Circumcision argument...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2004
Circumcision argument...
22
Tue, 08-17-2004 - 2:34pm
Hey there,

Heres a dilemma for you all. My husband and I have agreed not to circumsise (sp?) our son. (DH not circumsised) We feel that in teaching good hygene there would be no need to do that. When we told my mother this (shes a doctor) she went off. She said, "oh yes you will be circumsising your son!" And proceeded to list medical reasons why - including that uncircumsized males have a higher risk of carrying the human papiloma virus and that their wives have a higher risk of cervical cancer. This kind of shocked me, but my mom can exaggerate (a lot) and I really dont want to snip my little boy. Heres my question:

1- Are there really medical benefits to circumcision that wouldnt come from good hygene alone?

2- If in fact we dont circumsize, how do I tell my mom to shut the hell up?

Some insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Cassie

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2003
Tue, 08-17-2004 - 2:47pm
My 3 1/2 year old is not circumcised and neither is dad or anyone on that side of the family. We haven't had any problems with it and just make sure the area is cleaned. Every doctor I talked to said the evidence showed that with good hygeine that all would be well. Maybe they've discovered something else since my son's been born.

As for your mom, my husband and I know what topics we don't tell our parents about! Some things just aren't worth an argument. I would just say that you understand her concerns but that you feel strongly about this and you and your husband make your decisions together. Maybe you can kind of gently point out that in raising your child there will be a lot of things you choose to do that she disagrees with, but that ultimately you and your dh are your child's parents.

Alicia

EDD 3-6-05

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2004
Tue, 08-17-2004 - 3:11pm
Just remember this is YOUR child. Your mother will get over it. If it helps there was a big discussion on the Feb 05 board about it. A few of the women are nurses and theres alot of different view points and advice. You might want to check it out. I believe its under the Polls Topic....



Photobucket
Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Tue, 08-17-2004 - 3:52pm
My OB said the ONLY thing to worry about with an intact boy is an increased chance of UTI. I don't remember the % she gave me, but it was like still only 5% of that of a woman.

I asked his ped as well & she had pretty much the same thing to say. I also asked both of them what they thought the % rate was here in my city & they both said 40/60%. Nearly HALF!!

What I did read on the Internet is the PURPOSE of the foreskin ... what??? it has a purpose, yes it does! It makes sexual relations more comfortable. I don't know if you've ever been with any one other than your dh, if so, have you felt a difference? I've only been with dh so I don't know (he is circ).

But from what I read the foreskin prevents friction & therefore there is not that burning sensation women can get. In fact, it seems to me when I get that burn is when I have problems with infections. So I believe if I were with an intact man I would have less problems myself.

Here is some more info on the PURPOSE of the foreskin (there are diagrams, so if you are not wanting to see drawings of an erection - do not visit)

http://www.circumcision.org/foreskin.htm

Jeeze, I hope you do not take this the wrong way, but how long has your mother been a doctor? When I was trying to pick out a ped for my ds I decided I wanted to try to find someone who's had 5-10 yrs experience, but less than 20 yrs. This is because I think some doctors become comfortable and do not keep up to date. Therefore, what they learned in school is what they still practice unless there is something that's made a lot of news. Perhaps your mom is not in a type of position where she needs to know the most current info on circumsisions & only knows what she learned so many years ago.

I believe part of the reason circ had become a tradition is b/c it did reduce sexual pleasure & infedility (and masterbation) was better controlled if this skin was removed. As time went on & research became prevelant men did not want to believe they had been marred. So they did their research with the presumption to find medical reasons as to why they had been cut up rather starting the research completely unbiased.

As more & more women enter the medical field I believe more research has been redone with the woman's views. Seeing an intact man helps out the woman plus with motherly protective instincts studies were conducted to find the purpose of the skin & better compare infections. As it turns out, it seems, an intact man has a few increased risks but those who are circ have their own share of risks as well.

Here is another link to some 'recent studies' I think it is sort of slanted, but it does give you some things to think about.

http://www.circumcision.org/studies.htm

As for our ds. I had given dh the decision to make. He decided to circumsise. But do to my ds' foreskin not retracting my OB or the hospital would not do it. They said they would have to 'guess' where to cut. Not understanding what this meant for my son & seeing how much a penis means to a man I started some research. Turns out what he has is NORMAL. So I don't know how so many boys have been circ. I guess it was so important to people at one time they were willing to guess. That makes me sick. But it was during this research I started to see the benefits of keeping him intact. Dh will bring up circ every now & then & I tell him it's no longer our decision. We will wait for Liam to come of an age where he can make the decision himself.

GOOD LUCK!

This is your baby & the decision is your's & dh. If it were me, I just would not bring it up to my mother again & wait until she changes his first diaper.

Bonnie (23w3d)





"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2004
Tue, 08-17-2004 - 7:56pm
Thanks for all of your responses. I must say, I went onto the child with foreskin board here on ivillage, and got a little freaked out. It seemed like every single topic was something along the lines of "help my child has an infection." That made me nervous and Ill just have to research more. However, I HIGHLY doubt that we'll end up doing it. Everyone seems to be mentioning sexual function, and dont get me wrong, Im worried about that too seeing as its a big part of a persons life, however,my first concern is health and how much physical pain and problems circ. or not circing might bring. I probably will look into it some more ( thanks for the links ) and just not let the topic arise agin when talking with mom. Oh and to answer your question Bonnie (and i didnt take it wrong, no sweat!), my mom has been a doctor for 11 or 12 years now. But shes an ER doctor and not a pediatrician. She tried to scare me into circ. by telling me about the times she has had to do it "quick and dirty" on some poor little boy or man in the ER. I think she said it happened like 3 times. 3 times - in 12 years. Dont get me wrong my mom is an awesome ER doc - they even did a show on her on that trauma life in the ER show, but shes also stubborn as a mule and if she thinks shes right, well then dammit, shes right!

Thanks for all of your responses.

-Cassie
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Wed, 08-18-2004 - 1:04am
Cassie,

My DH's side isn't circumcised, and neither is my family. Their have never been any problems on either side except for one nephew who needed to have it done when he was in his teens. I've never once gotten an infection or UTI and have been with my DH for 14 years. Our DS is intact and it was never a question for us. He is 2 and we have not once had a problem. The rates are definately dropping for the number of boys who are circumcised. With my doctor she did not recommend (I don't think the American Pediatric society does either, but I would have to double check that). The way I see it, the foreskin was put their for a purpose, why remove it unless medically necessary.

Keep in mind when you are reading the boards, it doesn't always give a true representation. of what is going on. I'm sure if you looked up a circumcised board, you would find problems their as well. (not trying to sway you one way or the other as it really is a decision for you and your DH)

As to your mom, it's your DS. She can make suggestions, but you and your DH call the shots.

HTH

Susan

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Wed, 08-18-2004 - 11:41am
HeHe Susan, I don't know why but your post made me think ... it would almost be like removing tonsils when we're born. We don't really know what they are there for, but we know we can reduce tonsilitis if we remove them. So why not just do this at birth???

Bonnie




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2003
Wed, 08-18-2004 - 4:18pm
Tell your mother that statistics can be used to incorrectly argue almost any point. Human Papilloma Virus doesn't just appear from the ether and nest in a person's foreskin, it is a sexually transmitted disease and your son would have to first be exposed to it - possibly from the same wife who has the higher risk of cervical cancer. Her higher risk of cervical cancer comes from exposure to HPV - either she gets it from your son (who would have to get it from a previous partner) or he gets it from her. Perhaps the foreskin would allow him to harbor it a little better then somebody who wasn't cut, but using that as a reason for doing surgery seems a little farfetched to me. If we are going to do surgery on folks just because they may eventually catch a disease, then we should cut all women's breasts off at puberty because they have a 1 in 6 chance of eventually getting cancer there. Those are much better odds than your son has of being exposed to HPV. See how specious your mother's argument is?

Perhaps you should give your mother some statistics on how many infant circumcisions get botched - from permanent maiming to actually cutting it off and death! She can read the following article from the British Journal of Surgery, if she's interested in some facts:

http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/williams-kapila/

or these estimates, admittedly by a group trying to reduce circumcisions:

http://www.noharmm.org/incidenceUS.htm

The fact is that doing circumcision on a newborn is a bad idea - the penis is so tiny and has been through a lot while soaking in fluid for months that a lot of times the OB is just guessing. Even if you decide to do a circumcision, wait a month or so after the birth before you do it. A friend of mine had her son circumcised at birth and it was done wrong. 2 years later he was in with a pediatric proctologist getting surgery to save his penis.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2003
Wed, 08-18-2004 - 5:18pm

Hi


i just have to jump in LoL. We had a huge debate on July board and here's a link if you want to check it out:


http://messageboards.ivillage.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=iv-ppjul04n&msg=10503.1


there's lots of info there as well as links and some funny comments too.


I just wanted to comment about "foreskin" board. I have two boys (7 and 4) and DH is uncirc as well and i didn't even know the board existed (and i am board junkie i lurk on most unappropriated boards LoL). And it just make sense to me that most topics there would be about PROBLEM with foreskin. Why else would you go to post there if everything is fine. Neither of my boys ever had any problems and i am not planning to go post there, right? I am sure if you go to circumcision board they will have many posts about complications with it. As well Drs often see only "sick" people when problem arise and don't really notice when everything is fine, so they might have the "wrong" perspective too. I am not sure if i make any sense here, just wanted to share my personal experience and wish you luck.


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2003
Thu, 08-19-2004 - 1:54am
I have recently read an article in a health magazine that talks about the latest research. They started circumcisions for non religious resons when they found it to be healthy for men. Then research showed that there really wasn't any medicle proof of it being any healthier. The latest studies do show in fact a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men and other things (can't remember them all) for circumcised men. So yes, for health reasons it is supposed to reduce risks. And come on ladies, doesn't the penis just look a lot better?

kori EDD #2 1/15/05

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2004
Thu, 08-19-2004 - 8:24am

Cassie,


I haven't done too much research but I know that they say if the boy is uncircumsized you should be more diligent about keeping that area clean. My DH and I did decide to circumsize son but it is a personal choice.

Pages