To circumcise or not?

United States
August 14, 2007 11:30am CST
We are pregnant with baby number 3 and I have decided that if we have a boy I would like to know everything there is to know about circumcising a newborn before deciding to be for or against doing it. I am also looking for some feedback from parents, males and health care professionals or anyone really, who has an opinion on the subject. With our first child we didn't decide to circumcise him- the hospital decided for us and told us it was the way to go. Being young and naive I just went along with it figuring they know what they are talking about. But after doing some looking around and asking some questions I am wondering what the "right" thing to do is. If you are male, are you circumcised or not? Do you wish you had it the other way? As a parent- have you had your boys circumcised? Would you do it again or not? As a health care provider, what do you think about it? What's your opinion?
4 people like this
14 responses
• United States
14 Aug 07
I have raised 3 boys, and all three are circumcised. I think now if I had it to do all over again I would forgo the procedure. There really is no evidence that being uncircumcised leads to greater health risks. It is not unhygienic either. I really believe it is a matter of mind and religion. When my third son was born my husband and I discussed it and decide we just did not want him being different now then his brothers, but if I had had more education and information at the time of the birth of my first son I think our choices would have been much different. So my advice to you is that you do as much research into your choices at hand and make a running list of the pros and cons. I believe it to be an unnecessary surgical procedure out side of religion and faith.
3 people like this
• United States
14 Aug 07
It's a shame that the education for procedures such as this aren't more readily available for parents-to-be that wish to know more. Most doctors and health care profs. have an opinion one way or the other and that is the only thing they inform you of. For us in the US it is mostly pro-circumcision that we hear from doctors. These are major decisions that will affect our children for the rest of their lives and should be discussed before allowing a decision to be made.
1 person likes this
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
15 Aug 07
I guess different doctors will speak different words to us, because every doctor I have talked with has stated that even the cleanest person who is NOT circumcised can still get infectins and have a greater risk at it then the circumcised person. And there has been new studies about STD's linking to the whole uncircumcised male.
2 people like this
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
14 Aug 07
Years ago when I had my son, we had him circumcised. But, my daughters did not have their sons circumcised. I have read medical articles that said it was beneficial health wise to do it because there is less chance of infection or STDs later in life. Others dont want to do it because it is usually (or was) done without anesthesia. If a boy is not circumcised he needs to be taught the proper way to clean under the foreskin and not many people really pay that close attention to that kind of detail.
• United States
14 Aug 07
I know it will definately be more work than dealing with a circumcised child and that it will take time to educate the child on how to properly care for it. SacrificialClam: Are you or were you a nurse? I read a blog on Myspace that brought me to tears about a student nurse who had to be in the room while a circumcision was performed. She said that she quit after that because it traumatized her.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Aug 07
I can't believe that they do it in the room with the rest of the babies!!! You would think they would take them somewhere else. I think I will keep my baby in the room with me as much as possible! I am declining all vaccinations that they may want to give except for maybe the one they do in the baby's foot. There really should be no reason that they need to take my baby from me that much. I don't think I want the baby in the nursery at all except for maybe a little bit at night so I can rest a little.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Aug 07
I ended up sending both of my kids to the nursery because I was so tired. It happened sooner with my first. With my second I wouldn't give her up until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. As for the Chicken Pox vaccine, I was thinking the same thing...they are vaccinating for something that is rarely serious and it wears off right at the time that a person is at risk for getting Shingles which is WAY more dangerous than Chicken Pox. How can they validate that this is good? Stupid me had both kids vaccinated for everything they told me I "had" to have done...
2 people like this
• United States
15 Aug 07
Personally I am circumcised which may make me biased, but still, there are two major pluses I see. 1: your son won't have to bother to clean himself down there. It doesn't seem like much, but I'm sure remembering and hassling to dig around and keep everything clean (something that all uncircumcised men are supposed to do) will be an annoyance 2: Probably more importantly, there is some evidence to suggest that circumcised men are at a lower risk of contracting STDs (AIDs in particular I believe. I think that's what the study was on) due to the decreased surface area of mucous membrane.
2 people like this
@Galena (9123)
15 Aug 07
hang on, let me get this right. because you are circumcised you think you don't have to bother to clean yourself? to me that just sounds dirty. surely it's not a valid excuse to have poor personal hygiene. surely everyone should wash, foreskin or no foreskin.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Aug 07
yes but the skin hides part of the head and though you clan the outer area... the area in between the skin and teh forehead holds dirt.
1 person likes this
@Galena (9123)
17 Aug 07
if you wash it, it's clean. simple really. it's like keeping between your toes clean. you don't cut off your toes to make your feet easier to keep clean, and it's really not a problem to clean it. "digging around" mentioned above, isn't what happens. they pull it back, wash, and it's clean.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 07
I personaly think its better for them to be circumsised. Both my sons are. Theres some benifits to it. If its not done you have to clean under the flap every time you change him and then when he gets older he has to clean it everyday or it can get bacteria in there and cause problems. I feel its better for the baby to be circumsised. Its cleaner that way. And If I had another boy I would do it again.
2 people like this
@Galena (9123)
15 Aug 07
do circumcised men not clean their willies every day then? ick.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Aug 07
MSV1313~ First off it is better for them from a medical point of view!!! A circumcised baby dosent have stitches. You put cream on it everytime you change them for like 2 weeks. And theyr NOT going to remember what happened!! Do you remember what happened when you were a baby?? NO! My boys didnt even cry. I know all babies should be cleaned no matter what but there are some that dont get cleaned! {neglectful parents} What about when there older and you cant wipe them anymore?? Then what? They have to learn to do it themselves! And sorry but some kids just dont understand or the parents just dont care. Circumcised is Healthy for them!! ~ ~ Galena~ Yes circumcised men clean them when they shower. At least my husband does. When your not circumcised that skin gets all kinds of dirt, pee, and bacteria in there and has to be wiped everytime you go.
2 people like this
@Galena (9123)
16 Aug 07
my man isn't dirty. doesn't need to clean it everytime he goes. the foreskin doesn't cover the wee hole, so no urine stays under the foreskin. the foreskin protects the more delicate skin from damage or dirt or drying out too much. it's a bit like an eyelid really. people who have no experience of living with a natural man, or being a natural man, really seem to think it's more trouble to wash than it actually is.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 07
I did it with both of my boys, and I would do it again if I had to. My biggest worry is infection. You really have to be careful about that when they're little. I have a friend who's husband isn't circumcised and she gets infections from him all the time. The doctor told her it was because he's not circumcised. I haven't done my research on this one, but it does seem like common sense to me. Good luck with your decision.
@Galena (9123)
15 Aug 07
hmmm. either he's being naughty, or he needs to stop being lazy and wash himself. foreskins don't cause infections.
1 person likes this
@Galena (9123)
17 Aug 07
my stepdad got thrush in his ear, from swimming in a swimming pool on holiday. I suppose there's a foreskin to blame there too.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Aug 07
Now that I've read my post again, I see that I didn't get my full point across and I'm sorry for that. He's not circumcised and he's not doing a very good job of cleaning himself. In this situation a woman must rely on the man to take special care of that area. She didn't have any problems before him, so the doc is pointing their finger at him.
2 people like this
• Philippines
14 Aug 07
We had our little boy circumcised as an infant. I don't regret it. But honestly, we've done it as a matter of tradition. During my husband's time, circumcision was mostly done when the boys are older (usually before high school). I've been told circumcision was done for hygiene purposes. There is, however, this website that advocates no circumcision (I think it is nocirc.org). I've read their view and they seem to have a point. But for me and my family, I guess tradition is so ingrained in us that circumcision is just the way to go.
2 people like this
@Mickie30 (2633)
27 Dec 07
Well unfortunately as a mother I have no choice in the matter. If I ever had a baby boy he would have to be circumcised 8 days after he was born. As a mother this is something I wouldn't want to subject my child to, but I also have other family to think about. My mum and dad would probably not speak to me again if I didn't have my baby circumcised and for the reason of my son knowing his Grandparents I think it might be a small price to pay. I know that he would be a lot more hygienic apparently men without the foreskin sweat a lot less. I was born Jewish this is something that is supposed to happen. I actually don't believe the Jewish religion, but favour Christianity now. I know my mum and dad want to celebrate this date though. I would say it is entirely up to you. It can now be looked at as a healthy decision for me I feel it is cruel for the baby, but then it is only for a few minutes of his life I just wish there was a kinder way of doing it.
@lucky_witch (2711)
• Philippines
17 Aug 07
Personally, I believe that it's nbetter if you woulf\d have him circumcise. Its for hygienic purposes... In our country, Most if not all is circumise for hygiene. The skin in the head of the pen* s will ne cleaner if the guy is circumcise. So, If I were you, I prefer to circumcise my son.
2 people like this
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
15 Aug 07
I have a son, he is circumcised. We had him circumcised as newborn. He is now 19 months. I wouldn't change a thing. I believe it is the best way to go, but that is my opinion. I had no problems with his circumcision at all. I would do it again and if I have more boys, I would sure enough have them circumcised. Now a days when a child is circumcised, it is done different and the baby hardly feels any pain. My son didn't even make a peep. The only thing he didn't like was being laid down, but he calmed down and when the actual circumcision took place, he didn't scream or show any signs of stress. He healed awesome and wasn't fussy at all after the whole thing. I'm sure he was sore, but nothing serious. It's a choice only you can make though. Don't let anyone push you into something. Listen to what doctors and other mothers from both sides have to day. I also did my research before I chose to have my son done. You will get people that are 100% against it and they will make you feel awful, but they are the ones that actually need to do their research. I think if you do your research, you will make the right choice. Whatever it may be.
2 people like this
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
15 Aug 07
We'll circumcise our son. My husband is and wants our son to be. There are many reasons....it looks "funny" if it's not, it can get infected if not cleaned properly, for some people, it's a religious thing. Of course, not circumcising won't hurt the child at all either. I don't think it really matters either way.
2 people like this
@Galena (9123)
14 Aug 07
I think it's an unneccessary procedure, with no proven benefits. it's a body modification, and as such, I beleive only the owner of the body should be able to choose to have it done. and that's not the parents choice. in the UK it is very unusual for children to be circumcised. this does not cause any problems except those rare situations where the foreskin is too tight. it is NOT hard to keep clean. there is no excuse to blame poor hygiene on being uncircumcised. it does not cause infections. the foreskin is designed to protect the head, where the skin is more sensitive, has more nerve endings, and needs to be protected more. without the foreskin, the head can become more desensitised. simple, if nerve endings not designed to be exposed are exposed and being rubbed, and drying out, they will become desensitised. it's an unneccessary procedure with no discernable benefits, and a lot of disadvantages. it may have had a benefit in nomadic desert tribes with no access to water. but we have water and soap, and unless we are too lazy to wash ourselves, there is no reason to do it.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Aug 07
I never thought of it as being a body modification but you're right! I did have someone provide me with some info on circumcision and read about the forskin being too tight- in that case I think I may have it done.
@Far525 (37)
• China
15 Aug 07
I have read such cases from the book. As far as I remembered, it is not necessary to circumcise the child at early ages,because, as he grows up, his part will change,too. If there is some wrong with j=his body, it is not too late to have the operation.I think,if there is nothing serious wrong, we had better let the children grow in the nature way,because everthing is given by God.
1 person likes this
@luzamper (1360)
• Philippines
14 Aug 07
I think there was no circumcision before God commanded Abraham to be circumcised and to circumcise all those in his household. Before, circumcision is a sign that a man is of God if he is circumcised. God commanded all male Israelites to be circumcised 8 days after birth and so we read in the New Testament that even the Lord himself was circumcised at 8 days old. Nowadays, circumcision is no longer a sign for God for it is now circumcision of the heart that is important to God. I don't think circumcision of babies is bad but it's up to the parents of course to decide whether or not they allow their babies to be circumcised or wait until the child himself have his circumcision during adolescence or not at all.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
14 Aug 07
i like to be circu,cise. it is more clean.
1 person likes this