1395422 tn?1308016251

To circumcise?

I'm having a baby boy in June and I'm already finding it very difficult to make the decision to circumcise him. =/ The paper I got from my Dr. said that the benefits and the risks are both too small to swing the vote either way, that the decision is a parental one NOT a medical one. I just don't want to put him through any sort of agonizing pain, what is everyone's take on this? Did you have your son circumcised and do you know how he reacted to it?
47 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm also having a boy in a few weeks and I've heard it all.
I am going to circumcise my child but the doc is right- there's no medical reason for it.
For me it's cleaner and nicer. As for the pain, when there that young it's not that bad. My friend just had her son circumcised and he cried for 2 min and then he was fine.
In the end it's your preference- don't let anyone push you to make the decision. :)
1431138 tn?1294566894
My son was born in Jan and we had him circumcised.  I was so worried it would hurt him and be horrible but they give him something for the pain and after he really only cried when we changed him and had to put the vasaline gel and gauze on him.
1512722 tn?1313697879
i don't have any kids of my own but my df isnt circumcised. and both ladies are right. its a personal choice. as long as you teach him good hygiene as he gets older you should be fine. Also wanted to share my sister had my nephew done and they messed up and had to get it redone when he was bout 2. horrible! so make sure your doc knows what he's doing!
Avatar universal
Definitely a personal choice. And since you're asking for personal opinions I will be circumcising any sons we have. I believe it is cleaner and healthier (again a personal belief and not necessarily one based on medical evidence as there are none out there that I have found). There are ways to make the ordeal less traumatic to baby (such as topical anesthetic or using a "bell" instead of cutting it off). You can also wait until they are older and let them decide for themselves.

I have heard all the arguments, especially from anti-circ folks. I still feel circumcision is the right choice for our family.
1483631 tn?1319228646
I will not circumcise my son if I have one, I strongly oppose it. My husband is not circumcised and believe me, there are no hygienic issues. I believe no little boy should go through this only a couple days after he's born. Also, research shows that it desenthetizes the penis for him later. There's no medical reason for this, it's painful and I believe that human body is perfect the way it's created, how can we choose a body part and just decide to get rid of it? Also,  about 90% of the world's male population is uncircumcized, think about it.
Again, you asked for our opinion, I gave you mine, I also like the idea of letting him decide when he grows up.
1487690 tn?1316760585
I dont think i would do it but my sister recently took her four year old cause he had a lil rash down there and they said that they should ccsize him cause it will keep happening..but hes tooo old now and it will hurt him now moen then as a baby! Hope this helps
280369 tn?1316702041
We choose to circumcise. We actually have a mohel come to our house so it's done in the comfort of our own home and then I am able to nurse them right away and comfort them. The process is literally 30 seconds. I can remember my boys crying for maybe a minute and then they were fine. He used a topical medicine to numb it and before you know it, it's over. My boys never had any issues and never cried in pain after that. It healed in under a week. I'm having a girl this time around, so I don't have to worry about this process this time. But it's what we choose to do for health reasons mostly. My husband's grandfather was not circumcised until he was 22 because he went into the navy and everyone was forced to get it done (for healthy reasons). He said, it's better to have it done as a baby when you won't remember it because as an adult it's one of the most painful things for a man to go through. He was traumatized by it. For us, it's what we choose to do and so far, it's been fine.

I think it's something you and your hubby should agree on 100% and research it and see what is best for your family.
280369 tn?1316702041
*for health reasons ----can't type lately!!
Avatar universal
I have 3 sons and all were circumsized.  All 3 of my sons also had hidden penis syndrome when they were born which is extremely rare.  In fact the doctor told me that he had never seen siblings suffering from the same condition.  So two of my boys were circumsized at birth and my middle one was when he was about 6 months old when he had the corrective surgery.  He actually didn't have much in the way of foreskin since he had the borth defect.  My oldest also had an undescended testicle and had to have another surgery when he was nearly 5.  My vote is to either do it or wait to see if they want to do it.  I can also mention that when I did my CNA rotations for schooling they kept talking about the implications of foreskin and how very important the care is for the seniors that were in the home we were working at.  They said that one student or nurse forgot to pull the skin back to original position after cleaning and the man had to have an emergency cicumcision when he was 78 because the blood got stuck it when he had an erection.  Again that just cemented it in my mind that I would never wish that upon my children.  Hope that helps!
Avatar universal
I didn't read any of the comments above so I hope not to offend any 1. But my sister didn't circumsize her 2 yougest boys.. And I think it makes there weiners look gross, just plain weird.. And when u bathe them u have to move the skin every which way to make sure the crevesses are clean, ugh grosses me out. All 3 of my boys are circumsized.. And I couldn't imagine it any other way.. I don't believe they go through a whole lot of pain, of course they cry.. I just alwYs made DH take them to the procedure. And he won't even remember it! Also if daddy is circumsized I would most def circumsize ur son.. He might feel like something is wrong with his weiner.. I know my nephew feels that way when he's around my boys..
1472934 tn?1327336950
My two boys are both done.  It was done in the hospital the day after they were born.  They didn't seem to be affected by it in any way and didn't seem to suffer any pain when I changed, wiped, bathed them etc.  If this baby is a boy he wil also have it done.  I would hate to have them have to go through that later on in life when it would be very painful and they would remember it!
Avatar universal
I am not sure what I am having yet, but if it's a boy I will definitely have him circumcised. I just think it looks better and is cleaner. Little boys don't always have the best hygiene even if you try and teach them to. Also a friend of my brother in laws was not circumcised and he was so embarrassed all through high school that he had it done at 18. At that point it's not just an easy in-office procedure it's a surgery. I'm not sure why his parents chose not to, but he wishes they had.
1035252 tn?1427227833
I didn't get a chance to read much, but we did circumcise my son. it was hard to watch, but I don't regret the choice for a second and will do it again if we have another son.
1035252 tn?1427227833
oh, how he reacted....he cried like the dickens for about 2 minutes. by the time we got him dressed and up to the front to make my appointment for my 6wk post-partum check-up (my OB is the one who circumcised him) he was done crying and was leaning on my shoulder snoozing...he was sore the first few diaper changes, but he never cried when we put the antibiotic cream on it and after a few days it looked completely healed, not raw at all.

like I said, the actual procedure was tough for me to watch, but it was over SO fast, and I'm not kidding when I say he cried for like 2 minutes.
982214 tn?1471454781
I am having a boy and will NOT do it! I didn't do it to my first son and won't donut to this one. It is for cosmetic purposes only and if I didn't like my babies nose I wouldn't get them a nose job... That is just my thinking! I would never judge someones choice but to for me to do it to my son it is just cruel, and inwiuldnt be able to live with myself!
Avatar universal
You are going to get a lot of opinions and personal experiences, though you need to make a decision you can live with. Either way is fine. The pain experienced by a baby for circumcision is much less than if he were to need it years later(some do need it for UTI problems). I don't think I would circumcise any son I have because their dad is not circumcised and I wouldn't want them to be different. As long as you can teach them good hygiene, it's fine to leave it alone. My fiance is not circumcised and is a very clean man. It's just what you want to do. Maybe write down reasons for or against it on paper and then talk about it, and decide from there.
Avatar universal
I had both my boys circumcised, my first was done at the hospital and he was taken to have it done. But my second son, because of the pediatrician i chose he didnt do it at the hospital. so i had to take my little boy back 2 weeks after he was born to have it done at the office. But it was terrible! I could hear him screaming and crying and when they brought him back to me he was so scared and he was still screaming. If i go with the same ped doctor i will not have my baby done that im carrying now. It was horrible for my son, but mostly because i could hear him screaming from the next room. Its a personal choice basically.
Avatar universal
I had a baby boy recently and did NOT get him circumcised. There is no medical need for it and his penis looks the way it was intended to look. It is very easy to clean because you dont have to do anything special to it. Just wash with a wash cloth and that is it. I do not understand why people feel the need to mutilate their sons. Boys were born with foreskin for a reason. We hear of girls getting their clitoris cut off in other countries and we gasp in horror but some routinely cut off the foreskin (which does serve a purpose) because they think the uncircumcised penis looks "gross/weird" I mean come on people that is how a penis is SUPPOSED to look!!! My husband is circumcised and I did not for one second think that my sons penis should look like his dads.

Watch this video and tell me if you still think it is a good idea to circumcise.

http://www.veoh.com/collection/Circumcision/watch/e 176471PJGJ6FGQ

just remove the space before the numbers.
1035252 tn?1427227833
Everyone remember to be kind. This is not about who's choice is better, or about who is cruel and who is not. OK?
Avatar universal
We did not circumsise our son and he's 8 now and has never had a problem.  I'm 16wks now and if this baby is a boy, he will not be circumsised either.  If there were a medical reason, I would do it but there isn't.  It's purely cosmetic.  It's also not 100% safe.  Sure, most baby boys are just fine afterwards but there are risks to any procedure.  I'm just not comfortable doing it, but it's definitely a personal choice.  
Avatar universal
Becca I didn't know foreskin served a purpose. What is it? Not being a smart a** just curious?
184674 tn?1360860493
I have two sons and both are circumcised, but I wasn't able to be there or see the procedure for either of them. They were both done the day after their birth in the hospital.
My first son had it done with a plasi-ring--I don't know if that's the right term for it, but he had a plastic ring around the penis, the foreskin was pulled over it and tied off and the foreskin was cut off. The tied ring fell off the penis after about a week and the healed result looked great.
My second son just had the basic cut, and if I ever have another son, I'm going to request the plasi-ring or plasti-bell again. Although he has experienced no problems from his circumcision and his pedi has expressed no concern, I don't like the way it turned out. It appears that he was cut at an angle, so he has more skin on the left side of his penis than the right.
But as for the decision, I wanted them circumcised because I personally feel that it is the healthiest option. If I have another son, I'll circumcise with no hesitation--I'll just ask that it's done with the plati-ring or plasti-bell.
304970 tn?1331425994
I have a son and he is circumsized. I am Jewish, so I was present while the circumcision took place (we have a ceremony called a bris), he cried for about 1 minute following the circumcision and was totally fine after. I think (aside from Religious beliefs) this is a very personal decision that should be made by the family. Best of luck in your decision!
Avatar universal
Purposes of the fore skin


Just as the eyelid protects the eye, the foreskin protects the glans, keeping its surface soft, moist, warm and sensitive. It also maintains optimal warmth, pH balance, and cleanliness. The glans itself contains no sebaceous glands – glands that produce the moisturizing oil that our skin needs to stay healthy.(2) The foreskin produces the moisturizer that keeps the surface of the glans glistening, smooth, soft, and a deep healthy red or purple color.

The foreskin will protect the entire penis when accidents happen, such as contusions, abrasions, lacerations, and burns. The foreskin is the first layer – a double layer – of defense from injury to the rest of the penis.

Self-Cleansing Function

The intact penis is naturally clean. The common view of the penis or the foreskin as ‘dirty’ is unscientific and irrational. The penis, however, does provide an entry point into the body, and it is exposed to foreign microbes every day, especially during sexual intercourse. The immunological functions of the foreskin and the self-cleansing functions of the penis protect the body from harm.

Every time a genitally intact male urinates, the urine stream flushes out the urethra and foreskin of foreign microbes that may have strayed inside. In healthy individuals, urine is sterile and has a disinfectant quality. Researchers have demonstrated that the swirling action of urine as it rushes through the foreskin flushes it out effortlessly and naturally.(3) This function is especially efficient when the foreskin is long and the preputial orifice is narrow.

Though urine passes through the foreskin every day, the inner foreskin is remarkably free of urea – a by-product of liver metabolism that is secreted in the urine. Studies demonstrate that washings from the foreskin are rich in fructose, acid phosphatase, and mucin, but never urea. It appears that the secretions of seminal vesicles, prostate, and urethral mucous glands, collectively or individually, keep the foreskin clear and clean as well. (4) These self-cleansing functions of the penis are analogous to the self-cleansing functions of the eye, which similarly maintains its cleanliness through fluid washings (tears) and mucus secretion. Therefore, you never need to worry about the foreskin being ‘unclean.’

Self-Protecting Functions

The urinary meatus (the opening of the glans through which urine and semen flow), is an entry point into the body. From infancy to adulthood, the foreskin ensures optimal protection of the glans and urinary meatus from contaminants of all kinds. During childhood, the foreskin is also usually firmly attached to the glans to prevent contaminants from invading the urethra. The neck of the foreskin places the vulnerable urinary meatus at a distance from the external environment and defends it against invading contaminants. The fusion of the foreskin and glans and the nonexpandability of the preputial orifice in the child’s penis are therefore necessary for the health of the child. Even after the foreskin separates from the glans and becomes retractable, it continues throughout life to cover the glans and meatus in order to protect these delicate structures from dirty, contamination, abrasion, or bacterial invasion.

Immunological Protection

The mucous membranes that line all body orifaces are the body’s first line of immunological defense. Glands in the foreskin produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme. (5) Lysozyme is also found in tears and mother’s milk. Specialized epithelial Langerhans cells, an immune system component, aboud in the foreskin’s outer surface. (6) Plasma cells in the foreskin’s mucosal lining secrete immunoglobulin’s, antibodies that defend against infection. (7)

Rigorously controlled studies have also demonstrated that the foreskin plays a protective role in shielding the rest of the penis and thus the rest of the body from the contagion of common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) encountered during sexual activity. (8)

In infancy, antibacterial substances, such as the complex sugars (glyconutrients) in breastmilk, the oligosaccharides, are passed from mother to child during breastfeeding and are secreted in the baby’s urine. (9) The penis retains these substances in the foreskin. Universy studies have shown that these substances protect against urinary tract infections (UTIs), as well as from infections of other parts of the body. (10) Babies excrete in their urine 300-500 mililgrams of oligosaccharides every day. These compounds prevent virulent strains of Escherichia coli (e.Coli) from adhering to the mucosal lining of the entire urinary tract, including the foreskin and glans.

Researchers conducting immunological experiments with the foreskins of bulls have found that plasma cells in the mucosal lining of the foreskin secrete immunoglobulin. (11) The researchers hypothesize that this provides immunity from bacteria and other germs. This is likely to work the same in other mammals, including humans.

Apocrine glands are important glands found in the skin. They are found in the foreskin and elsewhere on the body. (12) They secrete the important lysosomal enzymes cathepsin B, lysozyme, chymotrypsin, and neutrophil elastase. (13) All of these enzymes help protect the body from many kinds of bacteria. These enzymes are also found in tears and other bodily fluids. Human apocrine glands also produce cytokine, a nonantibody protein that generates an immune response on contact with specific antigens. (14) All these substances have immunological functions and protect the penis from viral and bacterial pathogens. This natural protective function has been destroyed in circumcised males.

Antibacterial Function

To help fight harmful bacteria, the foreskin supports a rich flora of beneficial bacteria. Friendly bacteria exist in a symbiotic relationship with the body and are found on all body surfaces and through the gastrointestinal, genitourinary tract (the urinary system that runs from the kidneys, through the bladder, and out the penis), and the mouth. Friendly bacteria also thrive in the eyes. Without the presence of friendly bacteria, the human body would be vulnerable to attack from pathogenic bacteria.

The good bacteria that live in the inside of the foreskin are similar to the bacteria found in the mouth, nose, the female genitals, and the skin in general. It must be stressed that this good bacteria is both harmless and highly beneficial. Without these friendly bacteria, the urethra would become an easy entry point for germs and harmful stains of bacteria, which could cause disease.

Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Pregnancy Community

Top Pregnancy Answerers
13167 tn?1327194124
Austin, TX
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Get information and tips on how to help you choose the right place to deliver your baby.
Get the facts on how twins and multiples are formed and your chance of carrying more than one baby at a time.
Learn about the risks and benefits of circumcision.
What to expect during the first hours after delivery.
Learn about early screening and test options for your pregnancy.
Learn about testing and treatment for GBS bacterium.