this out. Plus I always wonder how the lower STD theory holds true when America has a higher STD/HIV rate than Europe but our CIRC rate is so much higher. You will find a few studies and Many American(and pretty much ONLY American)doctors who support circumcision, but I'd asked those doctors why they are going against any medicial association to recommend it. If you don't circ you will probably have to educate doctors about not retracting his foreksin and that is sad, but worth it, trust me I know(cuz my youngest son Is intact)

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I must admit I just cannot understand the argument about not wanting your child to be teased because he might look different. Perhaps someone can explain it to me.
If your child was in a wheelchair he/she might get teased, if he wore a turban he might get teased, ...Kids will tease each other whatever the difference. It's our job as parents to help our children see that there will always be differences.

Christi - posted on 11/26/2010

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It still is the norm, at least in the U.S. My son is circumsized for the sanitary reasons and also so he woulnd't get teased if was ever in a situation where other children his age saw his manhood. There are people that are against it and call it child abuse, which is retarded, but to each his own.

Leah - posted on 11/26/2010

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My son is circumcised but it really boils down to what you AND your husband want. You shouldn't let someone else decide what you should do. It's your decision and no one elses as your the parent and you have the right to have your child circumcised if that's what you choose.

Isobel - posted on 08/08/2010

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I just don't think it's my right to remove perfectly healthy body parts from anybody else's body.



as for "health benefits" you may as well remove tonsils and their appendix at birth...since they don't do anything good and often cause problems later in life.



I do think circumcision is wrong, but I don't think that mothers who have done it are bad mothers...I fully believe with all my heart that they did what they thought was best for their baby

Sarah - posted on 08/08/2010

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Oh yes, the ol' circumcision debate. This is a discussion that'll never end. There is so much conflicting information out there...one research article says one thing & another says something else. Who in the world do you believe?



I personally, could NOT get my son circumcised. He was born with something called 2nd degree hypospadias which has to be surgically repaired. My son has to go under general anesthesia, which is a pretty scary thing for a parent to think about! The reason he couldn't be circumcised at birth was because they have to use the foreskin to repair the hypospadias. In my situation, I am trusting that my son's pediatric urologist will do everything in his power to carefully correct this defect so he can have a normally functioning penis. If he has to circumcise him to make this happen, so be it. If he is able to repair the defect without circumcising him, that's okay too. Whatever is best for my son.



I would suggest doing lots of research...and not just from some random internet article. A lot of those are biased & NOT written by a medical professional. Just do what you feel is right for you, your son, and your family & don't let anyone else make you feel bad. Good luck.

Catherine - posted on 08/08/2010

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We did have our son done, but more for social reasons than anything else. A lot of the possible medical benefits have been shown to not be substantial anymore as long as you keep things clean. I think it depends on your culture and beliefs more than anything else. I will say that I know someone who works in a urologist's office, and she said there are a lot of teenage boys coming in to have the procedure done because they want it and their parents did not have it done when they were infants. At that age, the procedure is a much bigger deal (more painful, general versus local, etc.). I know some people say it's cruel and traumatic, but it didn't seem to bother our son at all, and I think having it done as a teen would be substantially more traumatic.

Amy - posted on 08/08/2010

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A new study just out shows that in 2009, the rate of circumcision had dropped to 33% in the USA - as in, the USA is finally catching up with the rest of the world!

There is NO medical reason to circumcise. Australasia, most of Asia, Europe, South America, Scandanavia etc are NOT running around with dirty or diseased penises. It was sold to parents successfully as a cure for masturbation and has been promoted as a 'cure' for every ailment under the sun since. There's a history of it here: http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/ind... It is only in 'recent' American history that it was promoted for girls too.

These are some of the physical complications from circ (very common, and I've seen plenty of them personally): http://www.circumstitions.com/Complic.ht...

These are some of the psychological ones:
http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/goldma...
http://www.circumstitions.com/Resent.htm...

This is about the diseases it DOESN'T prevent, and may increase the risk of: http://www.circumstitions.com/#disease

Penn and Teller are right - circumcision is bullsh!t!: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=416_12181...

Kimberly - posted on 06/08/2010

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oh sorry, I wasn't trying to make anyone feel like a monster! I just don't believe HALF of that nonsense that was listed under "lack of circumcision"........sorry but I just don't. It makes no sense to me that a "piece of skin" as you refer to it can cause "OH so many problems" for boys and men. Than why is it there???? Are you saying there is no purpose for it at all? And if there IS one, than why cut it off? I totally believe that the "case against circumcision" that was posted here makes WAY more sense.......just sayin'.

Kimberly - posted on 06/08/2010

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yeah and let's see:



my arms are long and may get in the way when an elevator door closes, therefore amputating them at birth might be a better option so as not to engulf my body with the trauma of possibly losing a limb!



my fingers will at some point be very close to sharp objects, ie: knives, scissors, etc., therefore maybe they should just be surgically severed right before I reach toddler-hood so as not to risk infection from a cut!



my feet sometimes get in the way when I am walking therefore I should have them removed in order to avoid a fall that could cause permanent injury or death!



my hair sometimes grows too long and may get caught in machinery or an appliance therefore maybe I should shave my head bald and put crazy glue on my scalp to keep the hair from growing back so as not to face the possible repercussions from an accident that may have lasting damages!



And last but not least......my teeth! Oh the damage they could do to myself if I happen to bite my tongue too hard or to others if I happen to turn into a psychopath one day and use them as weapons.......therefore, maybe I should just have them all pulled and go toothless as soon as all my adult teeth come in!

Kimberly - posted on 06/08/2010

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My son is not circumcised.....he is 9 and a half and has never had any issue or health concern regarding this! Circumcision is an ancient ritual. The skin is there for a reason.....why on earth some rocket scientist out there decided to remove it is beyond me! Everyone I know who has boys are choosing NOT to circumcise nowadays because it is so medieval and just plain nonsense to think that part of the flesh needs to be removed for the sake of cleanliness or possible illness later on in life......how ridiculous does that sound? I'd really like to know why no one thinks about the risk of infection AFTER the circumcision but people seem to be so worried about some infection that MAY occur if it's not done because somehow some foreign particle might get logded between the penis and the foreskin......how completely likely is that?????..... Again, boys have that skin there for a reason so as long as it isn't bothering anyone, just leave it alone!

Lynne - posted on 06/07/2010

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Hi Lindsay ~
Just one more hoax or scare tactic with zero medical evidence to back it. Removing the foreskin doesn't help or hurt the prostate. Sorry to be so bold on this issue, but it is all about the science for me. As a medically trained person there were plenty of things I had to learn, that were supposedly "normal" practice that had no basis in science. As a midwife, I do not have to follow these practices. So I guess my point is, when someone says X causes Y, unless they are willing to back their reputation on it and provide sound medical evidence it's just someone's opinion...and we all know what they say about opinions...

Lindsay - posted on 06/07/2010

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Can someone explain how removing the foreskin on the penis helpS the prostate? I've heard people say this and have googled it and found minimal on it. Either way, we remove no other body part on an infant to reduce cancer as an adult so that holds no weight with me.

Krista - posted on 06/07/2010

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In the end, it is a more esthetic choice, one that is very PERSONAL.

So, um, if it's such a personal choice, then why would you presume to make that choice for another person?

Leslee - posted on 06/07/2010

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I have an 8 month old son and we have not got him circumcised. There was not enough clear cut evidence either way to suggest what we should do. We also had heard of a case where it all went wrong and after getting his tongue cut as he was badly tongue tied, there was no way I was going to do anything else to him. If he wants this done when he is older it is up to him.

Minnie - posted on 06/07/2010

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In the end, it is a more esthetic choice, one that is very PERSONAL.

Why is every atrocity commited against children justified this way?

Donna - posted on 06/07/2010

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well I think of all of us the midwife has the most experience and knowledge. the rest of us without experience would do well to research it. ALl medical procedures have risks- sigh, yes I suppose all do. Would I want to put my baby thru one without any proof of it helping, and all the proof that it doesn't? I guess I am lucky that my baby's father was uncircumcised, so with the first child the decision against it was easy. I can just imagine having to go against the wishes of the father. But I think knowing the facts any father would choose not to mutilate their sons genitals.

Sandrine - posted on 06/07/2010

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Donna,

I once saw a report on 20/20 about circumcision disasters... babies that died from hemorrages, etc... and STILL chose to circumcise both my sons. The risks of that happening are slim to none and the doctor that performed my sons' circumcision, is #1 in Montreal - where I live - and has been doing it for over 30 years. As long as you go to a good clinic or hospital and choose a doctor that is experienced, your baby will most likely be just fine.

All medical procedures have risks so parents debating that decision must be informed of ALL the pros and cons. The pros of circumcision outweighed the cons for us.

Lynne - posted on 06/07/2010

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I'm back, for a moment anyway~ There isn't any Medical reasons to go with Circumcision. Some people have been making that argument for years, however the evidence it simply not there. The research about HPV and Jewish men is really quite misunderstood. These Jewish men were only with one woman (their wives!) and we know that HPV virus is causes by multiple partners NOT by foreskin. Can you just imagine if someone tried to get the practice of female circumcision going in this country like it is in the Sudan, most of Egypt, etc? The only reason it "seems" normal is because we have been raised with it. In the Sudan, you simply don't stay alive unless you are a circumcision woman (and some of the little girls obviously don't make it because of infection and methodology...don't ask! You won't be able to sleep at night) Anyway, as a midwife, if you are to choose circumcision maybe you can chat about the following: Topical Lydocaine 10 to 15 minutes before. An injection of one of the "cain" family drugs 5 minutes before, having the father hold his baby during the procedure, and doing it on the 8th day of life when the immune system is at it's highest. Adding breast-milk directly to the wound several times per day aids in healing as well as keeping the area dry with a water proof ointment. If the mom has been taking Juice Plus+ supplements the healing is typically much faster if the infant is breastfed. The Jewish ritual is better in my opinion because all of the foreskin is not removed, and they are doing this for a religious reason...at least they have one!
It is much easier to care for a non-circumcised penis than a circumcised one. My older son is and my younger son is not. My learning curve has evolved completely. I would never participate in this again and though,if my clients are wishing this for their son, I offer the previous suggestions to make it as decent as possible.

Sandrine - posted on 06/07/2010

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Hi Ashley,
I have two boys, 3 yrs old and another almost 3 months. They are both circumcised. My husband, father, cousins, uncles, they are ALL circumcised. Back then, most males were, but nowadays, it's almost 50-50. Doctors say it is no longer a necessity. We chose to circumcise for better and easier hygiene and because there is still a slightly higher chance of infection and cancer in un-circumcised males, and it happened to two people I know, one being my cousin, who had to be circumcised at the age of 7 due to infection. He suffered a lot and that could have been avoided had he gotten circumcised as a newborn but my aunt and uncle could not agree on the subject... in the end they chose not to do it.

Today we are told that if you teach your son good hygiene and there is no history of prostate cancer or infections in your family, then there is probably no real need for it. In the end, it is a more esthetic choice, one that is very PERSONAL.

Lastly, if you choose to have it done, don't worry, it is very quick and both my sons healed very nicely, in about a week or so. They were not in any pain for more then a couple of minutes, they freeze the area, then apply lots of ointment to prevent infection, vaseline and a gauze to prevent the diaper from rubbing the area.

Good luck to you!

Lindsay - posted on 06/07/2010

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The differnce between vaccines is that pretty much every health organization recommends them, saying yes there are risks, but the benefits out weigh the risks. While the complete opposite is true for circumcison. No health organization recommends and the benfits Don't outweigh the risks. Im not tryin to take away from those kids who have been hurt from vaccines, But I am explaining that it isn't comparable from a medical standpoint.

Donna - posted on 06/07/2010

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Sorry if I implied you yourself weren't protecting your child. Sometimes our personal beliefs need to be challenged though, how else can we change for the better? Medical science, although advancing, is always fueled by public opinion. Vaccinations- yes this subject also has me twisted up inside. There are arguments for and against. As of yet, the science points out that vaccines prevent child illnesses and deaths. On the other hand we are playing with our childrens immune systems, causing potential damage- the science on that is still unproven either way, except for the fact we know disease epidemics happen without them. My great grandmother died of Polio, but people today don't. But also we have epidemics of autism, perhaps was there all along? we dont know, the science hasn't proven for or against vaccines as causal agents of autism.
The point being, vaccines are based upon science, preventing deaths and diseases.
Circumcision is based on religious belief that has become an American custom. As we know, culture can guide actions. What I am saying as a mother is that we sometimes have to delve into that uncomfortable debate and look at the facts- the research. Not our friends opinions, or even doctors! Doctors aren't infallible- you have access to google scholar. Try this out google (using googlescholar) circumcision and hygiene, to start. Read some research papers. I battle with being too judgmental, but sometimes I want people to wake up! Its ok to have our beliefs challenged, thats how we grow as people. I would want someone to challenge my belief if all the research pointed to the opposite. So yes place me in that category of judgmental people if need be. Im not attacking u personally, just the whole blind acceptance of people in general!

Rogina - posted on 06/07/2010

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Oh , and I will always protect my child. He is the most important thing in my life.

Rogina - posted on 06/07/2010

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Hi donna. I understand your point of view.My comment was not directed at you. But vaccinations can cause (in rare cases) death, so does that mean we should not get those done? There are some people out there who believe harm comes from them as well. In canada where I live, most men I know are circumcised. It was standard practice here for many years. I do not know of any who have had any complications from this.I guess they are fortunate, but it is rare for complications. I do however, know several men who have had to have it done later in life due to constant infections. When I have posted comments though the common reply is " well i guess your husband doesn't know any better".It is ok to be passionate, but there are a lot of things we do for and to our children that has risks and will cause them pain. My personal research is based on doctors opinions, and that of men who have had this done. They are the best source of information out there as they are the ones who experienced it. I do not believe circumcision lowers HIV rates at all. Practicing safe sex does that.I am not wrong, but then no one is. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and should be able to express it without someone else telling them they are wrong. There is never a good reason for attacking someone. I am not that type of person, and I had hoped that other people are not that way either.

Donna - posted on 06/07/2010

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@Rogina, yes I did say I was on my highhorse. But I think what makes people so passionate about it is that the procedure is done based on a belief, not science or logic. Thus when u as a parent impose a belief on a child, that can result in death, dismemberment- then your choice was not to protect your child- knowingly or unknowingly. That is where the big feelings come from, and why we become passionate about it. The logic for it is based on feelings, societal perceptions, not based upon science. The research done to advocate for it in the HIV studies was flawed if you have read it, but the strong american feelings that we are doing the right thing to circumcise our children based on beliefs has pushed the public towards the perception that it must be ok to do it if it even slightly lowers HIV infections. Which if you read above it is a failed experiment in real life- if you take it out of the small population they did the study on. Its amazing the power of opinion, society, can have in our minds. Our beliefs can become facts, and we never question it. Yes your husband may like his penis fine, guess he was lucky enough not to die or become dismembered....kuddos to him. As mothers we have the responsibility to research the facts, and not be lead by the common perception. As a scientist I base every major decision on the research, not on internet pages, or my friends, or even the fathers perception. If you feel attacked, maybe their is a good reason for it? Could you be in the wrong...just saying

Rogina - posted on 06/07/2010

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It is amazing how people who are pro circumcision or pro choice about it are attacked for their beliefs. My husband lives his life just fine and he does not feel different because he is circumcised.

Donna - posted on 06/07/2010

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I chose not to circumcise...the STD argument is very weak, think about it- in the U.S. we have the highest amount of circumcised males, yet as developed country one highest HIV rates! the cleaning issue is also false- my doctor reassured me that actually the foreskin doesn't open up until early childhood...it keeps out bacteria from the urinary tract- that is its purpose. the circumcision is a religious act, with high risks- including hemorrhage, dismemberment, and death. and yes this occurs in the U.S. I would never mutilate my child, and feel strongly about it. Also they don't give anesthesia to infants for the procedure, stating babies don't feel pain....hmmph! also false. u will see when its done, if they didn't feel pain they wouldn't scream! anyhow, off my highhorse, it just evokes such anger in me that us as americans accept such mutilation as ok, yet are outraged at female mutilation!

Tchertut - posted on 06/07/2010

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I think it's OK to circumcise, but I chose not to because the Dad is not. My son is 17 now, no complications or hygiene issues. If the Dad is circumcised it might be best to follow suit, since Dad will be doing the training for cleaning and taking care of things. Good luck.

[deleted account]

My son is 21 and is not circumcised. My husband, born at home 51 years ago, was not circumcised and this made the decision really easy--like father, like son. One of my friends said, "Oh, you're so modern!" I didn't feel that way. I just felt it was unnecessary and why should we have unnecessary medical procedures--especially why should we choose them for a baby? If there is a relgious reason (i.e. Judaism) or a definite health reason, fine, but this wasn't the case in our situation. Coincidentally, my son has been dating a Jewish girl for more than three years!

Minnie - posted on 06/06/2010

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He feels that a father is more able to understand the decision, as a man he has the necessary equipment to understand what it entails. Just as a man cannot understand labour and delivery, a woman cannot understand circumcision

And yet, I'm assuming that YOU still have your prepuce attached! Your husband does not know what it is like to be intact and whole.

Fact: male and female genitalia arise from the exact same structures in utero.

Lindsay - posted on 06/06/2010

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I have noticed MANY infections from the foreksin is because an ill informed doctor or parent retracted the forskin before it retracted on it's own. Though, if foreskin infection is such a problem(that so many people know someone who had these foreskin infections)why is it NOTa problem for Europeans. I know the foreskin can possibly get infected, but like others have said so can a vagina and we don't remove any part of female genitals. Actually, any body part can get infected. I know people that circ always feel that they are being judged and maybe a few people do Judge, but I know I don't though. Just as those who circ feel judged, I feel like I being accused of judging when I'm not. Me stating my opinion and backing it up with medicial research is NOT me screaming " you horrible parent".

Claudia - posted on 06/06/2010

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I am a postpartum nurse and take care of newborns, our majority of baby boys get them but you really have to do your homework of who is going to do it, there are some OB doctors that do it BUT honestly they butcher those poor babies, here at the hospital I work at you can have the option to either ask you OB doctor to do it ( if they can) or the neonatologist in house can do it, my son had it done by a neonatologist and he used the "BELL" he got local anesthesia and with the "bell" the penis looks clean and dry, no blood and the skin looks perfect no worries of the skin getting stuck on the pamper and no need of putting vaseline, i don't regret it, i have 2 brothers which my mom didn't do one had to do it at age of 5 due to lots of infections and the other had it done when he was 21 years of age...

Sandra - posted on 06/06/2010

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This is a very personal decision and as a parent you should not be judged for what decision you make.
I'm from Australia and it is not a very common practice now as it was 30 plus years ago.
I have had my two boys done and I researched it for months while I was pregnant with my first.
We found a great specialist from the Royal Childrens Hosp who did this procedure, but it had to be done in a private hosp as public hosp do not allow it anymore only for medical reasons.
But get all your info and write down all the pro's and con's before you decide.

Lindsay - posted on 06/06/2010

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When talking about circumcison I've heard several people say "all surgery involves risk" like that makes it acceptable. The difference between this surgery and ALL other surgery on a child is this doesn't save/tremendously improve the quality of life. Many children (in fact most children around the world) live happy and healthy lives with their foreskin. Kids don't live happy lives when their appendix explodes or they are in pain 24/7 from recurrent ear infections. There in lies the difference

Julie - posted on 06/06/2010

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It's not medically necessary as an infant. In cases where it become necessary, all wish it was done when an infant.

I wish they had just taken my appendix out when I was an infant, it sure hurt like hell when I was an adult!

Seriously, hindsight is 20/20 ... how do you know he won't grow up and get mad you had a piece of his body cut off?

It is easier to remove later than put back on ... I chose NOT to.

Elisabeth - posted on 06/06/2010

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I have pasted this from another convo, sorry. The link is below, I really recommend you take a look at it please:

Some people say that circumcision reduces infection then why don't we remove the girls sexual organs, they can get infected too, while we're at it remove the ears and eyes too. It's not hard to teach your children how to clean themselves. BTW it’s actually having a circumcision that increases the risk of infection – not the other way around.

Some people say that it makes getting a girlfriend easier; a lot of girls including me think circumcised penises are ugly.

America is the only country in the world except for third world countries that has a higher percentage of circumcised boys then not.

And for being different from your classmates, I don't know how your school works but where I'm from everybody wears clothes, they don't stand around naked with there bits hanging out for everyone to see. If your worried that anyone is going to see your boys penis then why don't you just get all boys to have surgery to make their penis exactly the same size and shape as everyone else just in case he gets picked on. And all the girls should have surgery to make their genitals look the same and their breasts and nipples all the same size and shape. I like my children to think it's ok to be different and everybody is different. I don't think it's ok to make them think they have to be exactly the same as everyone else and it's wrong to be different.

I'm from OZ and it's odd if a guy is done here. They don't even offer it in most hospitals here, I think you have to have it done in a private hospital as cosmetic surgery. My husband would of been pissed off and I would never do it to my sons, gross.



Oh and by the way I've dated lots of guys that have not been circumcised and one guy that had been and when I asked that one guy he said he really wished he was never circumcised, he really hated it, he said it didn't feel right and it actually felt like he was missing out on something when he was having sex. And it made his penis crooked when he had an erection which was a huge self image problem for him – he was really shy about it and it also left a big ugly scar on the underside of his penis. All the other guys that were never chopped said they wouldn't have it any other way, they loved beening whole. (haha I was going to write they loved their penis, too right!)

Why is illegal to crop a dogs tail or ears but it's ok to chop a humans penis? If people chopped dog's penis it would be animal cruelty, yet it's ok to do it to a child. How messed up and really degrading to that poor child.

Haha I just told my husband I was have a talking about circumcision with some other mothers and he said, "Oh I like circumcision, makes your dick shorter" Hahaha Just what every guy wants right?

Here is a link to a previous (recent) convo on this subject – it has some great info and links.

http://www.circleofmoms.com/welcome-to-c...



Please don’t do it – for the sake of your child.

Natasha - posted on 06/06/2010

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I live in Australia and it is the 'norm' to remain uncut. I have never known any of the men in my family or husband to have any infections because they have their foreskin. Our son has not been circumcised and he is 17months, he has not had a UTI because of being uncircumcised.



I watched a TV segment where an ER doctor was pleading with parents not to get their sons circumcised. His reason was he saw too many penile accidents during childhood (due to kids normal playing outside games) and he needed the foreskin to do corrective surgery.



My brother is a homosexual male and he practices safe sex and STI clean. I know there is an argument for STI's, especially if the male is homosexual etc, however if you are teaching your child the reasons for safe sex, he should never be exposed anyhow.

Krista - posted on 06/06/2010

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That's a good point, Amy. Why on earth would someone risk their baby boy DYING, solely in a misguided effort to potentially protect them against some theoretical future infection?

Charlie - posted on 06/06/2010

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@ Lindsay , thank you for your story about your sons , its great to hear the positives of an intact son from a mother who has experience in both , im sorry your circed son is going through so much pain .
Meg .
Im sorry , i dont buy the personal choice , that would imply that the child had a say , there is no personal choice when you are making a life altering change FOR someone else .
Most infections caused in intact babies are caused by the mishandling of the foreskin and parents who retract the foreskin before its ready , the foreskin is fused to the penis and retracting it can and does tear the skin and cause infection , WHEN INTACT DONT RETRACT .

Cleanliness is a non issue if you teach personal hygiene , its just another myth that pro circs like to perpetrate ,

I agree it does make you wonder when America has the highest rate of HIV/STD in the western world and the highest rate of circumcision in the world , the rest of the world that has a very low rate of circ also have a very low rate of STD/HIV , the US seems to be the only country that keeps this archaic act alive with the misinformation and exaggeration of myths that feed on parental fears .
I am concerned at the Constant portrayal that a natural , intact penis is less attractive , it seems like a very shallow judgment , it would be like if women were made to get boob jobs because natural boobs were "unattractive" imagine the uproar from women if that were the case !!

With the rate of deaths caused by circumcision higher than the rate of SIDS deaths in the US its a wonder any parent would consider it for anything other than genuine medical reasons , especially considering NO health organization IN THE WORLD recommends it .

Rogina - posted on 06/06/2010

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My husband, who is circumcised, is perfectly fine,and has no complaints.He feels that a father is more able to understand the decision, as a man he has the necessary equipment to understand what it entails. Just as a man cannot understand labour and delivery, a woman cannot understand circumcision. There are studies promoting good and bad, but it all comes down to personal choice.We were fully aware of the pros and cons when we made our choice to circumcise. There are risks with any medical procedure, and it is good that people are educating themselves before making these decisions.

Meg - posted on 06/06/2010

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I am all for it... Most definitely!!!
not only for the cleanliness, but for when they grow up etc. I think and this is only a personal opinion, that circumsices penisis are much more attractive than an uncircumsiced.
And it is so much easier to keep clean as well. Yes their is a little bit of pain involved, but for the benefits it brings outweighs that!
I use to live next door to a mother who didn't hve her son done and he always wished she did, as it was always getting infected.
But again it is a personal choice, one that you and your husband will have to make!!

Minnie - posted on 06/06/2010

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But the main reason my husband and I decided to circumcise, even when doctors told us it was not necessary, is because we believe there is a reason why the Bible promoted it, thus we had our sons circumcised.

Bible followers really should know what it contains. Knowing that prior to Christ's death and resurrection sin was covered with a blood sacrifice of an innocent creature- circumcision of baby boys was the ultimate sacrifice prior to Christ's death- a heinous blood sacrifice on an innocent creature, one which cut into a man's most sensitive area- portraying what Christ would do later.

Paul clearly states in the New Testament that Christians should not be circumcised- to have it done would to be negate that Christ's work was finished after he died.

It's also important to know the difference between traditional Jewish circumcision- in which a small portion of the foreskin that hung past the tip of the glans was removed, as opposed to American circumcision, in which the entire foreskin is removed, including the frenulum, muscle tissue, and mucosal tissue.

The Bible did not 'promote' circumcision. It was a necessary EVIL to antone for sin- but not for hygiene.

Minnie - posted on 06/06/2010

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One big reason less boys are getting it done here is that insurance no longer covers it and the cost is between $200 and $400 to get it done.



Circular reasoning. Insurance often doesn't cover it because many have wisened up to the fact that it is a harmful unecessary cosmetic procedure. Fewer get it because it isn't covered, but also because parents are also becoming more aware of how unecessary circumcision is.

Charlie - posted on 06/06/2010

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The Case Against Circumcision
By Paul M. Fleiss, M.D., M.P.H.

baby boy

Western countries have no tradition of circumcision. In antiquity, the expansion of the Greek and Roman Empires brought westerners into contact with the peoples of the Middle East, some of whom marked their children with circumcision and other sexual mutilations. To protect these children, the Greeks and Romans passed laws forbidding circumcision.1 Over the centuries, the Catholic Church has passed many similar laws.2,3 The traditional Western response to circumcision has been revulsion and indignation.

Circumcision started in America during the masturbation hysteria of the Victorian Era, when a few American doctors circumcised boys to punish them for masturbating. Victorian doctors knew very well that circumcision denudes, desensitizes, and disables the penis. Nevertheless, they were soon claiming that circumcision cured epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, elephantiasis, tuberculosis, eczema, bed-wetting, hip-joint disease, fecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, wet dreams, hernia, headaches, nervousness, hysteria, poor eyesight, idiocy, mental retardation, and insanity.4

In fact, no procedure in the history of medicine has been claimed to cure and prevent more diseases than circumcision. As late as the 1970s, leading American medical textbooks still advocated routine circumcision as a way to prevent masturbation.5 The antisexual motivations behind an operation that entails cutting off part of the penis are obvious.

The radical practice of routinely circumcising babies did not begin until the Cold War era. This institutionalization of what amounted to compulsory circumcision was part of the same movement that pathologized and medicalized birth and actively discouraged breastfeeding. Private-sector, corporate-run hospitals institutionalized routine circumcision without ever consulting the American people. There was no public debate or referendum. It was only in the 1970s that a series of lawsuits forced hospitals to obtain parental consent to perform this contraindicated but highly profitable surgery. Circumcisers responded by inventing new "medical" reasons for circumcision in an attempt to scare parents into consenting.

Today the reasons given for circumcision have been updated to play on contemporary fears and anxieties; but one day they, too, will be considered irrational. Now that such current excuses as the claim that this procedure prevents cancer and sexually transmitted diseases have been thoroughly discredited, circumcisers will undoubtedly invent new ones. But if circumcisers were really motivated by purely medical considerations, the procedure would have died out long ago, along with leeching, skull-drilling, and castration. The fact that it has not suggests that the compulsion to circumcise came first, the "reasons," later.

Millions of years of evolution have fashioned the human body into a model of refinement, elegance, and efficiency, with every part having a function and purpose. Evolution has determined that mammals' genitals should be sheathed in a protective, responsive, multipurpose foreskin. Every normal human being is born with a foreskin. In females, it protects the glans of the clitoris; in males, it protects the glans of the penis. Thus, the foreskin is an essential part of human sexual anatomy.

Parents should enjoy the arrival of a new child with as few worries as possible. The birth of a son in the US, however, is often fraught with anxiety and confusion. Most parents are pressured to hand their baby sons over to a stranger, who, behind closed doors, straps babies down and cuts their foreskins off. The billion-dollar-a-year circumcision industry has bombarded Americans with confusing rhetoric and calculated scare tactics.

Information about the foreskin itself is almost always missing from discussions about circumcision. The mass circumcision campaigns of the past few decades have resulted in pandemic ignorance about this remarkable structure and its versatile role in human sexuality. Ignorance and false information about the foreskin are the rule in American medical literature, education, and practice. Most American medical textbooks depict the human penis, without explanation, as circumcised, as if it were so by nature.

What Is the Foreskin?
The foreskin is a uniquely specialized, sensitive, functional organ of touch. No other part of the body serves the same purpose. As a modified extension of the penile shaft skin, the foreskin covers and usually extends beyond the glans before folding under itself and finding its circumferential point of attachment just behind the corona (the rim of the glans). The foreskin is, therefore, a double-layered organ. Its true length is twice the length of its external fold, comprising 80 percent or more of the penile skin covering,6 or at least 25 percent of the flaccid penis's length.7

The foreskin contains a rich concentration of blood vessels and nerve endings. It is lined with the peripenic muscle sheet, a smooth muscle layer with longitudinal fibers. These muscle fibers are whirled, forming a kind of sphincter that ensures optimum protection of the urinary tract from contaminants of all kinds.

Like the undersurface of the eyelids or the inside of the cheek, the undersurface of the foreskin consists of mucous membrane. It is divided into two distinct zones: the soft mucosa and the ridged mucosa. The soft mucosa lies against the glans penis and contains ectopic sebaceous glands that secrete emollients, lubricants, and protective antibodies. Similar glands are found in the eyelids and mouth.

Adjacent to the soft mucosa and just behind the lips of the foreskin is the ridged mucosa. This exquisitely sensitive structure consists of tightly pleated concentric bands, like the elastic bands at the top of a sock. These expandable pleats allow the foreskin lips to open and roll back, exposing the glans. The ridged mucosa gives the foreskin its characteristic taper.

On the underside of the glans, the foreskin's point of attachment is advanced toward the meatus (urethral opening) and forms a bandlike ligament called the frenulum. It is identical to the frenulum that secures the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The foreskin's frenulum holds it in place over the glans, and, in con junction with the smooth muscle fibers, helps return the retracted foreskin to its usual forward position over the glans.

Retraction of the Foreskin
At birth, the foreskin is usually attached to the glans, very much as a fingernail is attached to a finger. By puberty, the penis will usually have completed its development, and the foreskin will have separated from the glans.8 This separation occurs in its own time; there is no set age by which the foreskin and glans must be separated. One wise doctor described the process thus, "The foreskin therefore can be likened to a rosebud which remains closed and muzzled. Like a rosebud, it will only blossom when the time is right. No one opens a rosebud to make it blossom."9

Even if the glans and foreskin separate naturally in infancy, the foreskin Ups can normally dilate only enough to allow the passage of urine. This ideal feature protects the glans from premature exposure to the external environment.

The penis develops naturally throughout childhood. Eventually, the child will, on his own, make the wondrous discovery that his foreskin will retract. There is no reason for parents, physicians, or other caregivers to manipulate a child's penis. The only person to retract a child's foreskin should be the child himself, when he has discovered that his foreskin is ready to retract.

Parents should be wary of anyone who tries to retract their child's foreskin, and especially wary of anyone who wants to cut it off. Human foreskins are in great demand for any number of commercial enterprises, and the marketing of purloined baby foreskins is a multimillion-dollar-a-year industry. Pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies use human foreskins as research material. Corporations such as Advanced Tissue Sciences, Organogenesis, and BioSurface Technology use human foreskins as the raw materials for a type of breathable bandage.10

What Are the Foreskin's Functions?

The foreskin has numerous protective, sensory, and sexual functions.

Protection: Just as the eyelids protect the eyes, the foreskin protects the glans and keeps its surface soft, moist, and sensitive. It also maintains optimal warmth, pH balance, and cleanliness. The glans itself contains no sebaceous glands -- glands that produce the sebum, or oil, that moisturizes our skin.11 The foreskin produces the sebum that maintains proper health the surface of the glans.


Immunological Defense: The mucous membranes that line all body orifices are the body's first line of immunological defense. Glands in the foreskin produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme.12 Lysozyme is also found in tears and mother's milk. Specialized epithelial Langerhans cells, an immune system component, abound in the foreskin's outer surface.13 Plasma cells in the foreskin's mucosal lining secrete immunoglobulins, antibodies that defend against infection.14

Erogenous Sensitivity: The foreskin is as sensitive as the fingertips or the lips of the mouth. It contains a richer variety and greater concentration of specialized nerve receptors than any other part of the penis.15 These specialized nerve endings can discern motion, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations of texture.16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23

Coverage during Erection: As it becomes erect, the penile shaft becomes thicker and longer. The double-layered foreskin provides the skin necessary to accommodate the expanded organ and to allow the penile skin to glide freely, smoothly, and pleasurably over the shaft and glans.

Self-stimulating Sexual Functions: The foreskin's double-layered sheath enables the penile shaft skin to glide back and forth over the penile shaft. The foreskin can normally be slipped all the way, or almost all the way, back to the base of the penis, and also slipped forward beyond the glans. This wide range of motion is the mechanism by which the penis and the orgasmic triggers in the foreskin, frenulum, and glans are stimulated.

Sexual Functions in Intercourse: One of the foreskin's functions is to facilitate smooth, gentle movement between the mucosal surfaces of the two partners during intercourse. The foreskin enables the penis to slip in and out of the vagina nonabrasively inside its own slick sheath of self-lubricating, movable skin. The female is thus stimulated by moving pressure rather than by friction only, as when the male's foreskin is missing.

The foreskin fosters intimacy between the two partners by enveloping the glans and maintaining it as an internal organ. The sexual experience is enhanced when the foreskin slips back to allow the male's internal organ, the glans, to meet the female's internal organ, the cervix -- a moment of supreme intimacy and beauty.

The foreskin may have functions not yet recognized or understood. Scientists in Europe recently detected estrogen receptors in its basal epidermal cells.24 Researchers at the University of Manchester found that the human foreskin has apocrine glands.25 These specialized glands produce pheromones, nature's chemical messengers. Further studies are needed to fully understand these features of the foreskin and the role they play

Care of the Foreskin
The natural penis requires no special care. A child's foreskin, like his eyelids, is self-cleansing. For the same reason it is inadvisable to lift the eyelids and wash the eyeballs, it is inadvisable to retract a child's foreskin and wash the glans. Immersion in plain water during the bath is all that is needed to keep the intact penis clean.26

The white emollient under the child's foreskin is called smegma. Smegma is probably the most misunderstood, most unjustifiably maligned substance in nature. Smegma is clean, not dirty, and is beneficial and necessary. It moisturizes the glans and keeps it smooth, soft, and supple. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties keep the penis clean and healthy. All mammals produce smegma. Thomas J. Ritter, MD, underscored its importance when he commented, "The animal kingdom would probably cease to exist without smegma."27

Studies suggest that it is best not to use soap on the glans or foreskin's inner fold.28 Forcibly retracting and washing a baby's foreskin destroys the beneficial bacterial flora that protect the penis from harmful germs and can lead to irritation and infection. The best way to care for a child's intact penis is to leave it alone. After puberty, males can gently rinse their glans and foreskin with warm water, according to their own self-determined needs.

Intact newborn penis (above) & circumcised newborn penis (below)

How Common Is Circumcision?
Circumcision is almost unheard of in Europe, South America, and non-muslim Asia. In fact, only 10 to 15 percent of men throughout the world are circumcised. The vast majority of whom are Muslim.29 The neonatal circumcision rate in the western US has now fallen to 34.2 percent.30 This relatively diminished rate may surprise American men born during the era when nearly 90 percent of baby boys were circumcised automatically, with or without their parents' consent.

How Does Circumcision Harm?

The "medical" debate about the "potential health benefits" of circumcision rarely addresses its real effects.

Circumcision denudes: Depending on the amount of skin cut off, circumcision robs a male of as much as 80 percent or more of his penile skin. Depending on the foreskin's length, cutting it off makes the penis as much as 25 percent or more shorter. Careful anatomical investigations have shown that circumcision cuts off more than 3 feet of veins, arteries, and capillaries, 240 feet of nerves, and more than 20,000 nerve endings.31 The foreskin's muscles, glands, mucous membrane, and epithelial tissue are destroyed, as well.

Circumcision desensitizes: Circumcision desensitizes the penis radically. Foreskin amputation means severing the rich nerve network and all the nerve receptors in the foreskin itself. Circumcision almost always damages or destroys the frenulum. The loss of the protective foreskin desensitizes the glans. Because the membrane covering the permanently externalized glans is now subjected to constant abrasion and irritation, it keratinizes, becoming dry and tough. The nerve endings in the glans, which in the intact penis are just beneath the surface of the mucous membrane, are now buried by successive layers of keratinization. The denuded glans takes on a dull, grayish, sclerotic appearance.

Circumcision disables: The amputation of so much penile skin permanently immobilizes whatever skin remains, preventing it from gliding freely over the shaft and glans. This loss of mobility destroys the mechanism by which the glans is normally stimulated. When the circumcised penis becomes erect, the immobilized remaining skin is stretched, sometimes so tightly that not enough skin is left to cover the erect shaft. Hair-bearing skin from the groin and scrotum is often pulled onto the shaft, where hair is not normally found. The surgically externalized mucous membrane of the glans has no sebaceous glands. Without the protection and emollients of the foreskin, it dries out, making it susceptible to cracking and bleeding.

Circumcision disfigures: Circumcision alters the appearance of the penis drastically. It permanently externalizes the glans, normally an internal organ. Circumcision leaves a large circumferential surgical scar on the penile shaft. Because circumcision usually necessitates tearing the foreskin from the glans, pieces of the glans may be torn off, too, leaving it pitted and scarred. Shreds of foreskin may adhere to the raw glans, forming tags and bridges of dangling, displaced skin.32

Depending on the amount of skin cut off and how the scar forms, the circumcised penis may be permanently twisted, or curve or bow during erection.33 The contraction of the scar tissue may pull the shaft into the abdomen, in effect shortening the penis or burying it completely.34

Circumcision disrupts circulation: Circumcision interrupts the normal circulation of blood throughout the penile skin system and glans. The blood flowing into major penile arteries is obstructed by the line of scar tissue at the point of incision, creating backflow instead of feeding the branches and capillary networks beyond the scar. Deprived of blood, the meatus may contract and scarify, obstructing the flow of urine.35 This condition, known as meatal stenosis, often requires corrective surgery. Meatal stenosis is found almost exclusively among boys who have been circumcised.

Circumcision also severs the lymph vessels, interrupting the circulation of lymph and sometimes causing lymphedema, a painful, disfiguring condition in which the remaining skin of the penis swells with trapped lymph fluid.


Circumcision harms the developing brain: Recent studies published in leading medical journals have reported that circumcision has long-lasting detrimental effects on the developing brain,36 adversely altering the brain's perception centers. Circumcised boys have a lower pain threshold than girls or intact boys.37 Developmental neuropsychologist Dr. James Prescott suggests that circumcision can cause deeper and more disturbing levels of neurological damage, as well.38,39

Circumcision is unhygienic and unhealthy: One of the most common myths about circumcision is that it makes the penis cleaner and easier to take care of This is not true. Eyes without eyelids would not be cleaner; neither would a penis without its foreskin. The artificially externalized glans and meatus of the circumcised penis are constantly exposed to abrasion and dirt, making the circumcised penis, in fact, more unclean. The loss of the protective foreskin leaves the urinary tract vulnerable to invasion by bacterial and viral pathogens.

The circumcision wound is larger than most people imagine. It is not just the circular point of union between the outer and inner layers of the remaining skin. Before a baby is circumcised, his foreskin must be torn from his glans, literally skinning it alive. This creates a large open area of raw, bleeding flesh, covered at best with a layer of undeveloped protomucosa. Germs can easily enter the damaged tissue and blood-stream through the raw glans and, even more easily, through the incision itself.

Even after the wound has healed, the externalized glans and meatus are still forced into constant unnatural contact with urine, feces, chemically treated diapers, and other contaminants.

Female partners of circumcised men do not report a lower rate of cervical cancer,40 nor does circumcision prevent penile cancer.41 A recent study shows that the penile cancer rate is higher in the US than in Denmark, where circumcision, except among Middle Eastern immigrant workers, is almost unheard of.42 Indeed, researchers should investigate the possibility that circumcision has actually increased the rate of these diseases.

Circumcision does not prevent acquisition or transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In fact, the US has both the highest percentage of sexually active circumcised males in the Western world and the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Rigorously controlled prospective studies show that circumcised American men are at a greater risk for bacterial and viral STDs, especially gonorrhea,43 non-gonoccal urethritis,44 human papilloma virus,45 herpes simplex virus type 2,46 and chlamydia.47

Circumcision is always risky: Circumcision always carries the risk of serious, even tragic, consequences. Its surgical complication rate is one in 500.48 These complications include uncontrollable bleeding and fatal infections.49 There are many published case reports of gangrene following circumcision.50 Pathogenic bacteria such as staphylococcus, proteus, pseudomonas, other coliforms, and even tuberculosis can cause infections leading to death.51,52 These organisms enter the wound because it provides easy entry, not because the child is predisposed to infection.

Medical journals have published numerous accounts of babies who have had part or all of their glans cut off while they were being circumcised.53,54,55 Other fully conscious, unanesthetized babies have had their entire penis burned off with an electrocautery gun.56,57,58 The September 1989 Journal of Urology published an account of four such cases.59 The article described the sex-change operation as "feminizing genito-plasty," performed on these babies in an attempt to change them into girls. The March 1997 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine described one young person's horror on learning that "she" had been born a normal male, but that a circumciser had burned his penis off when he was a baby.60 Many other similar cases have been documented.61,62 Infant circumcision has a reported death rate of one in 500,000.63,64

Circumcision harms mothers: Scientific studies have consistently shown that circumcision disrupts a child's behavioral development. Studies performed at the University of Colorado School of Medicine showed that circumcision is followed by prolonged, unrestful non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.65 In response to the lengthy bombardment of their neural pathways with unbearable pain, the circumcised babies withdrew into a kind of semicoma that lasted days or even weeks.

Numerous other studies have proven that circumcision disrupts the mother-infant bond during the crucial period after birth. Research has also shown that circumcision disrupts feeding patterns. In a study at the Washington University School of Medicine, most babies would not nurse right after they were circumcised, and those who did would not look into their mothers' eyes.66

Circumcision violates patients' and human rights: No one has the right to cut off any part of someone else's genitals without that person's competent, fully informed consent. Since it is the infant who must bear the consequences, circumcision violates his legal rights both to refuse treatment and to seek alternative treatment. In 1995, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Bioethics stated that only a competent patient can give patient consent or informed consent.67 an infant is obviously too young to consent to anything. He must be protected from anyone who would take advantage of his defenselessness. The concept of informed parental permission allows for medical interventions in situations of clear and immediate medical necessity only, such as disease, trauma, or deformity. The human penis in its normal, uncircumcised state satisfies none of these requirements.

Physicians have a duty to refuse to perform circumcision. They also must educate parents who, out of ignorance or misguidance, request this surgery for their sons. The healthcare professional's obligation is to protect the interests of the child. It is unethical in the extreme to force upon a child an amputation he almost certainly would never have chosen for himself.

Common Sense
To be intact, as nature intended, is best. The vast majority of males who are given the choice value their wholeness and keep their foreskins, for the same reason they keep their other organs of perception. Parents in Europe and non-Muslim Asia never have forced their boys to be circumcised. It would no more occur to them to cut off part of their boys' penises than it would to cut off part of their ears. Respecting a child's right to keep his genitals intact is normal and natural. It is conservative in the best sense of the word.

A circumcised father who has mixed feelings about his intact newborn son may require gentle, compassionate psychological counseling to help him come to terms with his loss and to overcome his anxieties about normal male genitalia. In such cases, the mother should steadfastly protect her child, inviting her husband to share this protective role and helping him diffuse his negative feelings. Most parents want what is best for their baby. Wise parents listen to their hearts and trust their instinct to protect their baby from harm. The experience of the ages has shown that babies thrive best in a trusting atmosphere of love, gentleness, respect, acceptance, nurturing, and intimacy. Cutting off a baby's foreskin shatters this trust.

Circumcision wounds and harms the baby and the person the baby will become. Parents who respect their son's wholeness are bequeathing to him his birthright -- his body, perfect and beautiful in its entirety.

Charlie - posted on 06/06/2010

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First of all congrats on the baby and wanting to be informed on circumcision !

In Australia circ is considered cosmetic surgery and not medically necessary its actually not as common as you think , over 85% of the world male population are NOT circumcised , most doctors wont do the procedure .

Here is a great link for you to check out , it contains a lot of information , websites , books and also articles for circumcised fathers with intact sons . http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/are-you-f...

Another fact you need to be aware of that a lot of doctors fail to tell parents is 299 babies die a year from circumcision surgery due to hemorrhaging .

Lucy - posted on 06/06/2010

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Here in the UK very few males are circumcised, and there is no epidemic of infections or a higher rate of STD's than in countries where it is common practice.

The reason some think that an uncircumcised penis is more prone to infection is because of the mistaken belief that you need to pull back the foreskin to keep everything clean. THIS is what causes infection, as a boys foreskin is self cleaning and should not be pulled back until it does so naturally around the age of 5ish. If it is left alone, an uncircumcised penis is no more likely to get infected than a circumcised one.

Aside from the fact that it is an unnecessary and painful procedure and healing process, circumcision removes a lot of nerve endings which can lessen sexual sensation when the time comes!

As for the tradition or "everyone we know has done it" argument, this just doesn't hold with me. If we never thought about the reason why we did things and carried on regardless, humanity wouldn't get very far IMO.

Rogina - posted on 06/06/2010

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We had our son circumcised when he was born last year. In Canada where we live it used to be standard and most men had it done at birth. I know very few men who are not done. We had this discussion before I even got pregnant and decided if we had a boy someday it would be done. I have been called a great many things by people for having it done, but I don't care.It was our choice and my son is very healthy and happy. One big reason less boys are getting it done here is that insurance no longer covers it and the cost is between $200 and $400 to get it done. My son was done in a hospital, under sterile conditions by a doctor who has been doing it for over 20 years. If you do choose to have it done please research the doctor doing it and make your choice based on experience and not on cost.

Lissa - posted on 06/06/2010

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I live in the UK where it is very unusual to circumcise, I don't know a single circumcised male. My sons have never suffered from infections and it is not difficult to keep things clean. I find it quite amazing that people cut bits of their little boys body off (this is not an insult to those who do, it's just not the norm for this country). If there is no religious or medical reason I don't see why, the men I know are not all running around with infection, bad smells or sexually transmitted diseases. If you decide against just make sure he knows how to clean himself properly.

Lynne - posted on 06/06/2010

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This was a paradigm shift for me years ago. My first son, now 22 I trusted the ways things were done without question. Now with still another 10 years of raising kids before I'm done, I question everything. I went with my son at 3 days old, as the loving caring mom that just needed to get this procedure done. The nurse took off all his garments and laid him down on this very hard cold board, then Velcro'ed his wrists and ankles down. The doctor came in, explained that my son would feel nothing and proceeded to strap the foreskin into some sort of bracket. My son began to screem unlike anything I had ever heard before. The doctor continued unfazed...and the skin was cut away. The nurse came in to put ointment on and give me written directions on the care of the wound, put his diaper back on, unstrapped him and gave me this screaming child. I felt incredibly guilty and I didn't even know why I had agreed to this.
That's when I decided to learn all about the circumcision and why certain cultures decide for or against this practice.
I have my daughters recital now, so I will need to write more later. Thee are may aspects to this: Religious, cultural, medical, sexual, etc. I will try to touch on each of these points...

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