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Old 03-23-2009, 04:44 PM   #191
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

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This is a great thread. My son is circ'd and the baby I will be having this year will be circ'd. I am fully aware of the reasons not to circ, however my husband was circ'd as an adult and said it was one of the worst things he ever experienced. I realize the possibility of needing to be circ'd as an adult is slim, but because my DH has been there I left the decision to circ or not to circ up to him. I was fine with either choice and because I am a woman I obviously do not have first hand experience with this, my husband does, has been on both sides of the circ, and felt it the best option for us to circ our sons. My DH is also fully aware of the growing argument against circing. We are in Canada and it is elective and not covered by our healthcare plan so we do pay out of pocket for it.
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We've been together almost 15 years and he's never actually told me why, just that it was necessary and not something he chose to have done as an adult and that it was not a nice experience and pretty much leaves it at that. I've asked him why but he doesn't like to talk about it I guess.
First, I want to say that what I am about to say is in no way an attack on you or your dh. I started this thread to inform people about circumcision, so I need to talk about your posts, b/c stories like yours come up sometimes.

It sounds like this was a very painful experience for your dh, both emotionally and physically. There are only a few rare things that require circumcision in an adult... cancer (and men are more likely to get breast cancer than penile cancer), gangrene, frostbite, balanitis obliterans. Many adults that "required" circumcision were the victim of medical ignorance; or their parents were told to retract the foreskin and clean underneath it, which causes scarring and infection. Men do not have to be circumcised if they get yeast infections or UTIs. In countries where babies are not routinely circumcised, the lifetime incidence of adults needing circumcision is far less than 1%.

So... your dh... whatever the reason was for his circumcision, it was likely unnecessary. The fact that your dh won't talk about it means that it was probably very traumatic for him. Understandably so... if I had to have a mole removed, it would be no big deal psychologically b/c I was not attached to it as a functional part of my genitals. But when my mom had a mastectomy for cancer, it really depressed her psychologically and took a long time to get over. If your dh stumbled across something that made him think his circumcision was unnecessary, it would really upset him, and a natural reaction would be to not think about or discuss it.

If your husband was circumcised after puberty, he would likely have at least masturbated, if not had sex, with his intact penis. Men who were circumcised as adults report that the decrease in sensation was terrible, like going from color tv to black and white, or as one man said, from a 10 to a 3. If this was your husband's experience, it would be a terrible thing, and again, not thinking about it except to reassure oneself that it really was necessary would be the least painful way to handle the emotional pain.

I can also imagine that since it was so traumatic, he would want to spare his children this trauma; but there are two problems with this thinking. One, by having them circumcised, he is ensuring that they undergo this trauma. He is changing the odds from less than 1% to 100% that they undergo the trauma. Does it make it any better that they won't remember it? At least in an adult he can make the choice, and the surgeon can remove only the foreskin, and not make it so tight that he couldn't get an erection without his skin splitting open. This is a very common result of infant circumcision - the infant penis is tiny and immature and it is impossible to tell how long it will be in adulthood.

The second problem with his reasoning is that it denies his children the chance of having a lifetime of wonderful and healthy experiences with their foreskins because he was denied his... having them circumcised does not make his circumcision any more legitimate or necessary except in his own wounded emotional core. This is totally human and understandable, but it sacrifices the child's bodily integrity to protect the father's emotional fragility. As adults and the stewards, not owners, of our children, it is our responsibility to put our own minds and souls in order rather than working out our issues on our children, especially if to do so would physically and permanently alter them.

As his wife, it is also understandable why you would choose to have them circumcised rather than force the issue with your husband. I know you would not want to cause him pain. I would ask, though, that you rethink your decision to have this baby circumcised. This is an opportunity for your husband to grow through his pain, and you never know how much he can grow while you are protecting him from pain that is his to own. Plus, you will feel better in the end that you faced the issue honestly and took ownership of your own part in it, rather than putting it all on him. I am saying this from a position as a fellow on the parenting journey; not in judgment but in love, wanting to help all of you.

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Old 03-23-2009, 04:49 PM   #192
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

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we have circd all three our boys and dont regret it. as for the pain thing all three of mine slept through the entire process and never acted like it bothered them once. would do it again for cleanliness sake. i've changed enough dipes on uncirc boys to know that its NOT for me !
First, what appears to be sleep in newborns being circumcised is passing out from the intense pain. Do you really think it possible to sleep through part of your genitals being removed? Would you be able to sleep through it?

Second, there is nothing to cleaning the penis of an intact boy - you just wipe off the outside like a finger. You do not pull it back ever. A circumcised baby has to be carefully cleaned b/c poop can collect in the wound; then vaseline applied. This cannot possibly be easier than just wiping off the outside of my sons' penises. If you were manipulating their foreskins, you were hurting them.

Maybe what you meant is that you found the appearance odd, if you never saw an intact penis before. That is a normal reaction, but entirely irrelevant. Your aesthetic preferences do not need to be permanently imposed on anyone else's body.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:09 PM   #193
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

My boy is circumcised, and it has grown back partially because no one told us to keep pulling it back, it makes me want to cry because now we have to go in and have it fixed, no way to just leave it, or it will be super painful when he is... you know. BTW he didn't cry when he had it done... it's wasn't that bad
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:32 PM   #194
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

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My boy is circumcised, and it has grown back partially because no one told us to keep pulling it back, it makes me want to cry because now we have to go in and have it fixed, no way to just leave it, or it will be super painful when he is... you know. BTW he didn't cry when he had it done... it's wasn't that bad
Your story is an example of how circumcised penises require more and special care. An intact penis does not have to be monitored for readhesion of the foreskin remnant at the scar line, but circumcised penises do require special care.

You may have bad information from your doctor - you are not supposed to rip back the adhesions. The penis is trying to heal itself, b/c in an intact boy of the same age, his foreskin would still be attached to the head of his penis. The only time these re-adhesions are a problem is when they occur on the scar line itself, not just on the head of the penis. To have him circumcised again runs the very real and large risk that he will end up not having enough skin for a comfortable erection. Some men (and little boys, even), end up having their penises split open each time they get an erection. I was just contacted by a mama whose little boy has this problem; I knew of a mama years ago who had her son circ'ed a second time and he ended up with not enough skin for his penis to even show - it was squeezed back into the fat pad. Please, for your son's sake, do not have him recircumcised without a second, third and fourth opinion from doctors who do not know each other.

Finally, I know you want to think that it wasn't that bad - who would want to think that they paid someone to hurt their new baby? But would you consent to have part of your labia removed with only a shot of lidocaine (at best) or a lollipop (most common)? That is what circumcision is. Even if the initial circumcision was somehow completely painless during and after, what he is going through now *is* that bad. You said so yourself - it makes you cry.

I am not trying to berate you - but I do want people who have not yet made the decision to see that circumcision is never simple and easy. I have never had to check my sons' penises for anything. Their penises do not cause them pain, and neither I nor their doctor has to rip back their foreskins. They never had elective surgery, and they don't need it. Don't be mad at me - be mad at the doctors who never told you of these risks.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:34 PM   #195
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

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Originally Posted by justjess View Post
we have circd all three our boys and dont regret it. as for the pain thing all three of mine slept through the entire process and never acted like it bothered them once. would do it again for cleanliness sake. i've changed enough dipes on uncirc boys to know that its NOT for me !
Wow-- very interesting.. I have been an RN for 9 years and changed many many circ'd baby boys diapers and must say have never had one NOT cry! I am not saying that what you say isn't true-- I have just NEVER seen it. Also, my 3 uncirc'd boys are very clean and we have NEVER had issues... so not sure what that was about? I would much rather remind my children to wash their peni$ just as one reminds a child to wash behind the ears then I would to cut off their foreskin. Just my . With this said, I have also seen many circumcisions and a few botched ones--I would never ever want to take that risk with my boys...
Also, many times circs are performed at the convience of the OB- NOT the baby! BFing is NOT well established at 24-48 hours old, and I really do not think this is the ideal time to be performing this elective surgery... That's another story though....
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:35 PM   #196
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

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1. The foreskin is healthy tissue which would be the size of a postcard in an adult man. There are nerves in the foreskin which are NOT in the head of the penis and which only exist in the lips and fingertips.

2. The foreskin rarely becomes diseased and only requires circumcision in cases of cancer, gangrene, etc., like any other body part. And if a man should get a yeast or bacterial infection, as women routinely do at much greater rates, they can be easily treated with creams or medicine, as women are.

3. A baby's foreskin is easy to care for as it is adhered to the head of the penis with the same tissue that adheres your fingernails to your fingertips. You do not have to pull it back to clean it, and to do so causes scarring and damage. You simply wipe it off like a finger. When the foreskin naturally retracts (anytime between age 3 and puberty), the boy only has to swish it in the water to clean it. I don't know about you, but every boy I know has no problem getting that penis EXTRA-clean in the shower or bath!

4. Routine infant circumcision was started in this country in victorian times as a way to prevent masturbation. Dr. Kellogg, the main proponent, knew and said that circumcision removed the most sensitive part of the penis.

5. An intact penis provides more pleasure for a woman b/c of the gentle gliding motion which both keeps the woman's natural lubrication in the vagina and prevents chafing.

6. Only half of boys born today in the US are circumcised. This has dropped from a high of 85% one generation ago, and continues to drop. Worldwide, only 15% of men are circumcised, and those are all Jewish and Muslim. A boy is as likely to be made fun of for being circumcised as for being intact. Your husband's experience in the locker room is inapplicable 30 years later. In addition, with all of this information readily available on the internet, as your son grows, he will definitely know the difference and it won't be just rumor as it was for our generation.

7. Most circumcisions are performed without adequate anesthesia (even a nerve block doesn't get the vagus nerve.) Sugar water definitely doesn't dull the pain. Newborns are proven to feel pain more acutely than adults b/c of their nervous system immaturity.

8. The selling of foreskins from circumcision is big business. They are made into face creams. Is that where you want your son's body part to go?

9. The new testament specifically says that Christians are not supposed to be circumcised. See Galatians 5:6. In short, circumcision was the old covenant and Jesus the new covenant. There are even Jews who reject circumcision.

10. There are no other cosmetic surgeries that parents are permitted to perform on their children without the child's consent. If the child grows to maturity and still wants to be circumcised, he can then have it done, and b/c his penis is fully grown, the doctor will be able to tell how much to remove and the man will have adequate pain relief during and after. Though the parents may have aesthetic preferences, the child may not share them. (Do you listen to your parents' music or wear your hair like theirs?)

Here's a great video from a doctor about circumcision: http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...30319025&hl=en
wonderful post! Do you mind if I put this on my facebook??
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:40 PM   #197
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

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wonderful post! Do you mind if I put this on my facebook??
I'll repost it on my facebook and send you the link to my facebook. I want to retain credit for it. Thanks for asking!
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:50 PM   #198
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

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First, I want to say that what I am about to say is in no way an attack on you or your dh. I started this thread to inform people about circumcision, so I need to talk about your posts, b/c stories like yours come up sometimes.

It sounds like this was a very painful experience for your dh, both emotionally and physically. There are only a few rare things that require circumcision in an adult... cancer (and men are more likely to get breast cancer than penile cancer), gangrene, frostbite, balanitis obliterans. Many adults that "required" circumcision were the victim of medical ignorance; or their parents were told to retract the foreskin and clean underneath it, which causes scarring and infection. Men do not have to be circumcised if they get yeast infections or UTIs. In countries where babies are not routinely circumcised, the lifetime incidence of adults needing circumcision is far less than 1%.

So... your dh... whatever the reason was for his circumcision, it was likely unnecessary. The fact that your dh won't talk about it means that it was probably very traumatic for him. Understandably so... if I had to have a mole removed, it would be no big deal psychologically b/c I was not attached to it as a functional part of my genitals. But when my mom had a mastectomy for cancer, it really depressed her psychologically and took a long time to get over. If your dh stumbled across something that made him think his circumcision was unnecessary, it would really upset him, and a natural reaction would be to not think about or discuss it.

If your husband was circumcised after puberty, he would likely have at least masturbated, if not had sex, with his intact penis. Men who were circumcised as adults report that the decrease in sensation was terrible, like going from color tv to black and white, or as one man said, from a 10 to a 3. If this was your husband's experience, it would be a terrible thing, and again, not thinking about it except to reassure oneself that it really was necessary would be the least painful way to handle the emotional pain.

I can also imagine that since it was so traumatic, he would want to spare his children this trauma; but there are two problems with this thinking. One, by having them circumcised, he is ensuring that they undergo this trauma. He is changing the odds from less than 1% to 100% that they undergo the trauma. Does it make it any better that they won't remember it? At least in an adult he can make the choice, and the surgeon can remove only the foreskin, and not make it so tight that he couldn't get an erection without his skin splitting open. This is a very common result of infant circumcision - the infant penis is tiny and immature and it is impossible to tell how long it will be in adulthood.

The second problem with his reasoning is that it denies his children the chance of having a lifetime of wonderful and healthy experiences with their foreskins because he was denied his... having them circumcised does not make his circumcision any more legitimate or necessary except in his own wounded emotional core. This is totally human and understandable, but it sacrifices the child's bodily integrity to protect the father's emotional fragility. As adults and the stewards, not owners, of our children, it is our responsibility to put our own minds and souls in order rather than working out our issues on our children, especially if to do so would physically and permanently alter them.

As his wife, it is also understandable why you would choose to have them circumcised rather than force the issue with your husband. I know you would not want to cause him pain. I would ask, though, that you rethink your decision to have this baby circumcised. This is an opportunity for your husband to grow through his pain, and you never know how much he can grow while you are protecting him from pain that is his to own. Plus, you will feel better in the end that you faced the issue honestly and took ownership of your own part in it, rather than putting it all on him. I am saying this from a position as a fellow on the parenting journey; not in judgment but in love, wanting to help all of you.

I'm not sure if it's been addressed in past posts, but what exactly are your certifications to "rediagnose" people that you've never even met or seen?
I'm all for people keeping their sons' intact. It's great to spread the information as far and wide as you can, but I think you've taken this a bit too far when it comes to telling people things were done improperly or out of ignorance. It's one thing to educate people and another to accuse a doctor of malpractice when you don't even know what happened.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:56 PM   #199
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

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I'm not sure if it's been addressed in past posts, but what exactly are your certifications to "rediagnose" people that you've never even met or seen?
I'm all for people keeping their sons' intact. It's great to spread the information as far and wide as you can, but I think you've taken this a bit too far when it comes to telling people things were done improperly or out of ignorance. It's one thing to educate people and another to accuse a doctor of malpractice when you don't even know what happened.

I didn't say anything about malpractice, nor did I diagnose anyone. I said it is likely it was unnecessary. If the lifetime chance of needing to be circumcised is much less than .1%, then it is a simple mathematical statement to say that it is very likely it was unnecessary. We have all heard of someone who "had" to be circumcised, but have any of us ever heard of someone with penile cancer, gangrene, frostbite or balanitis obliterans?

In America, circumcision was very common in the 20th century. Most doctors never learned proper care of the intact penis. In countries that never practiced routine infant circumcision, an adult needing circumcision is so rare that it is shocking. American penises are no more unhealthy than foreign penises. It is that we have learned to devalue the foreskin and remove it for any reason. That is why most men who "needed" to be circumcised likely did not need to be circumcised.

Anyway, you could remove that sentence from my post and the rest of it could still stand. Even if her husband's really did have one of those rare conditions, it doesn't mean her sons will have it and need to be circumcised.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:16 PM   #200
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Re: Top ten reasons not to circumcise your son

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I didn't say anything about malpractice, nor did I diagnose anyone. I said it is likely it was unnecessary. If the lifetime chance of needing to be circumcised is much less than .1%, then it is a simple mathematical statement to say that it is very likely it was unnecessary. We have all heard of someone who "had" to be circumcised, but have any of us ever heard of someone with penile cancer, gangrene, frostbite or balanitis obliterans?

In America, circumcision was very common in the 20th century. Most doctors never learned proper care of the intact penis. In countries that never practiced routine infant circumcision, an adult needing circumcision is so rare that it is shocking. American penises are no more unhealthy than foreign penises. It is that we have learned to devalue the foreskin and remove it for any reason. That is why most men who "needed" to be circumcised likely did not need to be circumcised.

Anyway, you could remove that sentence from my post and the rest of it could still stand. Even if her husband's really did have one of those rare conditions, it doesn't mean her sons will have it and need to be circumcised.
First of all, thank you for making this post. Both my DH and myself are from other countries, where being intact is the norm. I knew about circing being a Christian and reading the OT. But to be perfectly honest, I never even knew it was routinely performed until I became pregnant with DS. And I was *horrified* to say the least. Growing up in in a background where this does not happen, well my reaction was warranted (not trying to offend anyone) Anyway, as far as needing to get it done later in life, well, no man in my family nor DH's has ever had ANY problems and yes, we would probably know about it.
I honestly still do not comprehend this practice. And outside of religious reasons, I am still appalled by this. Again, no offense to anyone. I do not understand a culture's obsession with changing (to put it mildly) an infant's genitalia. And don't get me started on FGM! Needless to say, I've become an intactivist after having DS.
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