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.