I am in a weekly Nonviolent Communication practice group with Mark, our guest author, and offered to have him share his experience of circumcision on our blog. This is a topic we haven’t discussed in our community yet, and I anticipate it may be controversial. I was raised in a Jewish home, and my brothers were all circumcised. My father was a urologist and beyond our Jewish tradition, I think the predominant belief in those days was that it was simply more sanitary to circumcise. I don’t think my parents ever considered the alternative, which would be to leave my brother’s penises intact. We also never considered whether or not margarine would nourish us – we simply ate margarine instead of butter because that was the standard recommendation of the time. Since Nourishing Our Children is all about reconsidering the standard recommendations we are given, I wanted to create a forum by which to explore this topic. I look forward to reading your opinions in the comments and ask that we collectively keep a focus on expressing our point-of-views without blame directed toward those who may have a differing one. I am deeply committed to having a discussion that honors each voice.
Circumcision: A Very Personal Choice By Mark Daniel McQuillen
I have a great deal of pain around circumcision. I wish I was not circumcised, and I wish I had been given a choice about this alteration of my sexual anatomy. When I first became aware as a child that my penis did not have all the parts that some other boys had, I was really confused. As I grew to manhood and became more aware of what had been cut away, I was increasingly upset about it. I am grateful to share my experience with you and what I have learned.
After researching and exploring this topic extensively, I believe circumcision is often extremely painful and results in decreased sexual function, sensitivity, and pleasure. This is supported by much of the recent scientific research I have read. But this is not breaking news. Almost a thousand years ago, the Jewish scribe and physician Maimonides wrote that circumcision decreases sexual pleasure for a man and the woman with whom he makes love. This is consistent with the conversations I have had with women and men who have been intimate with both circumcised and intact men. They told me that receiving an intact penis is more comfortable and stimulating. Artificial lubricant is not needed during intercourse because the shaft of the penis moves up and down inside its own outer layer.
I have been able to get a small sense of what it is like to have whole sexual anatomy by gradually restoring coverage to my penis by regularly stretching the outer layer that remains. This is a long process that takes determination and patience. After several years of doing this, I can say from experience that having a retractable layer makes a big difference to sexual function and sensation. Also, having coverage is much more comfortable in my daily life, especially when I exercise because the head of my penis does not rub against the inside of my pants.
If you are a circumcised male, you can feel what it is like to have coverage by pulling the outer layer that remains over the head of your penis and taping it together. The first time I did this, it was very tight but I also felt more comfortable and protected than I ever had before. This is the first step in restoring coverage.
Unfortunately, you cannot restore the 10,000+ nerve endings that were cut away as well as a number of important structures, including the frenulum, the ridged band, and the frenar band. A natural foreskin is much more than skin. It is also dartos muscle (similar to an eyelid), mucous membrane (like the inside of your nose), and a lot of nerves (more sensitive than your lips).
For me the health benefits claimed by the American Academy of Pediatrics for cutting off foreskins do not outweigh what is lost. I think it is worth considering that even the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend routine circumcision. It is also worth considering that almost all of the medical associations around the world strongly advocate for the genital autonomy of children, whether they be boys or girls.
I realize that circumcision is a tradition that is important to many Muslims and Jews. Circumcision meets the needs for community, celebration, and meaning. I hope you will understand that I support circumcision when it is consensual. I have a great need to protect a man’s freedom to make his own choice about his sexual anatomy. In the Bible, Abraham and Moses both had a choice about being circumcised. As you may know, Moses did not always do as God commanded. Many biblical scholars agree that Moses was never circumcised. My interpretation of Exodus 4:24-26 is that the God was satisfied with the symbolic circumcision of Moses performed as an act of protection by his wife, Zipporah. I would like to see mothers offer the same protection to their little boys today.
I am passionate about ensuring the freedom for future generations that I did not have. I am asking you with all my heart, please encourage parents to meet their needs for community and meaning by celebrating the wholeness of a child’s body. Encourage them to welcome a child without cutting off an extremely sensitive and useful part of his sexual anatomy. Please protect a child’s freedom and choice regarding circumcision for when he becomes a man.
I have great hope that you will consider what I am requesting with compassion and an open heart.
We would love to hear what you think about circumcision?!
There is a robust discussion on Facebook in response to this post that is open the public as well.
53 Responses to Circumcision: A Very Personal Choice
I agree with Mark’s recommendation. I have 2 sons who are intact, even though I had never even seen an intact penis before they were born. When I considered the process involved, I just decided that I couldn’t do that to my defenseless child, and thankfully, my husband agreed. Our boys are now 13 and 9, and have suffered no ill effects by being whole. If they ever decide that they want to cut off their erogenous tissue, they will have that choice, when they are men. It is their body. My only responsibility is to make sure to keep them as healthy and happy as I can.
This has been difficult for me. My first son came home at 7 months old (we are an adoptive family) and we debated whether to have the procedure done. In the end, what tipped the scales was that we figured it would be better for him to “match” my husband. Well, there were complications and it was very painful for him. there was a lot of swelling. It was awful. When I related this to others, I found out that several men I knew had “botched” procedures as children. I was angry that I didn’t know. If I had known, I never would have done it. I wouldn’t have taken the chance. I shared this with my in-laws who were pregnant and they thought I was crazy. As it turns out, their son had complications and they also ended up leaving their second son intact.
Now my second son came to us at 4 days old. We chose not to do it. I am worried about the day when I have to explain why THEY don’t match and why I made different decisions and who will be unhappy or jealous and why. I have a lot of anxiety about this! If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t have done it to my older son. I just hope everything is ok with them when they are older so I can someday get rid of my guilt.
Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability! You made your decision based on wanting your son to “match” your husband, and I hope your son will understand and empathize with that desire for connection and companionship – such a very, very human need we all share. I certainly empathize with you myself.
I have to ask, did you and your mother ever compare vaginas?
What would you do if you had a daughter who did not match you?
This myth that boys compare their penis to their father is just that, a myth, and a ridiculous one at that.
Asking if you ever compare vaginas with your mother is not relevant.
For example, when a father teaches his son to pee standing up (something a mother cannot demonstrate, not having a penis) a little boy will notice if his penis looks like his father’s or not. Maybe in the bathtub, he will notice if it looks like his brother’s or not. As a small child, they don’t compare, they notice differences and then want to know why its not the same.
I taught my son to sit on the toilet and pee it is cleaner except out in public he will stand up, no one in my home stands up to pee or else pee will be all over the floors and walls yuk! As for circumcision I have two boys one who is and one who is not, the older one says to me why the little one looks like that, I tell him the truth because his father thought it was a religious call when in fact it was not so when we researched our holy book the Quran only to find out this practice was not in the Quran I promised next time around never to do this, god in the Quran states how we were born in the best of molds.
A little boy is more likely to notice his father’s penis is larger and harry. My husband has shown our 4 year old intact son to pee standing up, and not once has he looked at it and noticed anything different. Maybe someday he will, but so what? It’s not so hard to tell your son that all penises are different. Yes, that myth is ridiculous (doesn’t make sense to me at all).
Jackee: I was the only intact male in my family of origin. I used to see my father naked in pool locker rooms at least a dozen times every summer. During the 40 years our lives overlapped, we never talked about why our penises differed. Until I was 12 or so, I bathed every evening with my circumcised brother. Our lives have overlapped for more than 60 years, and neither of us has ever mentioned circumcision to the other.
Women don’t compare vaginas, thanks to pubic hair. It is to be regretted that internet erotica with depilated poonanis is making some of today’s young women feel insecure about how they are made Down There.
I like to translate the word “ridiculous” to “doesn’t make sense to me” which I find has much less likelihood of being interpreted as a “put down” to those whose ideas don’t make sense to me.
The decision to cut part of a child’s penis off to make him “look like his father” is utter nonsense and beyond ridiculous! A PATHETIC EXCUSE. Cutting off a child’s foreskin will NOT make his little penis look anything like his fathers.
Any child can be taught the truth. Particularly if the truth involves learning that he is whole.
EXAMPLE: “Your father penis looks different because he doesn’t have a foreskin, he was born in a time and place when people cut that off baby boys/children. We didn’t do that to you because we researched and found out about the anatomy and the many functions of the foreskin. You are lucky, you are whole.”
The truth may hurt his father, but it won’t hurt the child. In fact it will help teach the child EMPATHY for his father and others.
Muslims are not to circumcise. It is a cultural not religious behavior. Many Jewish parents are recognizing the human rights, health, and safety issues surrounding such a procedure and are keeping their children intact as well. After all, the rules of proxy say a parent can only make a choice such as this in cases of disease or defect.
Thank you, June! My husband, who is a Muslim, was under the impression that it was in the Quran and practiced for hygienic reasons and we are now both are reading this resource with interest: http://www.quranicpath.com/misconceptions/circumcision.html
If we ever have a son, we will not circumcise. Decided that years ago when we thought we were having a boy. Turned out to be a girl. I am not against circumcision for others b/c it is a christian tradition, but I believe God doesn’t discriminate between circumcised and uncircumcised. I find it unnecessary in every way.
We chose to circumcise our first two boys because I saw what a lot of older men had to go through with sanitation issues in elderly care situations I worked in.
Before our third son came along I did a lot more research on this topic and decided that I did’nt want to have my third son circumcised because I figured it was ok to leave him in tact and what harm could there be? Maybe I was over reacting about the elderly men I used to care for?
Well my youngest son is now three and he has had several instances where his penis has become swollen around the tip and he says it hurts.
I am starting to feel like I experimented with my sons, and am starting to regret not having my third son circumcised.
Some want to throw stones, so be it, but this has been our experience.
Oh, and regards to the authors interpretation of the circumcision of Moses’ son; It says Zipporah did the circumcision…
Exd 4:25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.
No one seems to have mentioned that the Biblical circumcision is vastly different from the modern operation. While I have chosen neither for my son, I see the Biblical circumcision as much less of an issue. it is only trimming the foreskin as opposed to completely removing it as shown in this article. http://www.fisheaters.com/circumcision.html
Biblical or modern – In both cases healthy tissue is removed and genitals are altered without the personal consent of the owner. Portraying one as more acceptable than the other based on the amount of tissue removed seems rather strange. That feels a bit like arguing that removing a portion of a finger is less harmful than removing the entire finger, when both cases violates the integrity of the hand. The foreskin is a normal and valid part of the human body, just like all the others and none of them should be altered or removed without personal and informed consent… that is the core issue!
Thank you for sharing your experience. I am grateful that you are curious about my interpretation of Exodus 4:25. I agree that it is clear that Zipporah circumcised her son. I am interested in what happened next. She touches it to Moses “feet.” I understand that saying “feet” in the Torah is often a polite way of saying “genitals.” I interpret this to mean she wiped the blood on Moses’s foreskin. God was satisfied. To me this means God is content with the symbolic circumcision of Moses. I believe we have a relationship with Torah in which we make a contribution and discover meaning. I hope this makes sense.
I empathize with your desire to do what is best for your children. I hope that you will consider alternatives to circumcision for addressing the problems your son has had. I have read that girls have many more infections than intact boys and we treat them without cutting off a part of their genitals. Also, a ballooning foreskin is a normal occurrence in the development of an intact penis. I don’t know if this applies to you, but a foreskin can become infected if washed often with soap because it disrupts the natural ph balance inside. I hope this is helpful and I wish you and your family the very best.
May I ask how you cleaned your son? American doctors give false advice that you need to retract a boy’s foreskin and clean underneath. This leads to complications, such as adhesions and infections, which eventually leads the doctor to recommend circumcision. Here’s a site about the false advice and how to properly care for an intact boy (which is just to wipe the outside, very simple!): http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/info-forcedretraction.html
Thank you Marisa, I don’t retract it at all. He is just given a bath and washed normally.
“We chose to circumcise our first two boys because I saw what a lot of older men had to go through with sanitation issues in elderly care situations I worked in.” Older women also have sanitation issues, yet we never consider cutting parts off baby girls to prevent them.
Americans now live in a culture that regards the intact male genitals as problematic and abnormal. Doctors are taught nothing about the foreskin except how to cut it off.
The rest of the developed world does not circumcise. The rest of the English-speaking world used to – Australia and New Zealand as enthusiastically as the USA – but now we’ve almost stopped, and have had no epidemic of male problems as a result. The “experiment” was circumcision. It failed.
What utter nonsense:
“We chose to circumcise our first two boys because I saw what a lot of older men had to go through with sanitation issues in elderly care situations I worked in.”
Luckily the men in elder care in most countries, where they do not cut the foreskins of baby boys, DO NOT present the “sanitation issues” you claim. In the Scandinavian countries and most of Europe and in most Asian countries, intact men and intact women are given the same care, without imagining that their whole genital organs present any special challenges.
As for an intact child who has an infection, there are many ways to address an infection, amputation of otherwise healthy body parts is usually a LAST RESORT. It certainly is NOT APPROPRIATE to pre-emptivley amputate healthy body parts in case of a future infection.
When ever a boy has an infection the first question should be, has someone been tampering with your son’s penis? Has someone been forcibly retracting him? No one should ever push back a child’s foreskin, when he is ready he will do that. Some boys are not ready until well into adolescence. No child should ever be prematurely retracted, That can CAUSE infections.
If you are into myths and stories perhaps you’ll find Aesop’s fable, “The Fox Without a Tail” of interest. It very simply illustrates why any adult who is missing a body part
is intent on making sure others are similarly affected. Then it becomes easy to understand the convoluted “reasoning” that has people using feeble excuses like “elder care” “look like daddy” and other nonsense to promote genital mutilation of children.
How would you treat a swollen or painful body part if it happened to a daughter? Would you consider all the conservative treatment options first before you resort to risky surgery? It may be a simple case of irritation or infection. These are easily resolved. The foreskin is fused to the glans during infancy to create a sterile seal to protect it, and it normally separates somewhere before puberty sometimes causing red or swollen tips during its development. Some boys take longer before they can retract fully. Forced retraction before this happens can lead to tissue damage and result in irritation, infection or acquired phimosis (tight foreskin). During infancy , just clean the outside. By the time the foreskin is loose enough, he will be able to clean his genitals by himself. Simply teach him to pull it back and clean it. It is very easy to care for and good hygiene will prevent any future issues.
Where I live… elderly men and women are given the same level of care and consideration for their genitals. Elderly women with sanitation issues does not somehow justify the circumcision of intact girls. Double standards perhaps?
I’m so thankful today that my first child was a girl. Before ever getting pregnant, I had planned on having any sons circumcised. I had never seen a real uncircumcised penis before and didn’t like the way they looked in pictures. Plus, that’s just what you did in my family. Then, when I was pregnant the second time and attending child birth classes, this issue came up for discussion. There were several couples who knew they were having boys and in listening to each couple’s perspective, I realized that I needed to really make a decision about how I would handle it. (We did not know that my second child was a boy.) My husband was circumcised but didn’t really have an opinion either way. Then a good friend gave me several articles from Mothering Magazine that detailed the circumcision process and another one that was similar to Mark’s above. The author was angry that the choice had been taken away from him. It slowly dawned on me that I couldn’t do this to my baby. I felt that God must have created the penis with a foreskin for a good reason and I didn’t want to change that. And I realized that it could be something done at any time in the future; but once done, it couldn’t be undone. So I was not comfortable with taking that choice away from my child.
I was also fortunate to have had doctors who did not perform routine circumcision. My doctor told me that, in his opinion, there were only 2 reasons to remove the foreskin: religious beliefs or medical necessity. I remember my doctor talking to me about it and saying that since my son was born perfectly healthy and had no deformities or infections, there was no medical necessity. He asked if I thought God would be angry if I didn’t do it. Since that answer for me was “No”… we didn’t.
While I feel that this is an extremely personal decision and parents must make it for themselves, I’m pleased to say that I currently have 3 intact sons! But, I needed to learn how to help my sons care for an intact penis. (Again, so fortunate to have my doctors!) It doesn’t take a lot, kind of like working with a girl to teach her to properly care for herself, but I feel it has been worth it.
What a brave, thought provoking post. Thank you for writing it, Mark, and thank you Sandrine for publishing it here! I think this statement is key “I hope you will understand that I support circumcision when it is consensual.”
My husband had many of the emotions Mark described when I got pregnant and we began looking into the issue of circumcision. Our first child was a daughter, but our second was a son. I am grateful to say that because of articles similar to this one we chose to keep him intact.
I deeply regret having my son circumcised. I had no idea at the time that it would decrease his sexual enjoyment later on in life. I wish my husband wasn’t circumcised either. I was definitely confused and vastly underinformed on the issue when he was born. I even discovered through reading the Bible and other scriptures of my faith that circumcision was supposed to end with Christ. Christ said to leave children whole and that we should offer a circumcised heart (symbolic of course) instead. Every time I think of what I took from my son, I feel sad. I will explain when he is older that I wish I hadn’t, and hopefully he will not carry on this tradition with his own children.
Exactly, Galatians and Philippians give are very clear that Christians are NOT to circumcise.
Watch out for those wicked men – dangerous dogs, I call them – who say you must be circumcised. For it isn’t the cutting of our bodies that makes us children of God; it is worshipping him with our spirits. – Phil 3:2-3
Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you be circumcised, Christ will be of no advantage to you. – Galatians 5:2
My husband is intact, and wishes he wasn’t. He’s had ongoing problems with yeast infections his whole life, and has to keep it powdered whenever it comes back. Also, he has to clean it frequently or it smells like dead fish. I used to enjoy offering oral sex to previous partners, but I don’t like to do it with him because it still smells a little even right after a shower. He showers daily and is in exceptional health so it’s not from a lack of hygiene.
Also, I’m middle aged, and we still need to use lubrication or it’s very painful for him to insert it in the first place. He decided to circumcise our two sons to avoid all the problems it’s caused him.
Thank you for sharing your perspective and experience. I appreciate that you made a choice for your children to care for them and do what is best for them.
Would you let me know if your husband has considered alternatives to circumcision to address the problems he experiences? I have read that using a topical steroid cream and regular stretching can help with the discomfort you describe. Also, I have read that washing the inside of the foreskin often with soap can actually promote infections because it disturbs the natural ph balance. Does he wash it with soap daily? If so, perhaps he could try rinsing it with just water and see if that helps? I have also read that diet can have an effect. I have read eating yogurt can take care of yeast infections.
Thanks again for participating in this discussion,
As a point of clarification, we would not recommend steroid creams.
Why wouldn’t you recommend steroid creams? That is a highly recommended alternative to use instead of forcing circumcision on a child who doesn’t need one.
The issue I have with your point of view is that you took away the choice from your sons. Was your husband forcibly retracted as a chlid? This is the source of most foreskin problems. Consider this: would you ever consider labia removal if your daughters had frequent UTIs or infections? If not, why would you remove erogenous tissue from boys for the same condition. Intact men with problems are the minority. Just as intact women with frequent infections are the minority. It is unethical to remove genitals from anyone without consent. Women are “circumcised” or “mutilated” in Africa for reasons of hygiene and infection (in addition to reasons of culture, etc.) — exactly what you describe with your husband. Certainly, you would not agree with this.
I’m not sure it’s the foreskin that’s the problem, as there shouldn’t be a smell with or without foreskin. It sounds like he’s actually overly hygienic. If he cleans too vigorously this can cause an imbalance leading to yeast infections and weird smells. In that case putting yogurt directing on his penis would help, as well as taking a probiotic. And using only water to thoroughly rinse his penis, no soap. But all-in-all you should both be glad he still has his foreskin, which is necessary for normal functioning of the penis.
Here’s how circumcision can affect the sexual relationship: http://questioncircumcision.weebly.com/womens-sexual-experience.html
My husband has experienced MGM and is extremely against for all the reasons mentioned by Mark and also cosmetic as in Europe it is not common and he has had comments and looks in the locker room in the past.
I had not had much experience with men who were not intact. For me it has made sex at times problematic, problems that never occurred with intact men. So also for me it is in a way an issue and I am also very strongly against. My husband is in the meantime restoring, which has made a significant difference.
One of the posts above states recurring yeast infections as a reason for performing MGM, I personally do not understand that as yeast overgrowth is a sign of health issues. I have had to deal with that myself before having ever been in a relationship and have ever considered cutting any part of my labia away as this is not considered an option. I have used diet and medication and have been free of it for more than 10 years. I can these days feel it coming and increasing the amount of fermented foods in my diet stops it in its tracks. What I also learned from my docs was to never ever use soap on genitals, as that is what causes it.
I feel for men and boys who have to endure MGM for reasons like this, as these issues happen to men and women who are intact or not and there are other ways of handling the problem.
Here in Europe where we live since the 1970s GM has not been used as a “solution” to problems like it still often is in the USA. I find it a shame.
Thank you for this informative article and the comments supporting keeping children intact and whole, as nature made them. I am an RN that informs and educates daily about the necessity of keeping our baby boys intact so that they can grow to be fully functioning sexual human beings. That is their birth right and we have the responsibility of stopping all genital surgery on helpless children. No one should be cutting, retracting or manipulating a child’s genitals except the child himself. The foreskin is no more prone to infection or disease than any other body part and it sets a man up for normal, natural sexual relationships when he is of age, be it 14 or 40. The only reason we cut children is because they can’t say no nor physically stop us. Leave him to his body, his choice.
Reblogged this on Just a Snip – Genital Mutilation and commented:
‘Nourishing Our Children’ – have chosen to do a piece on circumcision. It’s great. Notice the comments. Very insightful and interesting.
Thanks for passing along Mark’s testimonial and letting us know!
I was always against circumcision and so when my wife and I had our 3 boys we did not make the choice for them. Yet, our 1st born had a very small ballooning effect when peeing. His little head never did show itself and the skin around the shaft never relaxed or loosened. It was always tight. By the age of 6 the ballooning when peeing had us alarmed and the Dr called it Phimosis, so we had him circumcised. Our 2nd boy now also has this Phimosis, yet at age 6 still no ballooning when peeing or any issues. So we are now looking into nonsurgical methods –any suggestions? Our 3rd boy had a habit of innocently playing with himself as a toddler, always pinching and pulling and tugging at it, — we couldn’t stop him. With one hand in the diaper and one hand on the baby walker, it was his way, and by age or 4 his head freely showed itself with plenty of loose skin. It seems he will be the only one who does need circumcision.
Thanks for your comment Treg. I am hearing your concern for the healthy development of your children. I have read that ballooning foreskin is a normal stage in the development of a penis. Little boys will often find this stage amusing, provided the reactions of others are positive. I have also read that many U.S. doctors diagnose ballooning foreskin as phimosis and then recommend circumcision. I have seen quite a number of articles online explaining that phimosis is one of the most common misdiagnoses in the United States. A foreskin will retract by itself when it is ready, sometimes for the first time when a person is in their late teens. On rare instances it never retracts and that is OK. If your second son is not experiencing any issues, based on my research, I would recommend keeping his penis as is, to develop normally.
Regarding your third son, I have read that little boys often do get a lot of pleasure from touching their intact penises because they are very sensitive. This is also normal and healthy when they are toddlers, and they grow out of doing it in public. It is my understanding that masturbation is a normal and healthy aspect of human sexuality.
I think of the foreskin as a body part just like any other body part. If someone’s ear or lip or nose were malformed, wouldn’t it be strange if a doctor explained that the solution is to cut it off completely? I think a less invasive intervention would be preferable since body parts serve a function. There are treatments for phimosis that do not involve surgery. However, as I mentioned before, it is my sense that a ballooning foreskin does not indicate phimosis. Please google “phimosis misdiagnosis” to get some different perspectives on this.
Thanks again for sharing your experience! It is extremely valuable to this discussion.
Hi Treg, like Mark already said, ballooning is totally normal and actually to be expected. American doctors overdiagnose phimosis, unfortunately, and your son probably would have been fine if left alone. The average age the foreskin separates from the glans is 10 years, so a child cannot be accurately diagnosed with phimosis. Here’s more info on the “phony phimosis diagnosis”: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/phony-phimosis-diagnosis.html
[…] Circumcision: A Very Personal Choice […]
Like your margarine analogy at the beginning, this topic reminds me of the other birth-related practice of snipping the umbilical cord right after birth. In retrospect, it’s another case of doing something because for one reason or another it has become standard practice, but in this case some important physiological processes and nourishment are thwarted. This could be a topic for another post!
There may be some over-diagnosis of phimosis, however, let’s not trivialize it as a son of a friend of mine had this and he was the grumpiest baby up until it was dealt with. It had gotten to the point where his bladder was unable to empty completely, therefore causing pain and uncomfortableness on a constant basis.
As long as a boy can urinate without pain, he doesn’t need circumcision, which should only be used as the last resort. Those who need circumcision are very few and far in between. We’re talking 1% of the population. Your friend’s poor baby obviously needed help. They tried the gentler method of steroid cream, so circumcision was warranted in his case. But again, it’s a very rare case.
But I wonder how your friend cared for her son? Did she retract him to clean underneath his foreskin? Or just clean the outside of the penis? There is an epidemic of forced retractions (leading to infections and eventual circumcisions) in America because American doctors are ignorant of its proper care. You should never pull back the foreskin to clean underneath.
Nope, no forced retraction. Apparently, in her family, a couple of her male cousins also had the same issue, so likely a genetic thing.
He was just a baby? Phimosis in most cases cannot be diagnosed before puberty as the foreskin can take that long or even longer to separate naturally from the glans. However acquired phimosis can be the result of early forced retraction by overzealous parents or ignorant doctors. They may have actually caused the problem. It is to be expected in places where generations of circumcised men and their partners collectively have lost all knowledge about the development and care of normal male genitals.
There are non surgical ways to fix any type of phimosis. I know a guy with phimosis as an adult and it does not present any problems for him. He can choose how he wants to deal with it if it ever does cause any future issues. So it is not always something that needs to be fixed or prevented with surgery at birth.
Well, I guess since phimosis is considered POST- pubescent, then the boy did not have that exact terminology. His foreskin went very narrow at the end and did not open fully. They wanted her to use steroid cream on it, to help with the adhesion, but that just caused great redness and pain. He eventually had to be circumcised at around age 2.
I wonder if that condition could be treated without removing the whole foreskin. I have read Europeans treat similar conditions with small incisions.
Interesting! Makes sense that maybe it could be treated that way. I guess, again, it would depend on the severity.
As a 23 year old circumcised male I can tell you that I absolutely HATE being circumcised. Especially now that I have to live in the day and age of all the truth coming out of how much it takes away from a man. I have thoroughly researched this topic and all I can say to any future parents is please, please, PLEASE do not circumcise your sons. Give them the right and choice over what is done to their own body. Otherwise you may have them come to you 20 years down the road devastated that you did this to them. I have seen how painful this has been for my mother to deal with and I don’t wish it upon anyone.
The worst part is my parents never wanted to do it. They were led to believe it was necessary by an unethical urologist who diagnosed me with phimosis at a year and a half old. The worst part is phimosis is completely normal and the way the foreskin is SUPPOSED to be in children. I was put through this horrific procedure for being a normal, healthy little boy. My hope now lies in a wonderful nonprofit organization called Foregen that is working on the possiblity of regenerating everything lost circumcision from a man’s own stem cells. Please consider supporting them any way you can and spread the word about them. If this can become a reality it would mean the world to all circumcised men. Check out http://www.foregen.org
I myself am circumcised and glad I had it done, but my wife and I decided to not get our son circumcised. I feel its a personal choice and one my son can make when he is older.
Antonio, I’m grateful you let your son choose for himself. I’m curious why you are glad you had it done. Would you be willing to let me know?
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