to circumcise or not to ?

Bonnie - posted on 09/17/2009 ( 160 moms have responded )

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just wandering what the pros and cons are of having it done ? if any one knows any posative feedback from partners or mums that have had this done with their boys ? would be muchly appreciated !

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Carly - posted on 09/20/2009

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We have allowed our gorgeous son to remain INTACT. We believe circumcision is a totally unnecessary procedure. The foreskin is far from "extra" or somehow not needed. The very point of foreskin is to PROTECT the penis from dirt and bacteria. It is very tight during infancy and childhood to stop any nasties getting under it. Anything that might sneak in there is flushed out when they pass urine (did you know urine is completely STERILE??) It is perfectly natural for it to remain tight and non-retractable into the early teenage years. Why? Because it doesn't NEED to retract until sexual maturity is reached.



The same rule applies to cleaning both male and female children's genitals - you only clean what you can see. Attempting to retract the foreskin prematurely is very damaging. It can lead to the head of the penis and the inner surface of the foreskin adhering to each other and forming scar tissue, which means the foreskin may not retract properly when the adult penis is erect. Reports from older men about the problems they have with intact penises are NOT a result of them being intact, they are a result of doctors routinely advising the foreskin should be pulled back from an early age. We now know this is INCORRECT and DAMAGING.

Tamara - posted on 09/18/2009

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I wouldn't have it done. We have no right to have cosmetic surgery performed on our children's genitals.

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Jodi - When people's opinions include myths that are potentially damaging, I know I often feel the need to respond. People can make their own decision, but it should be based on the facts. Statements like "babies don't feel it" or "you have to pull back the skin at every diaper change" or "they'll just have to have it done as adults" don't help anyone make informed decisions. I certainly expect someone would correct me if I said something that wasn't true.

Sarah - posted on 09/19/2009

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We opted to not circumcise our son (even though my husband is). As a peds nurse, I had a baby who died as a result of hemorrhage (bled to death) after a circumcision. This was enough of a risk (to me) to not have it done on my son. Circumcision is purely a cosmetic procedure, therefore, other than appearances, does not have any benefirts. It can also get infected, is extremely painful (usually done without any anesthetic) both during and after the procedure. Sometimes it isn't done 100% correctly and there can be too much or not enough of the foreskin removed. There is very little risk of infection with uncircumcised penises (though it can happen with some children). There is no need to retract the foreskin for cleansing before 3-4 years old, and requires no special care or treatment. Circumcision is a personal decision, however, and I would definately speak with your health care provider about it. Personally, for my family, I didn't think the benefits outweighed the risks.

Nancy - posted on 09/19/2009

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Working as a nurse, it is a personal choice as to whether you get a son circumsized. It is reccommended to have it done for hygeine reasons. If the foreskin is not cleaned properly you can get nasty infections that you may not know about. It can cause serious issues when they get older. IF it where my son he would be circumsized. It is not verypainfull to have it done these days. Babies are now medicatred for pain prior to and after it is done. Hope this helps you make a decision.

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~Jennifer - posted on 09/21/2009

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Well, Ladies, as we once again don't seem to be able to come to a conclusion either way in this particular discussion, thank you for your responses to this thread.

Jaime - posted on 09/21/2009

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My apologies for the convoy of responses to current comments but I too grow tired of the misinformation and supposed 'hurt' feelings of people that think opinions are being shoved down throats. I'm not about to fly to your country/city and personally lecture you about circumcision and I cannot stop you if you are determined to have it done...but I CAN post my thoughts, opinions and wealth of information in the hopes that you will decide to wait and allow your Son to decide for himself as to whether or not he wants to be circumcised. It's HIS penis and HE has to live with it!

Jaime - posted on 09/21/2009

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Quoting Karen:

I had my son circumcised when he was about 2 weeks old. It didn't hurt him at all. The longer you wait, the more the pain will be as the nerves continue to spread into that area. Due to dirt collection and infection possiblities, I would recommend you have your son circumcised. It is also commanded to us to have this procedure done in the Bible, and has been being done to males since before Christ was born. That is MY belief, and I wish you all the best in your personal decision. May you have the guidance of the Lord in your final decison. God Bless and I'll be praying for you.


Awesome, more Bible crap!  Just because some guy wrote about it in the Bible, doesn't mean that it is commanded of us...God didn't write the Bible.  This is perhaps the most dilluded justification for circumcision.  This kind of thinking is very 'cult' like in my opinion.  If the Bible said that we should all wear sneakers and drink cyanide, should we do that too?

Jaime - posted on 09/21/2009

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Quoting Jodi:

Lisa, just give it a rest. I respect you have an opinion, but calling those who do decide to go ahead with it mutliators and abusers is abusive in itself.

You are right, no-one RECOMMENDS it, but can you provide any study which calls it mutilation or child abuse. In actual fact, doctors DO agree that there are advantages. They just don't aree that it OUTWEIGHS the disadvantages to such a degree as to recommend the procedure. I don't think they went so far as to call it mulation or child abuse. But feel free to give us an impartial study that has concluded this to back up the claims of child abuse and mutilation.


Jodi I think that you are digging for a means to validate your feelings about the terms "mutilate" and "child abuse" as they pertain to circumcision.  Lisa provided the thread with a very clear definition of mutilation.  Just because you don't like the word, doesn't make it any less correct when defining the very act of circumcising a penis.  As for child abuse...I would not go as far as to say child abuse, but definitely an abuse of power on the part of the parents.  It is a parent's job to TEACH a child life skills including proper hygiene.  So, before a boy is even at an age where he can understand the importance of cleanliness, the decision to cut off his foreskin because it is easier to clean, is a decision that an adult has made for pure convenience.  Parents have the power to teach children and help them learn and understand...so if a parent prematurely makes a decision about the state or appearance of their child's body before they can be included in the decision--then I would say it is an abuse of power.  The same goes for people that believe in FGM...deciding to remove the pleasure centre of a female child to ensure her obedience and decrease the chance of promiscuity--that's just ridiculous!, and I would even wager a guess that many people would consider that child abuse!  Just something to think about...

Jaime - posted on 09/21/2009

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Quoting Toni:

i have no boys but my partner is a turkish musilm and in their religion it as to b done so i suppose if i did have a boy i would do it as part of the religion


Religion is not a valid reason for having circumcision done.  If your husband was from a country that supported FGM, would you be having your daughter circumcised then too?

Jaime - posted on 09/21/2009

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Quoting Brooke:

all this talk about not wanting to hurt them is silly. Ask your husbands or any guy for that matter if they remember the pain they went through? They will probably say no. Will you pierce the ears of your little girl when they are a couple weeks old? Like that doesn't hurt them? But people still do it.


Any decision to alter the original state of a baby's body (if it is not for life-saving/life sustaining measures) should be left up to the child--not the parents.  That goes for ear piercing!

Jaime - posted on 09/21/2009

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Quoting Carolyn:

I am personally quite offended by many of the against responses. I had my son done and HE WAS NOT MUTILATED, the area was numbed during the whole procedure, I know my babies and don't believe for a minute he was trumatised. How many of these people who are against it have actually seen the procedure first hand (and not an exagerated, without pain relief, internet video)? My decision was made after much research and solely for the long term health benifits of my child. Whether or not it is the best thing for a boy is very much debatable, but to call it mutilation and child abuse is extremely small minded and judgemental considering many well respected doctors and other well educated professionals (I'm sure much more educated then most of those who wrote those posts) support the benefits of the procedure.
Maybe you should learn to show a bit more respect for the opinion of others!


There aren't "many" well respected doctors and other well-educated professionals in support of circumcision these days.  That's why it's classified as cosmetic and costs upwards of $300!



The benefits of the procedure are speculative because the decreased risk of STD's might only consider those infections that are bacterial (gonorrhea, syphillis, chlamydia).  And then it's not even a guarantee.  Surely you don't believe that your Son has less chance of catching herpes, hepatitis C or HIV because he had a circumcision?  As for the idea that a cicumcised penis is easier to keep clean...are we in the business of promoting laziness in our children before they even reach the age where they are responsible for cleaning themselves? 



And why are you on the defensive anyway?  It's not your penis that has been circumcised.



 

Jaime - posted on 09/21/2009

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Quoting Tamara:



Quoting Cora:

I had both my boys circumcised at birth. By doing so, it helps to keep that area cleaner and avoids infections throughout their lives. It doesn't hurt them when they are that young. Boys do not pay as much attention to hygiene as girls, so, by doing it, it is one less worry for them when they get older. Good luch





Really?  It doesn't hurt them?  So we should just do like they used to and perform more surgeries on them w/o anesthetic?  *eyeroll*  It does hurt them.  The foreskin is fused to the glans.  Imagine someone ripping your fingernails all the way off.  That's only a fraction of the pain these boys are feeling when they're mutilated.  Your assertation that is prevents infection and is cleaner is simply a fallacy.  There is no real difference in infection rates and there is actual more damage done when you mutilate...er...circumsise a penis.  Cleanliness is a non-issue as it is no different than cleaning any other part of your body to clean an intact penis.





lol...fallacy--good pun Tamara!

Karen - posted on 09/21/2009

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I had my son circumcised when he was about 2 weeks old. It didn't hurt him at all. The longer you wait, the more the pain will be as the nerves continue to spread into that area. Due to dirt collection and infection possiblities, I would recommend you have your son circumcised. It is also commanded to us to have this procedure done in the Bible, and has been being done to males since before Christ was born. That is MY belief, and I wish you all the best in your personal decision. May you have the guidance of the Lord in your final decison. God Bless and I'll be praying for you.

Jodi - posted on 09/21/2009

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Lisa, just give it a rest. I respect you have an opinion, but calling those who do decide to go ahead with it mutliators and abusers is abusive in itself.



You are right, no-one RECOMMENDS it, but can you provide any study which calls it mutilation or child abuse. In actual fact, doctors DO agree that there are advantages. They just don't aree that it OUTWEIGHS the disadvantages to such a degree as to recommend the procedure. I don't think they went so far as to call it mulation or child abuse. But feel free to give us an impartial study that has concluded this to back up the claims of child abuse and mutilation.

Minnie - posted on 09/21/2009

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Quoting Carolyn:

I am personally quite offended by many of the against responses. I had my son done and HE WAS NOT MUTILATED, the area was numbed during the whole procedure, I know my babies and don't believe for a minute he was trumatised. How many of these people who are against it have actually seen the procedure first hand (and not an exagerated, without pain relief, internet video)? My decision was made after much research and solely for the long term health benifits of my child. Whether or not it is the best thing for a boy is very much debatable, but to call it mutilation and child abuse is extremely small minded and judgemental considering many well respected doctors and other well educated professionals (I'm sure much more educated then most of those who wrote those posts) support the benefits of the procedure.
Maybe you should learn to show a bit more respect for the opinion of others!


 





Main Entry: mu·ti·late

Pronunciation: \ˈmyü-tə-ˌlāt\

Function: transitive verb

Inflected Form(s): mu·ti·lat·ed; mu·ti·lat·ing

Etymology: Latin mutilatus, past participle of mutilare, from mutilus truncated, maimed

Date: 1534



1 : to cut up or alter radically so as to make imperfect
2 : to cut off or permanently destroy a limb or essential part of :



synonyms see




mu·ti·la·tion \ˌmyü-tə-ˈlā-shən\ noun



mu·ti·la·tor \ˈmyü-tə-ˌlā-tər\ noun



 



 



There is no major health organization that recommends routine infant circumcision.  Any doctor who actually recommends it- is misinformed and not aware (or refusing to accept) of current medical research. 



 



Concerning your issue with others not respecting your opinions- well, it is others' opinions that circumcision is indeed mutilation and child abuse.



 



In all liklihood, there are mothers reading these posts who will make a decision based on what they read here.  This thread is rift with false information and myth surrounding the topic of circumcision.  For these mothers to make an informed decision the false information needs to be corrected with fact.

Toni - posted on 09/21/2009

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i have no boys but my partner is a turkish musilm and in their religion it as to b done so i suppose if i did have a boy i would do it as part of the religion

Toni - posted on 09/21/2009

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i have no boys but my partner is a turkish musilm and in their religion it as to b done so i suppose if i did have a boy i would do it as part of the religion

Brooke - posted on 09/21/2009

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all this talk about not wanting to hurt them is silly. Ask your husbands or any guy for that matter if they remember the pain they went through? They will probably say no. Will you pierce the ears of your little girl when they are a couple weeks old? Like that doesn't hurt them? But people still do it.

Jodi - posted on 09/21/2009

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Lydia, I have had no bad experiences either way. Personally, we have one boy circumcised and one not. Neither have had issues. I have no problems with opinion at all. I have problems with the way in which they are sometimes expressed :)

Lydia - posted on 09/21/2009

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I agree with you. Unfortunately opinion rules in these discussions and it is up to the reader to filter or reference the information provided if they want the facts. I think personal experience usually plays a greater role in these types of decisions too - none of the uncircumcised men I know have had any issues with STDs or infections etc so I would not opt to have any child circumcised but if you have had a bad experience (or know someone who has) on either being or not being circumcised that will probably weigh more heavily on the decision than fact will. Dont think there is a real right or wrong just what works better for you :)

Carolyn - posted on 09/21/2009

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I am personally quite offended by many of the against responses. I had my son done and HE WAS NOT MUTILATED, the area was numbed during the whole procedure, I know my babies and don't believe for a minute he was trumatised. How many of these people who are against it have actually seen the procedure first hand (and not an exagerated, without pain relief, internet video)? My decision was made after much research and solely for the long term health benifits of my child. Whether or not it is the best thing for a boy is very much debatable, but to call it mutilation and child abuse is extremely small minded and judgemental considering many well respected doctors and other well educated professionals (I'm sure much more educated then most of those who wrote those posts) support the benefits of the procedure.
Maybe you should learn to show a bit more respect for the opinion of others!

Jodi - posted on 09/21/2009

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Think about it, we all make decisions every single day about our children's lives and their bodies (well, when you decide what they eat, you are setting them up for the future too), so it is very much a situation where there should at least be some respect for what will be a personal decision.

Jodi - posted on 09/21/2009

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And Lydia, many of those against it have also said that circumcision has no advantages. And this is also not true. There are two sides to it, and both sides have equally valid arguments. I just feel that the OP was asking for some help in her decision, and I'm pretty sure that being called a mutilator would probably be fairly upsetting to someone who is about to make a decision. I'm ok with sticking to the facts. But the FACT is that there ARE advantages (lesser risk of STDs, etc). The FACT is there ARE disadvantages (sexual pleasure, and so on). This is a situation where someone is trying to weigh these up to make up their own mind without having to worry about the abusive terms that have been used by some. That's all.

Jodi - posted on 09/21/2009

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Jenifer, I am not necessarily talking about expressing what you believe to be truth and fact (and I'm not actually referring to you). I totally agree that any decision about circumcision should be weighed up based on fact, and the OP has posted her question ebcause of that. However, I have a problem with the way people are trying to guilt others into NOT going ahead with it, rather than weighing up the facts, their own circumstances (whether religion, family, and so on), with some comments. I'd rather see it kept to the facts. I don't have a problem with that at all.

Lydia - posted on 09/21/2009

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Jodi -some of the people who have argued for circumcision may not have used agressive language (although to be honest I havent read all of the responses) but they have used other tactics such as fear factor to enhance their arguement which is just as inappropriate. Hopefully people reading through the responses can use their commonsense to filter some of the bigger biases out of the posts to get the basic message :)

Jodi - posted on 09/21/2009

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You know what amazes me? The language and force used by those who are against it is amazingly about pushing their opinion on others, and putting others down for their views rather than just expressing their own opinion.......Yet the language of those who are either for it or indifferent is pretty much just an opinion. I don't see anyone here FOR circumcision arguing back and criticising those who don't support it. Maybe there are many people who do believe it is a personal choice and would rather make that decision without other people shoving it down their throat?

Just a thought....

Minnie - posted on 09/21/2009

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Quoting Amy:

Health wise, circumcision is alot better because uncircumcised boys tend to get more infections. And even though you may not want to think about it, you might want to consider in the long run what he will feel like when he gets into girls, it will prevent some difficulties. Circumcision does not affect baby boys they will mostly sleep for the whole day, and after that it's nothing. Just follow the instructions given by the doctor. Good luck with your baby.


 



You should probably be aware that the reason for the long period of sleep after a circumcision is the trauma that the baby boy has been put through- it's his last coping mechanizm.  Complete withdrawal.

EMILY - posted on 09/21/2009

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http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/circ...

Please watch this link, i cried whilst watching i could not believe what this poor baby was put though for what i can as no reason at all. Its cruel & wrong the only reason i would put a child though this is for a real medical problem. In some ways i see it as bad as child abuse just because of someones faith or cleanleness . Its meant to be there so leave it alone !!!!!

Amy - posted on 09/20/2009

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Health wise, circumcision is alot better because uncircumcised boys tend to get more infections. And even though you may not want to think about it, you might want to consider in the long run what he will feel like when he gets into girls, it will prevent some difficulties. Circumcision does not affect baby boys they will mostly sleep for the whole day, and after that it's nothing. Just follow the instructions given by the doctor. Good luck with your baby.

Cathy - posted on 09/20/2009

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truthfully I say yes...seems to minimize infection. as they get older it will be harder on them when they need it done. Truly it doesn't hurt them as much as you think.

Kim - posted on 09/20/2009

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Don't have any sons but I do work in a hospital. Do recommend it. It is easier to take care of, healthier, doesn't cause as many problems when they get older. I have seen the forskin close up when men get older and when the docs have to reopen it is very painful.

My grandfather had to be circumcised when he was in his 60's or 70's and it almost killed him. (health reasons). So I would highly recommend it to anyone, even though I don't have any boys of my own. If I had a son I would have had it done. They won't remember the pain when they are newborns. It's just like when we get our girls ears pierced when they are babies or their shots. Hope this helps.

Rose - posted on 09/20/2009

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I have 2 boys, a 6 year old and a 2 year old. I didn't have it done because my husband isn't and he was happy that he never had the foreskin removed. I wash the boys during their bathtime and now my 6 year old does it himself. I don't believe there is a health risk as long as you wash it during hsi bathtime. Another thing I heard (which may be a total myth) is that having it done will cause them to lose about 30% of their "sensitivity", since that part will now be exposed and rubbing against their clothes. I just didn't feel right about it, but I have friends who have had it done to their boys and are very happy cause it is easier to clean. Good luck :)

Tamara - posted on 09/20/2009

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Quoting Cora:

I had both my boys circumcised at birth. By doing so, it helps to keep that area cleaner and avoids infections throughout their lives. It doesn't hurt them when they are that young. Boys do not pay as much attention to hygiene as girls, so, by doing it, it is one less worry for them when they get older. Good luch


Really?  It doesn't hurt them?  So we should just do like they used to and perform more surgeries on them w/o anesthetic?  *eyeroll*  It does hurt them.  The foreskin is fused to the glans.  Imagine someone ripping your fingernails all the way off.  That's only a fraction of the pain these boys are feeling when they're mutilated.  Your assertation that is prevents infection and is cleaner is simply a fallacy.  There is no real difference in infection rates and there is actual more damage done when you mutilate...er...circumsise a penis.  Cleanliness is a non-issue as it is no different than cleaning any other part of your body to clean an intact penis.

Cora - posted on 09/20/2009

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I had both my boys circumcised at birth. By doing so, it helps to keep that area cleaner and avoids infections throughout their lives. It doesn't hurt them when they are that young. Boys do not pay as much attention to hygiene as girls, so, by doing it, it is one less worry for them when they get older. Good luch

Cora - posted on 09/20/2009

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I had both my boys circumcised at birth. By doing so, it helps to keep that area cleaner and avoids infections throughout their lives. It doesn't hurt them when they are that young. Boys do not pay as much attention to hygiene as girls, so, by doing it, it is one less worry for them when they get older. Good luck

Tina - posted on 09/20/2009

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Definetly, if not circumcised, can cause alot of problems with infections during their lifetime. Not only a cosmetic thing, also an infection thing!

Karen - posted on 09/20/2009

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my son had a circumcision 5 wks ago ,not as a personal choice but as a medical emergency he is 2yrs old and after seeing what he went through(general anestetic ,loss of blood etc) i cant understand how parents can put their children through it for the sake of it.he is fine now thank god.

Jennifer - posted on 09/20/2009

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I had Jackson done before we left the hospital, and there was never a problem with pain or irritation or anything. Older boys that aren't circumcised tend to be self concious about it.

Tisha - posted on 09/20/2009

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We have 2 sons and 2 daughters and expecting our 5th child in about 3 weeks. We DID NOT have our sons circumcised although I did consider it for our first born.



I am the youngest of 10 children and my 3 brothers were circumcised. Our father is a medical doctor and it was his call when they were all born. Back then, it was standard practice. Two of our brothers are also medical doctors. One of them is a paediatrician / neonatologist and he advised all of the siblings with sons, including himself, (7 out of 10 siblings), based on experience, to wait until the boys were older (minimum 10 yrs. of age) to have them circumcised if medically needed or still desired. Main reasons being as a newborn, it is possible that some boys have not yet "grown" into their foreskin therefore making the possibility of a repeat circumcision (cut off too little) or reconstruction (cut off too much) at an older age possible; there are no current medical reasons such as infections or increase of STD's that have been proven to be caused by lack of circumcisions (therefore a decrease in the statistics of circumcisions being performed shortly after birth). Yes, it used to be standard practice in hospitals to inquire and perform circumcisions in hospital (I know as I worked on the Obstetrics ward back then and assisted with circumcisions), however since it has now been classified as cosmetic at birth, it is no longer offered as a newborn procedure.



When I worked on the Obstetrics ward, for every boy that did not cry during a circumcision, there were 10 that screamed at the top of their lungs. It had nothing to do with not having clothes on as they are covered with warm blankets, had nothing to do with not having a diaper on, as they are much more "free" without it - it had everything to do with their arms and legs being velcro strapped down on a hard plastic surface (although covered with linens), not being comforted by the familiar scent of Mommy to nuzzle with, the cold cleanser being brushed on their penis and surrounding area, their foreskin being retracted although not naturally seperated from their penis yet (remember that doctors inform parents not to retract the foreskin of an uncircumcised baby until it naturally and easily does it itself usually sometime after they are 2), a cold "bell" put on their penis to have the foreskin pushed through and then it being cut. There are still "old school" doctors, like our father, that will suggest it upon baby's first visit (within 48 hours of hospital discharge) but the decision is purely up to the parents for their own reasons. If at an older age, they experience consistent urinary tract infections, or smegma build-up (although that it more of a cleansing issue) etc., the suggestion may be presented to the parents again, but at that time, it would be deemed medical and not cosmetic, therefore qualifying for insurance payment, although payment should not be the reason for your decision to circumcise or not.



I have asked my nephews who had their circumcisions performed between the ages of 10-13 if they regret their parents not having it done while they were babies and each of them said that even at the ages of 10-13, they understood what was being done, why it was being done and looking back, felt more informed than if they were growing up and found that they were different from other boys for reasons they did not know.



Obviously, the ultimate decision is your and your husband's. I just thought I'd share my experiences.

Carolyn - posted on 09/20/2009

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I had my son done as despite what some have said there is plenty of scientific proof it reduces so many health risks in boys. Alot of people said to me the risks are low if your son is hygienic but what convinced me in the end was when my Doctor asked me how many men I know who have a shower or clean themselves after sex? Under the foreskin is a perfect breeding ground for germs.

Lisa - posted on 09/20/2009

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I've had 2 sons, age 28 and 8 years of age, and opted to have both of them circumsized at birth. I personally think this is best for boys because sometimes they can get infections from not being circumsized if they're not kept real clean -- and you have to think of that, also, as they get older and bathe themselves. Don't believe any horror stories you hear that it will traumatize the child because they're usually only a day or two old when this is done, and how could they ever remember that?! My sons never had any problem from being circumsized at all. I hope this will be of some help to you.

[deleted account]

Also, please note that my son (refer 2 above post), had his circumcision not heal well. In a bit of irony, he got an infection from the procedure itself! For yrs, he had problems when he became "full"... the skin healed wrong and would at times "pull" causing him pain. As my son is now grown, I have not felt right asking him if it is still such a problem...(maybe I should??)

[deleted account]

Curious as 2 the final choice that was made (if any)...also 2 share my story, I have 5 boys and struggled greatly with this same decision! When my first was born, I was told by the attending that due 2 risk of infection I needed 2 circumcise my son. I was told "at this young age he won't even really feel it" ...he lied! I heard the screams, I had 2 leave, out of the office and down the hall, and could still hear him scream! think I cried more than he did! When my secound was born, I sought out answers and found it really is an individual decision. My understanding is there is no more risk for an uncircumcised man than 4 a woman. We, as woman, need 2 keep ourselves clean...why shouldn't they?!

Sarah - posted on 09/20/2009

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In reading some posts from other people, regarding the risk of cancer of the foreskin with men who are not circumcised, this is a poor reason to do this surgery. One would never suggest cutting off a young girls breasts because she MAY develop breast cancer in her life, and far more people get breast cancer than cancer of the foreskin.



In addition, all adolescents should be encouraged to practice safer sex regardless of whether or not they have a foreskin. A man or a woman, a boy or a girl, can get an STD if they do not practice safer sex. If a person is practicing high risk sexual behaviour, a foreskin is not going to protect them or make them higher risk for catching something that can affect their fertility or their life.



As far as wanting to appear the same as a brother, father, cousin, grandfather, etc. How many people truly go around naked in their house flashing their penis to their relatives? Very unlikely that your son will know whether anyone else in their family is or is not circumcised. Also, children are not matched sets. Just because you have one child done doesn't mean you need to have all your children done. You are allowed to change your mind as you get more information on the subject. People can only make decisions based on the best information they have at hand. As a parent, it is your responsibility to find out what that best information is before you have anything done to your child.



As far as wanting children to not be teased in school. Many boys are not circumcised these days. In my practice, I would have to say the majority are not. Having said that, children should be taught from an early age that people come in all shapes and sizes, that includes penises too. Boys should know that some boys will have foreskin, others not, some will be large, others small. Some turn up, others down. They are all normal, and this is okay. We would never encourage teasing (not denying that it does happen - but encourage is the word here), based on hair colour, weight, height, etc. We need to teach children to accept everyone for their differences because we are all unique and individual.



I can say, in my practice, I have had only 2 children who have had to have circumcisions later in their life because of infection. Usually this is related to poor personal hygiene and can be prevented by teaching children from a young age how to properly care for their genitals. Little girls are far more susceptible to infections than little boys and should also be taught how to cleanse their genitals as well. Teaching your children proper personal hygeine is part of a parent's job. I doubt that uncircumcised men spend nearly as much time cleansing their penises as women do shaving their legs and armpits, putting on makeup, and doing our hair.



Again, a foreskin should not be retracted until at least 4-5 years old. It should NEVER be forced! Cleansed in the tub, the same as a girls labia.



I have never met an uncircumcised man who wishes they were circumcised (though I am sure there are some out there). In my experience, most men are quite fond of their penises circumcised or uncircumcised. Circumcision does decrease penile sensitivity and can decrease the amount of pleasure the man experiences from sexual encounters. Having said that, I think all men enjoy sex regardless of foreskin or not.



Babies do experience pain. The fact that your child will not remember this pain as an adult does not excuse the fact that they will experience it as a baby. The chance of memory does not mean that they didn't go through it in the first place. Perhaps the fact that the boy won't remember the pain excuses the fact that it will happen for some people. But, just for fact based information: it WILL cause your baby pain. It is a personal decision on whether this is an acceptable risk for your family.



Some cultures (such as the Jewish religion) practice circumcision for religious reasons, however, as previous posters have pointed out, many African cultures practice female genital mutilation (FGM), or female circumcision. FGM is also done for "cleanliness" and for "appearance," yet I would doubt than anyone on this board would willingly choose to opt for this as an acceptable surgery to perform on their daughter.



Even though we are women and do not have penises, we have a full right and a responsibility to participate in any decision that affects the health of our children. Whatever the couple's reason is for choosing circumcision, please know the facts behind circumcision, the positives and negatives of this decision. It can not be put back on once cut off. It's not a haircut and will not grow back. Just know that this decision should not be taken lightly because it can affect the quality of your child's life.

Jaime - posted on 09/19/2009

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Quoting Sarah:

We opted to not circumcise our son (even though my husband is). As a peds nurse, I had a baby who died as a result of hemorrhage (bled to death) after a circumcision. This was enough of a risk (to me) to not have it done on my son. Circumcision is purely a cosmetic procedure, therefore, other than appearances, does not have any benefirts. It can also get infected, is extremely painful (usually done without any anesthetic) both during and after the procedure. Sometimes it isn't done 100% correctly and there can be too much or not enough of the foreskin removed. There is very little risk of infection with uncircumcised penises (though it can happen with some children). There is no need to retract the foreskin for cleansing before 3-4 years old, and requires no special care or treatment. Circumcision is a personal decision, however, and I would definately speak with your health care provider about it. Personally, for my family, I didn't think the benefits outweighed the risks.


Thank you for posting this information Sarah.  I agree that the benefits do not outweigh the risks.

User - posted on 09/19/2009

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u r so welcome, but i feel that what ever decission u make will be the best one for u and your baby..good luck

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Quoting Cynthia:

Yes for cleanliness and they won't feel the pain now like they will later. His wife will appreciate it too I'm told.


Why would his future wife appreciate it? Something like 75% of the men in the world are not circumcised, and I imagine their wives are okay with it - its not like they're all out getting circumcised as adults. Of course, considering the role the foreskin plays in sexual pleasure (for the man and woman both), I'm not surprised that all those men are in no hurry to have theirs cut off.

Cynthia - posted on 09/19/2009

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Yes for cleanliness and they won't feel the pain now like they will later. His wife will appreciate it too I'm told.

Cynthia - posted on 09/19/2009

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Yes for cleanliness and they won't feel the pain now like they will later. His wife will appreciate it too I'm told.

Lydia - posted on 09/19/2009

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i did not feel the need to have my boys done....i did not want my little babys in any way uncomfortable

Allie - posted on 09/19/2009

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By the way, here is some biblical information. Circumcision is actually a Jewish tradition, not a christian one. The Bible says that God pronounced creation 'very good' (Genesis 1:31) and that humans were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). The Apostle Paul also said that God made every part of the body as he wanted it. (1 Corinthians 12:18). According to Genesis, God told Abraham to circumcise himself, his household and his slaves as an everlasting covenant in their flesh. Those who were not circumcised were to be 'cut off' from their people (Genesis 17:10-14). Note the connection between circumcision and slavery. It is alluded to in the New Testament.

Allie - posted on 09/19/2009

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I believe it really is a personal decision. Many times it has to do with family history of circumcision or religion. I personally would have my son circumcised, that is if I had one...(Wished for one though)

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