I am writing this to see what resources people might have on circumcision, mainly research supporting the decision not to cirucumcise. I know that the American Association of Pediatricians does not recommend routine circumcision, but I am specifically interested in any studies or research to support this.

I am due in just a couple weeks and don't know if I am having a boy or girl, but the question of circumcision came up yesterday at our home visit with our midwives, and I said NO and my husband surprised me by saying YES to circumcision. He's been so supportive with everything so far, and now all of the sudden he has done a 180 on me and is really putting his foot down on the circumcision thing. His reasons are hygeine and tradition, but mainly hygeine. He sent me this terrible article about all of these diseases that supposedly have a higher incidence in uncircumcised men (like UTI, HIV, Chlamydia, etc.). I tried to explain to him that both of those reasons are based on myth, but he just won't listen at all.

Check out this disgusting article that he sent me:
Circumcision is a simple surgical procedure that removes the foreskin ­ a sleeve of skin covering the tip of the penis. Parents have the legal right to authorize circumcision. In order to make an informed decision, they must carefully consider the benefits and risks.

Since the foreskin traps bacteria and other infectious agents, as well as accumulating malodorous smegma, its removal improves genital hygiene and reduces risk of diseases and other conditions over the lifetime for the boy and his future sexual partners.

Circumcision has been performed for thousands of years as part of the culture of indigenous people who live in hot environments such as in Australia, the Pacific Islands, equatorial countries, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. In Australia all newborn boys were once circumcised routinely. Circumcision then decreased in the mid-1970s, but is now rising again, in line with research. Over 60% of Australian men are circumcised.

Benefits of circumcision

* Eliminates the risk of phimosis, which affects 1 in 10 older boys and men. This condition refers to a tight foreskin that cannot be pulled back fully, so making cleaning under it, and passing urine, difficult. Phimosis also greatly increases the risk of penile cancer, and is the cause of foreskin and catheter problems in nursing homes.
* Reduces by 3-fold the risk of inflammation and infection of the skin of the penis. One in 10 uncircumcised men get inflammation of the head of the penis, which is covered by the foreskin. This rises to 1 in 3 if the uncircumcised man is diabetic. (Diabetic men also have other severe problems.) In contrast only 2% of circumcised men get this condition.
* Over 10-fold decrease in risk of urinary tract infection. Whereas risk of this is only 1 in 500 for a circumcised boy; 1 in 50 uncircumcised male infants will get a urinary tract infection. This very painful condition is particularly dangerous in infancy, and in 40% of cases can lead to kidney inflammation and disease; sepsis and meningitis can also result.
* Over 20-fold decrease in risk of invasive penile cancer, which has a high fatality rate. One in 600 uncircumcised men get penile cancer, which often requires penile amputation.
* Uncircumcised men have 1.5 ­ 2 times the risk of prostate cancer, which affects 1 in 6 men.
* Reduces by approximately 3-fold the risk of getting HIV (AIDS), during sex with an infected woman. HIV enters via the vulnerable inner lining of the foreskin of a healthy penis, but can also infect via sores anywhere on the penis (caused for example by genital herpes). In countries such as Australia that have a low prevalence of HIV the risk of a heterosexual man being infected with HIV sexually is generally low. His risk, especially if uncircumcised, will be much greater if he engages in unsafe sex with people of countries in which HIV abounds.
* Circumcision also affords substantial protection against sexually transmitted infections such as papilloma (wart) virus, syphilis and chancroid.
* Circumcision reduces by up to 5 times the risk of the man's female partner being infected by chlamydia or getting cervical cancer (which is caused by human papilloma virus). The load of infectious bacteria and viruses that accumulate under the foreskin is delivered into the female genital tract during sex. Chlamydia has more than doubled over the past 5 years in Australia and can cause infertility (in both sexes), pelvic inflammatory disease, and ectopic pregnancy.
* If not circumcised soon after birth, up to 10% will later require one anyway for medical reasons.
* Credible research shows that most women prefer the appearance of the circumcised penis. They also prefer it for sexual activity. Hygiene is one reason.
* There is no significant difference in sensitivity of a circumcised and uncircumcised penis.
* In general, sexual function is the same or better.

I still haven't found out where that came from, but it's just ridiculous. Then I started thinking about it more, comparing male anatomy to female, and our genitals as women are way more prone to harboring bacteria and disease than a little bit of foreskin--it's ridiculous! But if you practice general hygeine, and keep that area clean like most people do, it's all fine. We don't go around and circumcise women--so why do we do it with men who have way less skin down there??

The thought of doing this painful thing to our precious little baby sickens me. As I get closer to giving birth to this baby, all I can think about is protecting and keeping it safe from harm. Men can be so insensitive--how to I get him to see how I feel?

Any help that anyone could provide would be much appreciated. It's so upsetting to have to be having this discussion with my husband now, I really wish I would have sorted this out before I got pregnant. Pregancy hormones mixed with anger for him being so insensitive--not good!! I am really not willing to budge on this one, and I don't know what to do if I can't get him to budge either. I just want to enjoy this last part of pregnancy, not argue!

Thank you all.

Tags: Circumcision

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hi, we circumcised our son not really for hygine bc as you said most people are going to have some personal hygine but really so that he looks like his dad and most other boys and more along the line of tradition...its a VERY personal thing to both of yall but i do see both sides...our son didnt cry or have any problems after and they do numb the area before....hope that yall can come to some agrement!
I did some research into this subject before the birth of our last child who turned out to be a girl so it became a non issue but my husband and I were in the same situation. I didn't want to cirucumsie and he did. I found alot of helpful information on Youtube, including some clips of actual circumcisions being performed which were terrible to watch but helpful nonetheless. I hope you are able to come to an agreement that you can both feel comfortable with. Good Luck!

I would highly suggest you and your husband look at www.nocirc.org and watch the public service announcement. It would also be good to watch a circumcision video to see what is actually happening to these baby boys during the surgical procedure. There are many, many myths surrounding circumcision and I highly encourage you to both do the research and then make the decision that feels right for you, your baby and your personal values.
I just had a son and after much research my husband and I decided not to circumcise. I would suggest the purchasing the reprint of Mothering Magazine's special issue on circumcision. Here is the link to that special issue


I might still have the issue. I can mail it to you if I find it.

Hope that helps.
My husband and I also had completely different views on circumcision, he wanted to have it done so that him and the baby could "look the same" and I was horrifically against it. I did find that video clip on You Tube and made him watch it, but he still thought circumcision was the way to go, arguing that the baby would forget about it, just like he had forgotten about it. Even though I was feeling very against it, I also felt like because my husband was the man and he knew what it was like to have a penis, he should ultimately have the last say. That was until I came into my last trimester. Then, I felt like I would have run off into the bush with my baby if anyone tried to take him to be circumcised. I gave up on trying to convince him that circumcision was a bad idea, and instead focused on the schematics. He didn't realize that we would have to pay for the procedure, that finding a doctor who still performs them is harder than you would think and he was going to have to book the appointment and would have to take him in alone, because there was no way I was going to go. This was our first baby, and the idea of organizing all of this and taking care of the baby by himself must have scared him out of the idea, because our precious son is not circumcised! Hopefully we won't have to go though that discussion again in subsequent pregnancies, I don't think he'd want one son circumcised when the first one isn't. I sincerely hope you and your husband can come to a resolution on this issue. Maybe try fighting back with research of your own? I know that there are studies out there (I found them) that contradict the information that your husband found.
Good luck and I hope you are able to enjoy these last few weeks without all the worry and arguing!
Wow, thank you all for the wonderful info and thoughts. You all definately gave me some new things to think about; I really appreciate it. THANK YOU!!!
we had our sons circumcision preformed at the hospital like most parents do. unfortunatly, while the surgery took place he got a blood clot that caused the plastibell to turn bright red! and it took 15 days for the plastibell to fall off, and it needed help! after that i noticed that it didnt look like it was healing normally. and also did not look like my husbands! my old peditrician assured me that everything was normal and that nothing was wrong with it. but i wasnt convienced! so i asked for my sons charts and changed doctors, i didnt want my child be seen by a man that didnt care about my issues! that same day i took him to see another peditrician in the same town, and she told me that his circumcision had NOT been preformed correctly! and that he would need to have surgery again to correct the problem! or it would never heal right..and i would have to pull back on his skin until he was old enough to do it himself!! needless to say at 3 weeks old he had to have surgery again!! poor little thing! and had to wear another plastibell, this time things went normally..and it fell off within 6 days and everything is A-OKAY down there...lol i hope that i don't have another little boy, cuz i don't think that i could go through that again!
Another great resource, a book, Doctors Re-examine Circumcision, by Thomas J. Ritter, MD and George C. Denniston, MD. Third Millennium Publishing Co., 2442 NW Market St., #42, Seattle, WA 98107
I had my son at home almost 33 years ago and didn't believe in mutilating him just so he would "look" like everyone else. I thought that would totally defeat the purpose of having a homebirth. I also didn't want to take that decision from him. It's not like it could be put back, but he could decide for himself whether he needed it. He's a grown man now and still intact. He was taught from early on how to clean and take care of himself and he's had no problem with it. 33 years later, I wouldn't do it any other way.
We have been having this discussion in our house. My husband was circumcised at the age of thirteen because his mother never learned to clean it and of course was unable to teach him to... it adhered to the glans and became painful and inflamed. That surgery was the most painful and traumatic thing that ever happened to him.. worse than gall bladder surger... an appendectomy and so on. Being British the only me i had knownto be cicumcised were Jewish so i had grown up surrounded by men that were intact and failed to need late life circumcision, failed to get stds or cancer or any of the things that i have been told will happen if we do not have this procedure done if i birth a boy! Now that we live (and are pregnant in) the USA people are quite brutal about this topic! this is how it fell out with us... NO ONE is allowed to perform 'cosmetic' surgery on my newborns genitals! EVER. The British actually have longer lifespans and lower infant mortality than the USA so if it made that much of a difference then the majority of the male population of my island would have their penis' drop off! We dont care if daddy has a different looking penis to his sons... talk about an incentive to wash well!
May each of us make the decision that gives us peace in our own hearts, no matter what our choices are thats the only thing that counts. Blessed Be.
As a Registered Nurse who worked in Geriatric Medecine (old people!) we had our son circumcised because the risk of uncircumcised men getting infections was so much higher. The uncircumcised men were hard to clean their "area" and take care of in that way. Also, we know of several different boys between the ages of 3-10 that were not circumcised at first, and then medically NEEDED to be for one reason or another. We decided it was much better to go through that proceedure as a baby than a 4 year old! Good luck!
I think the circumcision debate is very simply answered: I wouldn't want someone mutilating my body and so I didn't do so to my son. So, he and his dad have penises that aren't identical. My husband also has a large scar on his leg from when he got an injury several years ago. I wouldn't dream of giving my son a matching scar, so why would I have his foreskin removed just so he and dad can look alike?



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