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Thread: to circumsize or not to circumsize?

  1. #1

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    Default to circumsize or not to circumsize?

    at our last antenatal class tonight, we discussed circumsizion (sp?) of baby boys. i had previously thought that unless you had strong religious reasons, they wouldnt really do it.

    but as it turns out, you still pretty much can decide without having to have religious reasons. DH is, and i guess there is the argument that a little boy should 'look' like his dad. and of course, my main reason would be hygiene. it stays much cleaner. DH and i really dont know what to do.

    of course it is a big decision, and we dont quite feel we are equipped with enough information about it to make this decision yet.



    i would love to hear from others as to if they have or havent had their boy circumsized, their reasons for their decision, and if they did have it done, how did they feel about it etc,

    any input at all would be greatly appreciated,

    Linda

  2. #2

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    Hi - this topic came up a few months ago and people pretty much voted 'no' on the topic, whether they had sons or not.

    I'm expecting a boy later this year and we're going to have him done for both hygiene and to be like dad.

    I think it was popular in the 1970's but has died off now. Ask your doctor to recommend someone if you are going to get it done, apparently not many do it these days.

    Barb.

  3. #3

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    I won't get into the pro's and cons of it as it can get quite heated, and most people know the basics. If this baby turns out to be a boy, we will be getting him circ'd. I have plenty of friends who have sons (young) that got circ'd and they were present and it was both humane and they never had any problems with infections or anything else.

    Goodluck on making your decision, it is a hard one to make especially with external influences. Just remember if you don't want to you don't have to, but if you do its your choice.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  4. #4

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    My nephew had it done at 3 because the skin would not retract enough to clean it (something like that)....but DH would not get his son(s??) done unless he had to.

  5. #5

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    I'm having a boy, and we're not getting him done, although DH is.

    We discussed this a lot, and decided that 'to look like dad' was not a strong enough reason, as neither of us would have religious reasons for doing it.. Also discussed with DH's mum, who said she regretted having her boys circumsized, but as she's had the elder one done, she thought they both should look the same.

    Our hospital also generally won't do it unless on Religious grounds.

  6. #6

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    I don't have any kids yet, but personally I'd say a big no. DH isn't, so no need to "look like dad" here... But even if he was, I'd be opposed to it as I think it's unnecessary. I don't think there is a hygiene issue if you are careful about teaching your son how to clean it gently. Plus we don't have any religious reasons for doing so (not sure what I'd do in that situation). It's definitely one of those issues that people tend to feel strongly about, so always remember it's your decision, try not to let other people make you feel bad whatever you decide.

  7. #7
    Colleen Guest

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    Jaykob isnt done.
    DP is , as well as his dad but DPs brother isnt..

    If i had the choice at birth I would have but they wouldnt do it.

  8. #8

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    Charlie isn't circ'd. DH is, but when I asked him about it he wasn't concerned that Charlie need to "look like him".

    I asked my OB and my paed about it and they suggested that it wasn't necesary from a hygiene point of view, and gave me some really objective reading matter on the subject.

    Each to their own.............

  9. #9

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    I wouldnt... DH isnt & if we have a boy he wont be either....

    Not to say that this is right... go with what you & your DH want...

  10. #10
    Sal Guest

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    I'm having my first son in January and he won't be circumcised, even though DP is. I agree with the comment 'each to their own' but seeing as the main reasons put forward are 'to be like daddy' and 'hygiene' I just want to say that 'tradition' isn't a particularly compelling argument...remember when we were kids it seemed almost everyone had their tonsils removed? And then it was discovered that it was unncecessary and some kids were dying from complications? Well circumcision is even less called for from a medical point of view as the hygiene argument just isn't compelling (or correct) either.

    Absolutely each to their own. But I didn't want this thread just reading as if it is still 'the done thing' for boys. The fact that many doctors won't perform the procedure should be compelling.

  11. #11

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    Zander isn't done & neither his his dad.

  12. #12

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    I really don't have an opinion but I was just thinking when these babies grow into men and have the "shower room' issues the ones that had it done now will be looking different to the main stream that arn't.
    So although they may look the same as dad....they may look different to there peers.
    Bec

  13. #13

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    Yasin is circumcised for religious reasons. We got it done when he was about 7 weeks. The Dr did a great job, its really neat and healed up really quickly.
    From a health perspective, as far as I know circumcision reduces the risk of penile cancer (which is rare anyway) to zero. I read a really interesting article lately about a study in sub-Saharan Africa where they discovered that uncircumcised men were 50% more likely to carry HIV. Of course correlation doesn't nessescarily imply causation and its possible that the differant infection rates are caused by social and cultural factors so at the moment they are trying to carry out more research to try and figure out why there is such a discrepancy. Obviously safe sex and monogamy provide much better protection against HIV.
    Here's a really abbreviated version of the article.

    Male Circumcision Appears to Protect Men at Risk of HIV Infection
    But Cultural, Medical, and Ethical Issues Should Be Explored Before the Procedure Is Recommended as an Intervention


    A growing body of scientific evidence supports the conclusion that circumcised men in sub-Saharan Africa are at reduced risk of HIV infection-possibly by as much as 50 percent.

    Researchers involved in HIV prevention consider it premature, however, to recommend large-scale circumcision programs until important cultural, medical, programmatic, and ethical issues are resolved. These conclusions and recommendations from a recent international scientific conference may be relevant for any part of the world where the HIV epidemic continues to expand and where heterosexual transmission is a major issue.

    A just-published report of a conference of experts convened by the Horizons Program, implemented by the Population Council, details both the scientific evidence of the benefits of male circumcision to those at risk of HIV infection and the many factors that must first be explored before circumcision is recommended. Horizons undertakes global HIV/AIDS/STI prevention and care research in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

    "Research shows that uncircumcised men in certain parts of Africa are twice as likely as circumcised men to be HIV infected," says Dr. Johannes van Dam, deputy director of the Horizons Program, "but we still do not know the practicality, feasibility, acceptability, and cost-effectiveness of male circumcision as an HIV intervention."

    "Other key issues that have not been resolved include the role that the anatomy of the foreskin and penile hygiene may play in HIV transmission," said van Dam. "We also do not know whether male circumcision affects risk behavior by men and women, such as the decision to use condoms, or whether it negatively affects women's ability to negotiate condom use. And we want to make sure that advocating male circumcision does not have negative repercussions on efforts in many communities to eliminate female genital cutting."

    In addition, participants at the international conference made the following research recommendations:
    *Further examine the protective effect of circumcision against HIV, and the transmissibility of HIV infection to women by circumcised and uncircumcised men;
    *Analyze the role of possible confounding factors, such as religion;
    *Conduct randomized controlled trials of a male circumcision intervention to examine its efficacy in preventing HIV infection;
    *Conduct descriptive studies of attitudes and beliefs regarding male circumcision as an acceptable HIV intervention in currently non-circumcising populations;
    *Test mechanisms for implementing voluntary, safe, and effective male circumcision interventions, including the provision of training and supervision for traditional healers and allopathic health care providers; and
    *Develop and field test a rapid-assessment tool to evaluate the feasibility and cost of introducing male circumcision.

  14. #14

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    thanks everyone for your input. DH and i are still discussing it, and finding it hard to come to a conclusion. there really are strong arguments both ways. i do know that our OB does carry out the procedure, so to me that is important, because i trust his capabilities, and if we do go ahead, i would want to know that it is someone very skilled and competent!!

    dochalstar, that is interesting what you said about HIV, as our midwife running the antenatal classes also mentioned that it lowers the risk, but in australiait was a much lower percentage.

    anyway, thanks again for all of your input, we are taking it on board and having long discussions about it......lets hope we have a girl!!!! [-o<

    Linda

  15. #15

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    i would get any sons i have done, for several various reasons. the benefits for and against getting it done basically balance each other. but the reasons i would do it are religion (although not a pre-requist for catholism, it is still a common practice), heigene (although granted, a boy does not need to be done to be hygenic), to be like his father and all other extended family and because their is less risk of complications and research has demonstrated that any pain exists for a lessor period of time when they are circumcised at a younger age, then if left till later.

    i can certainly understand why many parents would choose not to have their children done. it is a parental decision that should be made on an individual basis for each family and child.

    i have however been astonished at the reactions of some of those people when i admit that i would do it. i have often been met with hostility, being called a child abuser and had people who try to liken male circumcision with female circumcision, which i consider to be completely different and beyond comparision.

  16. #16
    mooshie Guest

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    this can be a very touchy subject and i agree that it is personally up to the parents as to what they decide, i do not judge either way.

    my ds (5) is done, we had him done when he was still in hospital (24hrs after birth) and there were no problems, apparently it is easy to get them done if you are at a private hospital and the public hospitals don't routinely do them. we asked the midwife and our ob for all the fors and againsts and decided as dh was done we will get our son done.

    i also asked around heaps when i was prg, i found in my circle of friends those that worked in the "medical profession" ie nurses etc, alot of their sons were done, i also asked the sonographer when she was doing my 18wk scan if she had a son and if he was done she said yes - i asked alot lol.

    we have had absoulately no problems whatsover and alot of my friends with sons are now wishing they had it done as a few of their boys have had quite alot of infections and problems.

    so there you go thats my point of view - if we are lucky to have another child and it is a boy we will also get him done but i must say the guilt i felt in getting him done was quite hard to get over but in saying that i feel we made the best decision for our son and our family

  17. #17

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    Aidyn is not circumsised and neither is his Daddy.
    Even if his Dad was circumsised, I still would not give permission for it to be done to Aidyn...
    I guess I just dont see the point in interfering with nature, though I can understand and accept that there are medical/religious and other reasons why people have the procedure performed on their sons.

  18. #18
    Fee Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenella
    I don't have any kids yet, but personally I'd say a big no. DH isn't, so no need to "look like dad" here... But even if he was, I'd be opposed to it as I think it's unnecessary.
    This is exactly what I was going to say.

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