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Old 10-09-2012, 11:56 AM   #1
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What were your medical reasons for circumcising?

I am attempting to do my best research on the subject with unbiased information on both sides. My husband and I are on opposite sides of the fence but I honestly think either of us could be swayed, we just want to do what's best. I find lots on here about why not to and I totally get all of it. I want to know for those of you who did, why - specifically medical reasons. I know there is a lot that goes into it but I'm looking at only medical benefits. For instance lower UTI rate and lower cancer risk. Right now I'm not entirely sure that the chance of preventing those outweigh the risk of the procedure and just wondering what else I'm missing.

I'm totally great with private messages so no one will have to worry about being judged for their opinions.

(I looked at the links in the stickies but many don't work or provide information I've already been aware of. If there is a previous thread similar to this, my apologies, I have trouble with the search function on here.)
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
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The UTI rate drops from 7/1000 to 2/1000 (and UTIs can be treated easily with antibiotics anyhow)

The penile cancer rate drops from 1/200000 to 2/200000

The rate for circumcision complication is 2%

There are other genetic medical reasons for circumcision, but those are easily discovered at birth and usually require waiting until the baby is older for surgery with a specialist (stuff like pee holes on the side of the glans).

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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Re: What were your medical reasons for circumcising?

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Originally Posted by linzbear View Post
The UTI rate drops from 7/1000 to 2/1000 (and UTIs can be treated easily with antibiotics anyhow)

The penile cancer rate drops from 1/200000 to 2/200000

The rate for circumcision complication is 2%

There are other genetic medical reasons for circumcision, but those are easily discovered at birth and usually require waiting until the baby is older for surgery with a specialist (stuff like pee holes on the side of the glans).

Hope this helps!
It really did, you convinced me to do a little more digging (it apparently didn't require much) and I think your statistics are much closer than the ones I found. Cancer.gov matches your number regarding penile cancer much closer than wikipedia which quotes the risk at "as 1 in 1,437 in the United States and 1 in 1,694 in Denmark;[5] among uncircumcised males, 1 in 600." BIG difference and in this instance I think the government is more reputable than wikipedia.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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Re: What were your medical reasons for circumcising?

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Originally Posted by linzbear View Post
The UTI rate drops from 7/1000 to 2/1000 (and UTIs can be treated easily with antibiotics anyhow)

The penile cancer rate drops from 1/200000 to 2/200000

The rate for circumcision complication is 2%

There are other genetic medical reasons for circumcision, but those are easily discovered at birth and usually require waiting until the baby is older for surgery with a specialist (stuff like pee holes on the side of the glans).

Hope this helps!

This exactly.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #5
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My personal feeling, not having a son yet and only lightly researching, is that I need a good reason to remove a part of my child's body, ESPECIALLY without any local anesthetic or numbing agent, which is how it's often done. And that you can always circ later but you can't 'uncirc'. It is not a religion issue in our household
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
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Re: What were your medical reasons for circumcising?

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My personal feeling, not having a son yet and only lightly researching, is that I need a good reason to remove a part of my child's body, ESPECIALLY without any local anesthetic or numbing agent, which is how it's often done. And that you can always circ later but you can't 'uncirc'. It is not a religion issue in our household
Everyone says they don't use numbing agents or anesthetic, but from talking to friends they usually do, at least in Canada. And if they don't you can just ask for it.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:11 PM   #7
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Re: What were your medical reasons for circumcising?

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Everyone says they don't use numbing agents or anesthetic, but from talking to friends they usually do, at least in Canada. And if they don't you can just ask for it.
I don't think it's standard procedure in the US to use any kind of pain management during a circumcision. That said, DS1 and DS2 are circ'ed, and a numbing agent was used. DS3 will be circ'ed soon, and he has to go under GA for it (because he's older).
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: What were your medical reasons for circumcising?

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I don't think it's standard procedure in the US to use any kind of pain management during a circumcision. That said, DS1 and DS2 are circ'ed, and a numbing agent was used. DS3 will be circ'ed soon, and he has to go under GA for it (because he's older).
general anesthesia scares the crap out of me. i would much rather have it done after they are born and avoid that. i am sorry your son is having to go through this My two sons were circed after birth and a numbing agent was used on both and they were born at different hospitals. I did it for many reasons. the cancer risk and infection risk were among those reasons. If this next child is a boy he will also be circed for the same reasons. Honestly my boys did not seem to be bothered too much by the procedure and once it was over it did not seem to be very painful to them during the healing process. I think it is a necessary discomfort that will benefit them greatly in the long run.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:31 PM   #9
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Everyone says they don't use numbing agents or anesthetic, but from talking to friends they usually do, at least in Canada. And if they don't you can just ask for it.
As a nurse that worked in pediatrics I can say that all circumcisions I witnessed were done with NO anesthetics. It is not standard to use it where I have worked.

If any numbing agents are used the docs don't wait for it to take effect. They slap on the gel and go to cutting, or use the nerve block but immediately start cutting. They don't wait long enough or the anesthetic to take effect.

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Old 10-10-2012, 09:21 AM   #10
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Re: What were your medical reasons for circumcising?

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Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
My personal feeling, not having a son yet and only lightly researching, is that I need a good reason to remove a part of my child's body, ESPECIALLY without any local anesthetic or numbing agent, which is how it's often done. And that you can always circ later but you can't 'uncirc'. It is not a religion issue in our household
Actually the standard is to do it with a local anesthetic, I'm not sure if the technical name is a nerve block but it's an injection not just a local.

That there is anesthetic doesn't make it a great idea, but it's been decades since people thought newborns don't feel pain.

Just to cut through a lot of the bull ... Here's our experience.

This was a really hard decision for me, as I'm converting to Judaism. In the end I decided that it was better to have the burden mostly on myself, than to have my kid growing up within a culture where he doesn't quite fit, and having him debate later on whether to have it done. A lot of Jewish boys who are not circumcised end up electing to do it later in life, when it's a major surgery with a much much higher risk of complications.

I made a lot of calls to choose the doctor to do it, and asked about the procedures (I didn't find any that don't do the injections). I found a pediatrician that is also a mohel (person who does Jewish ritual circumcisions) and we did it in his office (since I wasn't converted by then, a traditional bris was out of the question).

My son was 16 days old, so he was much more "aware" than a newborn. He also was born at home, which makes for a more alert and aware baby. I was concerned these would mean he'd be in more pain or more upset.

His Dad & I went with him, which I think is critical if you choose to do this. They had a cup of sugar water and had suggested we bring a binkie, but LO didn't like binkies so he kept sucking it off his Dad's finger.

They put him on a little table and velcroed his legs down, and I was supposed to hold his arms. I held his arms and talked to him, and his Dad kept giving him sugar water off his finger (the sugar water and the sucking have a calming effect).

The doc made a circle of injections around LO's penis, about 2" away, I think that was novocaine to numb the whole area. Then if I recall correctly he injected a numbing agent into the penile nerve.

LO didn't really register most of this, just a blink with the first novocaine injection. The doctor put a metal thing over his penis, pulled the foreskin up, and then used something to cut the skin. LO didn't react at all to that.

What he did react to, which I guess is common, was cleaning it up afterward. He didn't like that but to put it in perspective, it was a cry about like when he had a wet diaper. Nothing at all like a cry the day before when he'd gotten a drop of alcohol in his eye.

Then we nursed as soon as LO was off the table. And shortly thereafter stuck LO in a car seat for a 2 hour drive home. No problems with the seat buckle hurting him.

We got good aftercare instructions. A few hours later I went to change the gauze and he was bleeding a bit. Like the doctor said, pinching it lightly for 60 seconds stopped that. LO did NOT like having the dressing changed the first time but did well with later changes. I quit using gauze because it clung, and just used our cotton diapers with a cotton wipe loosely over the goop.

I used Herb Pharm Trauma Oil for healing. It has Hypericum (St. John's Wort) which is a pain reliever, and arnica for bruising and calendula for healing. I mixed a bunch with lanolin instead of using Vaseline.

We also used cotton diapers with a wool cover.

Our (anti-circ) midwife checked on us the next day, and was shocked that the circ was less than 24 hours old, because it was healing so well. It healed fully in 5 days, which I guess is unusual.

I still really wish my religion had abandoned this practice, and would not dream of doing it if it weren't for religious purposes or medically required (I do have cousins who always end up needing one, and the one who had it done at 6 counts it among his worst memories). But I also think (because I've seen the statistics) it's less harmful and risky than a lot of things we always do, like taking a healthy pregnant woman to the hospital instead of letting her deliver at home.
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