Jul 262010

“Sorry buddy, I tried.” -OB’s speaking to newborn boy, after encouraging mother to circumcise prior to discharge for insurance purposes.  The mother responded that the baby would not be circumcised at all.

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 July 26, 2010  circumcision, OB  Add comments

  93 Responses to “"Sorry Buddy, I Tried!"”

  1. If he was really your ‘buddy’ you wouldn’t want to cut off part of his penis!

  2. I say to each their own as everyone has different beliefs BUT no one should be pressuring you one way or the other. I woulda smacked that ob. We circ but we wait till the 8th day. So glad I am seeing the midwives I’m seeing!

  3. Baby’s response: “My mommy loves me a lot more than you ever will, now naff off!”

  4. This one is mine. My intact baby boy is now a spunky 6 year-old. I had several stupid things said to me from this OB regarding several things throughout the pregnancy. (They rotate caregivers at this office and am glad I only had to see him 2 or 3 times throughout the pregnancy.) He just happened to be the doctor that discharged me. I now live in another state and have my babies at home. (Planing my second home birth)

    • It’s just so weird. How does the OB benefit from having the baby circ’d (since the pediatrician usually does that) and how does the OB think the baby benefits from an elective circ?

      ANd the whole thing about “sorry buddy” just makes me gag. It’s the epitome of the artificial division between “the mom’s good” and “the baby’s good” that we’ve seen on this website too many times.

      The doctor is neither buddy nor ally to the baby. He’s supposed to be safeguarding the health of BOTH, and shouldn’t be using the baby to manipulate the mother, nor trying to pit the desires of the mother against the supposed desires of the baby.

      • Actually, in many areas the OBs are the ones that perform the circumcision.

        The “sorry Buddy” comment makes me sick too. Does he actually think someone would WANT part of their genitals cut off?

        • I didn’t know that. When I had my oldest circ’d, it was done by the pediatrician.

          • I wouldn’t have known that either. My husband had planned for our pedi to do it too. She does them in office but goes to the hospital to do them too. Thankfully my son was too big and moot point, she wasn’t comfortable with it. Now he has to find someone else when the baby is old enough and I’m dreading the whole ordeal.

          • MK, you’re dreading it because your mama instinct is telling you to protect your baby. There is no reason for a normal, functional part of a child’s anatomy to be surgically removed. The foreskin DOES have a function and we as parents have no right to authorize surgical alteration of another person’s genitals. It’s not our body and we have no right to forever change the way a part of that body looks and functions. Please re-think your decision, for your son’s sake.

          • I agree completely. Its an argument we’re having right now. I’m just happy that his size has given us time…

          • Just keep holding off MK, I believe (most) Dr’s won’t do it after 6 weeks. oh and youtube is fraught with violent circ videos, you could introduce him to one of those.. good luck, I hope you win this one, I’m rooting four you and your son!

          • Thanks. You’re right, most won’t.. but if he insists on having it done he has to wait until the baby is 6 months and w/ a specialist because he was over 10 lbs at birth and noone would touch him :-) Unfortunately there’s several here who will after he reaches that milestone. I have about 3 months to go and hoping thats enough time to get him to understand that it doesn’t need to be done and why it shouldn’t.

          • Can you just put your foot down and say NO. EFFING. WAY.? Dont give him any opportunity to sneak him off to one of those specialists. Hold your baby in a death grip, unleash your inner mama bear, and yell NO! Speak to urologists/pediatricians in the surrounding area and explain that you, as the mother, absolutely *do not consent* to elective surgery on your child, and tell them they will have a lawsuit on their hands if they perform the surgery. Send notarized letters stating the same. With a disagreement around something so huge, and permanent, the person who wants to do nothing/wait should be deferred to. it can never be undone, it can be done later. You and your husband disagree, so let your son be the tie breaker! When he’s older, he can choose to be circumcised if its what he wants.

          • http://expansionofspace.blogspot.com/2010/06/study-finds-that-cutting-off-fingers.html
            Have the arguing party read this….
            Or tell him, you won’t be changing any diapers on a circed son until it heals completely. Most guys dont want to change that many diapers. :)

          • Thanks! That last part, while amusing, wouldn’t work… I’m a SAHM and he works full time plus is in college. I’m lucky he changes diapers at all. :-D

          • Thanks.. I actually have that site. Unfortunately my husband is stubborn and won’t look at it.

          • That, for me, would be a deal-killer, but I’m touchy about the issue. My mother threatened to take me to a doctor an hour north of us to have my clit removed, when she thought I had lost my virginity (I hadn’t, not that it should even have been an issue.) To “take care of my little problem with self control.” I have no respect for the sort of person who would take part in such an atrocity. It’s no different for boys than it is for girls. Mutilation is mutilation.

            I’m a bit of a fanatic about this, but I feel I have the right, all things considered. For a while I had nightmares about getting cut, even though my mother never followed through (although she could have – the doctor was later profiled in a newspaper article after he lost his license for performing “love surgery” on unwilling women when they were under general anaesthesia for completely unrelated surgeries. You know. Clitoral restructuring/shifting to different location, stitching their vaginas up tighter, that sort of nonsense.)

            The idea that circumcision can’t cause lasting harm or even bad memories is fallacious. My husband might have been a newborn, but he remembers being cut. It’s not a good memory. He found it excruciating, of course.

            And no, he would never, ever, ever do it to a child he loved. Or even a child he didn’t love.

          • WTF!! Dear lord! Sorry I am without words! *hugs* to you just for having to hear that threat!

            Sorry I am just ARGH!

            I am wondering if your comment about respect relates to your mother too? It saddens me that she may have caused damage to the most important relationship in her daughters life.

            On a different note, my husband actually does not remember his, but he is one of the very lucky few with no “issues” from his. He does not even have particularly keratinised skin on his glans because the doc here done them very loosely to “protect the coronal ridge” (why do it then??).

          • Go to Saving Penises on facebook. Ask them for materials. There is a small fee but if you cannot afford it the packages are sent out free of charge. There is WONDERFUL information in there for you to share with your husband to help you out in your quest to save your precious son from cosmetic surgery (aka genital mutilation for those who do not know).

            Good luck with your husband!

          • You know what? I was in a similar situation, where DH was for it, and I was against it. You may not be comfortable doing what I did, but I will tell you anyway. I eventually told my husband to do some research, and then we could discuss it. He said he didn’t want to. I told him if he wasn’t going to research, then he’d HAVE to trust MY research. I then told him that our son WOULD NOT be circumcised, and that was the end of the story. This part doesn’t exactly apply to you since your son is a little older, but I told him that when we were in the hospital, the doctors were going to ask ME, and listen to ME regarding circumcision, and that I would not consent to it, so he’d better just get used to it. He wasn’t happy, but knew I was right and there was nothing he could do, and our son is almost 4 and still intact. I hope everything works out well for you and your family!

          • Thanks… It actually did work out :-) When our son turned 4 months we went on our first date alone and he told me he couldn’t do it either at that point. He still believes in it (and did do research, unfortunately just bad research lol), but won’t have it done for our future sons either since our first isn’t. Its a step. The baby’s over a year now & doing great. Glad it worked out for you too…

          • I just stumbled on this looking for info from the site I could pass on to my sister. I love this happy ending! My husband still believes that circing is fine but our youngest is intact.

          • “Thankfully my son was too big and moot point, she wasn’t comfortable with it. Now he has to find someone else when the baby is old enough and I’m dreading the whole ordeal.”

            No, he does NOT. The baby is better off uncut. If it’s soooooooo traumatic for your son to look different from Daddy or from other boys in the locker room (unlikely!) he can always get himself circumcized when he is old enough to MAKE UP HIS OWN DAMN MIND about it, and at that age, he’ll get far better pain relief during the surgery and afterward than he ever would as a baby.

            If it’s Daddy who is that traumatized by his son looking different from him, gee, there’s always counseling.

            I am focusing on the appearance issue and the cultural conformism issue because I don’t want to dignify the supposed health benefits with an argument. There are no health benefits. None. Nada. Which is probably why almost no country in the world other than those with religious reasons for circumcision routinely mutilate their infant boys. (Even the religious argument falls apart, because in the more liberal Reform denomination of Judaism, there is a bris ceremony that does not require a literal circumcision.)

          • Daddy could always have foreskin restoration to look like his son :)

          • If it followed the rules of quid pro quo exactly, Daddy would have nothing but EMLA and maybe some sugar water to suck on as his anaesthetic during said surgery, just for being such a hardarse about insisting on circumcision in the first place.

          • MK, your husband can NOT have him circed against your wishes! I dearly love my husband, but I’d never let my kids get part of their healthy penis cut off no matter what he said or did or threatened. He’s not like that though. He wishes he still had his foreskin, although at first, he wanted our oldest cut. Some women have left husbands over this. It would be over my dead body. If you let your son get cut, you may have intense anger and resentment towards your husband, that may lead to separation. Have you researched this site: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/are-you-fully-informed.html? Has he?

          • The way I convinced my hubby was to make a compromise. I told him I would not agree to a circ until the foreskin would retract on its own. That gave enough time for my husband to say “whatever, I don’t care anymore”.

          • That might actually work. I don’t know if mine will let go of the idea like that, but is worth a try if we don’t get this worked out before he turns 6 months. Thanks.

        • “The “sorry Buddy” comment makes me sick too. Does he actually think someone would WANT part of their genitals cut off?”

          Actually, I’ve known several men who elected to be circumsized as adults. As much as you or I don’t understand why some would want to be circumsized (my sons aren’t), many don’t understand why someone *wouldn’t* want to be.

          This really seems like a pretty tame, off-hand comment. If he didn’t press further, I would’ve just laughed off his inability to understand.

          • If a mother submitted it to MOBSW (and you’re speaking to the mother in question, since this is a pinked link) then OBVIOUSLY it was an offensive comment. The fact that it would not have offended YOU is not the point.

          • actually, I was replying to a (quoted) comment by an anonymous poster, but thanks for playing.

            Obviously, it was an offensive comment to the OP, but not every comment warrants this sort attitude. It just looks nit-picky.

      • Obstetricians can make a VERY nice second income from mutilating penises. The going rate is $250 to $300 a foreskin cut. After the baby has been cut, the foreskin is also a marketable commodity, although I’m not sure who gets to keep it – the doctor or the hospital. But foreskins are sold all the time, to make special bandages for healing burnt skin, to make cosmetic products, to make injectable wrinkle-fillers used in cosmetic surgery, and other consumer and medical items.

        It’s very big business. Of course the medical establishment (or certain sectors of it, anyway) is in no hurry to speak out against the practice. Too many people benefit from it. Just not the infants who are mutilated.

        And yes, the idiot OB probably thought he was the baby’s advocate and that circumcision would be in his best interests. Or at least would do no lasting harm. Chances are he’s circumcized himself, after all, and he was probably cut immediately postpartum like other typical boys of his generation. And if the kid gets no anaesthesia or just some wimpy EMLA and a sugar bottle to suck on, screams his head off when the procedure is done and he is strapped immobile to a board to prevent him from wriggling away or otherwise putting himself in even worse danger, and passes out from pain and shock afterward, so what? They all do that. The doctor did, when he was a baby, and he survived, didn’t he? Nothing wrong with the way he was raised…

  5. :-O That’s almost as bad as my husband’s “You’ll thank me for it later” to my son when he scrunched his face up at the mention of it. Nope, I think baby had the right idea…

    And good for the mama here for standing up for her son!

  6. I’m not the original poster, but I might as well be. When my OB asked if I wanted my not-yet-born son to be circumcised, I said “sure, if I can circumcise you with a chainsaw.”

    He never asked again.

  7. Lets finish that sentence shall we, “Sorry buddy, I tried to make more money out of you because now you are born I can not force any more unnecessary interventions on your mum & make more money out of her.” What a w@nker, excuse the pun.

    • Your comment is amusing in an ironic way, since the original medical justification for routine foreskin removal (made in the late Victorian era – what a surprsie!) was that it prevented/discouraged men from wanking off when they got old enough to discover that wankery could be fun. After all, masturbation caused blindness, palsy, epilepsy, and insanity!

      Yes, they really believed that.

      Mind boggling.

      Anti-masturbation efforts also were the justification for Graham crackers and Kellogg’s corn flakes. Apparently bland, unstimulating foods would help the penis from getting spontaneously tumescent.

      Then there were the cage-like contraptions that men could purchase to wear to bed, to prevent them from losing seed in their sleep via nocturnal emission, since spontaneous ejaculation was also seen as medically hazardous. And being poked (or worse) by a complicated chastity belt wasn’t? These things make the toys found in adult catalogs of a specialty nature, called “The Gates of Hell,” look positively gentle.

      Read Reay Tannahill’s book _Sex In History_ for more information. (She also wrote an interesting anthropological study of food called _Food In History_.) It’s… interesting.

  8. You know, my stepson asked about why he and his brother’s penis’s looked different. My DH and his ex explained that he was intact an his brother was circumcised. When they told him what circumcision was his eyes bugged out of his head and said “OH THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!!” Sorry Dr, you’re not his buddy!!!

  9. That’s just wrong.

  10. Ya know doc, sometimes its a good idea to WAIT! Even if parents do want a circ done, its best for the pedi to see them first. I say this from first hand experience because my son was born with hypospadia/chordee. We did want him circed (though I do understand why non-circing mamas do it and respect their decision) but found out we needed to wait because the urethra developed in the wrong place. It turned out they needed that tissue for surgical purposes. The condition is a bit rare, there’s only about a 12% chance we’ll see it again in our children, but it kind of goes to show to not get all slice happy.

    Oh, and by the way.. it pisses me off that while my son was intact every single (@#*$& doctor he saw except his regular pediatrician had to pull and tug on everything so it wouldn’t adhere. Despite me insisting that his doctor had said to just leave it alone and clean it gently.

  11. Here’s the thing…Most parents come into this with a decision already made. The likelyhood is, if a parent wants it done, they will have made prior arrangements, or will say when the doc asks, “Yes, we are having it done. How do we proceed?”

    If they aren’t having it done, they will say “No, we’ve decided not to.” There is no need to elaborate as to why, No is no. In no other medical field is it acceptable for a doc to continue pushing his own agenda. I cannot fathom the reason it is allowed in this arena.

  12. Infant deaths from elective circumcision are under reported and average 220/yr… The ped authorities say that choking with 74 deaths per year is the number one killer of babies… My hubby and I are struggling with the same issue, he is a little bit more open minded but really concerned with hygiene I’m more concerned with causing potential issues with a child’s sex organ for the sake of what?… Again it is scary to me the willful with holding of information to generate profit by the med. Establishment… It is unethical and needs to stop…. From my drs I want facts if I want their opinion I will solicit it from them, but they are hired as a consultant and in no capacity as a decision maker… Sorry for the rant

    • Can I get the sources you got those numbers from? Seriously that might help my situation.

      • Its a pretty interesting article… I may be alittle off but it was certainly revealing and she cites her sources at the end here a small quote

        “…Genital amputation (circumcision) that causes heart attack, hemorrhage, coma, seizure, stroke, or infection may be coded inappropriately as ‘SIDS’ or ‘heart failure’ or ‘seizure,’ for example, but not specifically due to the bodily trauma experienced as a result of circumcision.

        Still, these studies have found approximately 230 baby boys die each year in the U.S. as a result of circumcision surgery. (1) Another study published last week found at least 117 boys die annually from circumcision surgery as it is reported by hospitals. (2) We’re not alone in our estimation that there are likely at least twice as many deaths due to circumcision, because of our non-structured and easy-to-cover-up means of infant mortality reporting. But if we are only looking at research-based documentation, we find an average 174 boys die each year with the documented cause being circumcision surgery.

        Especially disturbing in these statistics is that the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) continues to issue widespread warnings about choking as one of the highest causes of death among children, despite the fact that a greater number of infants die from circumcision than from choking. (3)…”


        • MK,

          Here is the real info behind that study on US circumcision deaths: Link

          Circumcision risks are around 0.2% and are typically minor & easily corrected. Link

          • Circ info… a wonderful unbiased website with no agenda to push. How many infant foreskins did you net from today’s trolling?

          • Chainsaw. Where’s that chainsaw? I could swear my husband left it lying around somewhere, I just saw it. Got the sugar water and EMLA right here….

            Oh, mea culpa. I’ve been walking around hovering at the edge of labour for days now and it’s making me kinda bitchy. I can be kind when circumcising trolls. A cold cock to the back of the head with a meat mallet should do the trick…

            Gah. Said troll is probably mutilated anyway. There wouldn’t be a point.

          • And even *if* that were true… How would you feel if your son died or was one of those .2% “easily corrected” or not. Thanks but that’s not changing my stance here.

        • Thanks for the article. I’ll have to look at that more. They don’t routinely circ here in England, so I’ve not had to worry about it. I’m from the US, and honestly hadn’t thought not doing it until moving to England and having my son here. Now I’m adamant about not ever circ’ing any son I have, no matter where we live.

          • Infant boys are not routinely given unconsenting genital surgery sans anaesthesia in ANY country other than the United States, certain countries where circumcision is seen as a religious obligation by the residents of that country, and MAYBE Australia. And I’m not too sure about Australia.

          • The rate is under 20% in Australia, and its banned in state funded hospitals. Parents have to get it done privately. The only two countries where the majority of baby boys are circumcised are the USA and Israel. It is done one boys in other countries for religious reasons, but they tend to wait until childhood or adolescence.

          • Thanks. That further supports my argument.

    • For anyone concerned about hygiene and being intact… if a woman doesn’t take a shower or bathe properly, then what would you expect? It’s not any different for a boy. It would be impossible to have hygiene issues if you bathed properly.

  13. I hope he was reported. Infant prepuce amputation is illegal according to our CURRENT laws on parental consent and medical practice. No medical authority in the world recommends it, and even our own American organizations use phrases such a…s “cosmetic surgery” to describe it.

    NO one has the right to perform cosmetic surgery on a newborn. It’s madness that parents even consider it an option. Your baby was just born, healthy and thriving! Why in the world would you consider putting him under the knife?

    To those who want to play the religion card, well, the Jewish aren’t in the hospital using an OB to amputate their son, now, are they? Besides, they have another celebration without cutting called the Brit Shalom:


    To those who want to play the disease card, since when do we cut off healthy, functioning parts on brand new babies just in case when they are old and sick, they have problems? Breast cancer rates are soaring. Maybe y’all need to cut off your daughters’s breasts when she is born because I know a 50 year old woman who had severe breast cancer and needed to get a double masectomy. Horrible experience!

    As for those “yeast issues” well last time I checked, women have “yeast issues” all the time and no one is going out and hacking their bits off.

    This site puts together a visual cost/benefit analysis of choosing to amputate the prepuce for UTIs:

    “Up to 96 percent of the babies in the United States and Canada receive no anesthesia when they are circumcised, according to a report from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. “

    Flesh Eating Disease, Meningitis, HPV, herpes and others increased with circumcision:


    http://www.infocirc.org/fourn.htm (very graphic)







    Circumcision Causing UTIs:



    • Re: UTIs. Here (in England), routine circumcision isn’t done, and there isn’t an increased rate of UTIs. I read an article a while back that postulated that the increased rate of UTIs in the US wasn’t from circumcision, but from the hyper-sterilised atmosphere of birthing in US hospitals. Normally the mother’s bacteria would be passed to the infant, and this would protect the boy from UTI, but if she’s cleaned up/sterilised/whatever, then he’s not getting that bacteria and in that case circumcision brings him back to the status quo, as it were. I’ll have to see if I can find that link again.

      This isn’t the article, but I found this study abstract helpful: http://adc.bmj.com/content/90/8/853.abstract It says there appears to be a 1% reduced risk of UTI with a circumcision, but a 2% risk of haemorrhage and infection, thus there’s no net benefit (indeed, there’s a net risk).

      If anyone wants to see what the NHS says and why it isn’t routinely done here, here’s the link: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Circumcision/Pages/Why-is-it-necessary.aspx

    • awesome Guggie!

    • What do ‘anti circumcision activists’ have to gain by spreading misinformation?

      Fundamentally, those against circumcision are human rights activists and those who deplore child abuse. It’s a simple position which doesn’t require anything in the way of justification or debate. We are all, men and women, entitled to the genitals we were born with.

      The pro-circumcision lobby is another story altogether. There are those who profit directly, those who profit indirectly, and a gaggle of fetishists who feel the need to justify the harm that was done to them by encouraging it to be done to others. No doctor worth his salt, with even the most basic grasp of bioethics, would promote this.

    • Beware circumcision fetishist sites too, which is what most of those links are. The CDC and Mayo are also coming under great fire for supporting faulty studies in order to justify a lucrative social surgery.

      There is no justification for medically modifying a non-consenting minor’s genitals without actual medical cause. (Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this: which nation has the highest rate of STDs in the developed world? The US. Which nation has the highest rate of circumcision in the world? The US. How odd! It’s almost like it didn’t prevent a thing!) Circumcision does not prevent disease. Therefore, it is not medically justifiable.

      It is a social construct as disturbing as Chinese foot-binding and African neck-stretching of their children. In parts of the world where female circumcision is still practiced (regardless of its legality) the exact same arguments are used to justify removing the female prepuce, better known as the clitoral hood, as those used for male prepucectomy: it’s cleaner, safer, prettier, harmless…..blah, blah, vomit, blah.

      Consenting adults may choose to have their genitals surgically altered all they wish, but performing cosmetic surgery on a minor without true medical need is abuse. Fortunately, the statistics show that more and more US parents are figuring this out and catching on to what the rest of the world has always known (that it is unnecessary at best, and barbaric at worst) as the percentage of boys forced to undergo cosmetic prepucectomy is dropping steadily. In another generation or two we will look back on circumcision advocates with as much pity and disdain as we do on 18th century doctors with their jars of leaches.

      • The American Academy of Pediatrics was recently trying to make female circumcision legal in the US.
        Thankfully sites like Intact America are there to fight for American Babies’ human rights, regardless of their sex.

        • Regrettably, female circumcision was only made illegal in 1996, and many doctors will still perform the surgery. FGM may actually be on the rise in the U.S., due to the increasing popularity of vaginoplasties and labia shaping amongst the cosmetic surgeries set. It is supposedly more common among the very affluent.

    • I don’t think I would trust any of your links since I clicked on the first one and the very first statement was false.

      “Circumcision is a very popular procedure.”
      Sorry, but it’s not. The fact is that only about 20% of men world wide are mutilated.

      I always find it strange when people advocate for the hacking off of perfectly good body parts for aesthetic reasons.

    • I lived in England for a while and none of the men I knew while I was doing graduate work there had any problem with UTIs, cancer, lack of hygiene, etc.

      They do, however, consider Americans barbaric for routinely mutilating newborn infant boys, a view which I share.

      And really, that is the bottom line. It’s unnecessary surgery that only came about as a medical routine in our country thanks to the antimasturbation crusades of figures such as Harvey Kellogg. It’s an institution that goes largely unquestioned by most members of the medical establishment and by about half of American parents, and if you look at the demographics on a map, that support is geographically skewed – the coasts and most urban areas have rates of 50% or less, while the heavy support for the inhumane procedure comes mostly from rural areas and small to mid-size cities in the “heartland.” There are probably various reasons for this – I’m not a sociologist. I just look at the map and report on what I see.

      Anyway, I have no kind words for those who would cut their children. Let alone push cutting on somebody else’s child, especially when that person is on the fence or even leaning against the mutilation but is having a hard time defending her position in the face of social/familial opposition. As with breastfeeding, if the tide is against the mother, it’s generally very hard for her to hold her ground.

      Which I am sure the pro-mutilation health care professionals know, and exploit to the hilt. Hmm?

  14. There are a lot of good websites out there giving great information but none make more impact than those written by parents of children who were actually cut, and lied to. Here is a blog post of one such lady and there are a lot of great links in this blog post as well as on her main page and other blog posts on the subject, research and many sites one wouldn’t normally find. http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=69890701&blogId=424750487

    ..for those interested..

  15. [...] “Sorry Buddy, I Tried!” – My OB said WHAT?!?My intact baby boy is now a spunky 6 year-old. I had several stupid things said to me from this OB regarding several things throughout the pregnancy. (They rotate caregivers at this office and am glad I only had to see him 2 or 3 times throughout ….. My DH and his ex explained that he was intact an his brother was circumcised. When they told him what circumcision was his eyes bugged out of his head and said “OH THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!!” Sorry Dr, you’re not his buddy! … [...]

  16. My wife and I were talking about this issue recently after a friend mentioned she was considering not circumcising if she has a boy. My personal experience was not being circumcised as an infant. The first time I pulled my foreskin back to clean under it in the bath tub, my foreskin swelled up and wouldn’t go forward, constricting the head of my penis. We had to go to the emergency room where it took them about fifteen minutes of shots and pulling with forceps to put my foreskin back over the head.

    After that trip I was always meticulous about washing under my foreskin with soap and water, but in college I got a yeast infection under my foreskin which also resulted in tearing the frenulum which attaches to the foreskin. The doctor said that the foreskin creates a moist, warm environment where bacteria can easily grow. I ended up being circumcised in college to prevent any more infections.

    • You had ONE yeast infection and got surgery to solve it? I’ve had at least a dozen yeast infections and no one ever suggested surgery to me. I wonder why doctors think parts of the male genitals are disposable, but parts of the girl aren’t (anymore, at least).

    • I thought you weren’t supposed to clean under there? It’s like sticking a Qtip in your ear: Don’t. You also aren’t supposed to retract it at a young age at all. Forcibly retracting it to wash under there with cleansers causes inflammation, microtears, yeast infections, and other nasty things. My pediatrician told me to NEVER retract the foreskin of my boys, and to NEVER come at them with solvents (such as soap, iodine, rubbing alcohol, etc.) of any kind. Mother nature/g-d/flying spaghetti monster supposedly knows best in this.

      • My partner has phimosis, can’t easily fully retract his foreskin without pain, so doesn’t clean under it despite his fastidious hygiene. It’s the cleanest one I’ve ever come across – having had both intact and circumcised partners – and doesn’t smell at all. Apparently when a foreskin is long and tight it tends to get rinsed out by urine, which is sterile when it leaves the body.

        Excess smegma can be rinsed away with water – by the owner of the penis – but soap is a bad idea – soaps and bubble baths frequently cause irritation and yeast infections in women, and would do the same to a man’s mucous membranes. I had to eliminate bubble bath from my daughter’s baths. I never once considered cutting her genitalia.

    • An important point in your post is that YOU MADE THE DECISION AS AN ADULT. You got to decide that one yeast infection (based on poor medical advice, from the sound of things) was enough to send you to surgery. You got to have effective pain relief, both during and after your surgery. 96% of US baby boys undergo prepucectomy without proper anesthesia (usually just a quick application of EMLA which only numbs the outer surface of the tissue for a few minutes and is not even given enough time for that pittance to work). During your surgery your doctor was able to work on a fully retractable, adult-sized penis with clear boundary between the prepuce and the shaft. Baby boys’ genitals are not much bigger than a pencil and the prepuce is adhered to the foreskin exactly like your fingernails are adhered to you fingers – the delineation between prepuce and shaft is pure guess work, and doctors frequently guess wrong. Baby boys are sent home unconscious from pain (ever heard someone say “he was a champ! he slept through the whole thing!”? No, he didn’t. He fainted from the pain of surgery with no anesthesia). They’re given Baby Tylenol if they “seem uncomfortable” – you were probably sent home with some form of codeine or better. Baby boys get to have the open wounds on their genitals soaked in urine and sometimes even feces, leading to certain worse pain and possible infection. You got to ensure that nothing touched your penis that could cause it further pain, and could act to help yourself if you did feel pain.

      I feel certain that you were given poor medical information that led to your decision to have that surgery. But the point is YOU GOT TO CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF!

    • Your foreskin was clearly not ready to be retracted if it swelled up like that. You aren’t supposed to at all until its very easy to.

      I suspect the yeast infection was a result of you using soap. Only water should be used to clean under the foreskin. Otherwise, its self cleaning. Its the same reason women shouldn’t use douches in their vagina- its self cleaning and introducing soaps and chemicals like that upsets the ph- often resulting in yeast infections. They should have educated you before jumping immediately to surgery. :(

    • You know what else is a moist, warm environment where bacteria can grow? Armpits. Between your toes/your feet. Under women’s breasts. A woman’s vagina.

      Only water is recommended to clean any sensitive part of the body – both male and female.

      Men can contract yeast infections from women. My son had yeast infections from being in diapers. Circumcised men can get yeast infections.

      I’m sorry you had surgery when doctors did not properly educate you, or before waiting to see if it would be a recurring problem. HOWEVER, your story is exactly why circumcision should NOT be allowed as an infant. You were given the choice as an adult to circumcise yourself. It’s horribly unfair to put an infant through that, risk damaging the penis, all because of the kid maybe getting a yeast infection or retracting the foreskin before it was ready to be pulled.

      I do have a question though: was sex better before or after circumcising?

    • 1) Phimosis GENERALLY does not happen if the foreskin is not forced to retract before it is ready to do so, or if it is in the process of maturing, is not forced to retract further than it wants to.

      2) I’m sure whatever painkillers you had were far, far better than the sugar water and EMLA cream given to defenseless newborn baby boys.

      3) The vast majority of men in the world are uncut. They do not struggle with yeast infections or urinary tract infections as a result of being uncut, for the most part. Also, while I can’t speak for all of them, since I am not that promiscuous or, heck, superhuman, the ones that I HAVE dated and had in bed most certainly did not smell, and did not have any sign of bad hygiene. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gone on to have sex with them. I have sensory hypersensitivity issues and bad smells are a serious turnoff for me.

      4) There is no medical justification for circumcision. Very few doctors worldwide will even entertain the thought. Americans are just weird in that regard. Weirdness is not something that should be inflicted on a newborn. Weirdness is something the child can pick up at a later date if he so chooses, when he’s actually able to make up his mind after having had a chance to gather information.

      5) The poster asked if sex was better for you before or after losing your foreskin. From my own experiences, I can safely say that sex with men who lack a foreskin is a lot less fun – even when an intact male wears a condom, there is an appreciable difference. Mutilated men have sex in a different way. The thrusting is different. It’s usually a lot harder, somehow, and often has an uneven rhythm, and I dry out a lot quicker and then we break out the lube and even so, it still hurts me to pee afterward because I’m raw. Which, if it were unprotected sex, would in theory be a health risk, because HIV and Hep C are transmitted via blood to blood or semen to blood contact, and when my skin is raw, that means there are little tiny cuts and abrasions in my vaginal membranes, which puts me far more at risk for contracting an STD of that nature – very, what is the word, “hygienic,” no? Fortunately I did not make a practice of unprotected sex before marriage, but it’s the principle of the thing.

      I mean, think about it. Cutting an infant boy to prevent future yeast infections, even if this were justified and backed by medical authority (and that would take a real leap of the imagination) basically means that the father’s desire to cut the son to prevent yeast infections or whatever is more important than his son’s future lover’s (or lovers’) need to have more comfortable sex and be more protected from incurable STDs.

      Wow. Just wow.

  17. Why can’t some of your parents grasp the very basic issue here: A foreskin and its fate should only be determined by the owner — the male with it. Sovereignty over the structures of one’s body, especially when they are normal and healthy, is the child. Can’t you grasp the issue of human rights and self-determination?

  18. I was so uneducated with circumcision when my son was born, but I could not afford to circ him so I didn’t. My ped just said, “it’s okay, circumcision is only common in about half of boys now, it’s not a problem if he’s not.” And left it at that. I got lucky. My OB didn’t even say anything about it.

    Although, after the pedi had looked at my son when he was a week old, he said, “his penis is too small to circumcise anyway” (poor guy!) and said that we’d have to wait until my son was 6 months old to do it. Then he’d have to go to the hospital, be put under general anesthesia and be circumcised by a Urologist. The recovery time would be longer, it would be more painful, and we’d have to pay out of pocket for all of it. The idea of circumcising him was completely out of the question at that point – risking general anesthesia and needing to perform it in an OR with a specialist for cosmetic reasons? Please. His life is much more important than making his penis “attractive”.

    If your husband won’t even read the facts of being intact, or watch videos of children undergoing circumcision, then he shouldn’t have a say in this. If you cannot watch or educate yourself completely on what you want to do to your child, there’s no compromise or vote. It’s absolutely unfair. I just don’t get how people REFUSE to find information on it, or watch videos, then demand to have it all done their way.

    At the end of the day, it’s your son’s body. Not your husband’s body, not yours. It’s not the OBs body, or the nurses. It’s your sons, and what he wants done with it is his business and choice.

  19. My husband was pro-circumcision (the typical “I was circumcised and I’m fine” viewpoint) and refused to read any of the material I tried to show him while I was pregnant with our oldest son. Luckily, someone pointed me in the direction of the Penn and Teller Bullsh*t episode about circumcision (We’ve since given it to 3 different expectant fathers we know and they have ALL left their sons intact.) I made a deal with my husband that if he would watch it just once we would stop debating the subject. He watched silently and wouldn’t talk about it until nearly a week later. During that time he did his own research and came to grip with what had been done to his body without consent and realized he had suffered complications from it – and swore he would never let it be done to any of his sons.

    Years later both our sons are intact and he is very vocally against the practice. One problem with convincing a circed man not to continue the practice with his sons is that they may feel like their wife is saying she isn’t satisfied with their sex life and they instinctively want to push the practice because they don’t want to consider the fact that something is “wrong” with their body. It makes discussing circumcision a touchy subject with men who have never considered the subject before. See “The Vulnerablity of Men” for insight into this issue: http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html
    Two other sites my husband found educational involved a side by side comparison of cut and intact peni (penises?) since he had never seen a natural penis except in art galleries and a study on the sexual function of the foreskin. Every man, circumcised or not, should know basic anatomy of their own body as it was designed by nature…

  20. when i first read this i was thinking she said sorry buddy I tried because the mother insisted on circumcising him. This is discusting I tried to voliate your rights and cut off part of your penis i’m sorry they wouldnt let me mutilate you. What a sick person to say that does the OB enjoy cutting off part of babies penis and listen to him scream. My rights were violated and I was circumcised I am not happy about it It has caused me sexual and emotional problems. Would she make that statement if the baby was a girl. WHY DO BABY GIRLS HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAN BABY BOYS. I was reading about a group of people who want baby girls to have the same rights as baby boys and have the right to get circumcised sick isnt it!

  21. What about the boy’s say of his own genitals? As a man, I want everything God has created me with. How dare someone else take what God gave me? It is unfathomable that someone could do this for insurance payouts.

    • *like*

      Thats my view. If my 10yo son wants to be circumcised like his Dad, he can choose to do so at 18. I am not going to make that choice for him. My husband is cut, but does not see a point to elective surgery. Not that he is anti-circ, just that he does not see a point if there is no benefit. Oh well, at least it is headway (‘scuse the bad pun).

  22. My response would be to tell him to get the F away from my baby if he thinks mutilating his genitals is his sick version of being somebody’s “buddy.”

  23. Em, your link on circ’d male vulnerability is excellent. Try also Adrian Colesberry’s article “Framing Circumcision for the Happily Circumcised”.
    To those mums on here who cut off most of the skin on their baby’s penis and think this a parent’s reasonable choice, please don’t inflict this loss on your next child. The foreskin is a simply joyful part of the body…you can test that out by asking your husband to play with yours! And yours is tinier and less functional than a man’s (it doesn’t have an erectile or intromission role for example). Would you be happy if your father had razored it off just after birth because he didn’t like the look of it or worried about smegma underneath? Didn’t think so.

  24. http://indianapolis.momslikeme.com/members/JournalActions.aspx?g=246854&m=13560421

    The article: “Twenty reasons Why I Chose Not To Circumcise My Son.” LOTS of hyperlinks.

    Sorry to beat a dead horse, but the article was very thorough. It looked useful.

  25. When I declined my son’s circumcision, the OB said “I don’t like performing them anyways. I just get a lot of money for it.” I submitted it to this site a few weeks ago and it wasn’t posted. Perhaps it wasn’t funny enough, but I’m willing to bet the author of this blog is pro-circ b/c only pro-circ, demeaning OB comments are posted thus far.

  26. “Neonatal circumcision is the most frequently performed routine operation in the US. OB’s collect as much as $240 million yearly to perform 1.2 million needless operations on 1.2 million normal penises. Why should we try to dissuade parents?”

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