To Cut, Or Not To Cut

As the weeks of pregnancy begin to wind down, there remain some things to be decided. Not the names, we have those picked out. The nursery has a theme and the car seat has been installed. But one big thing topping our list of things to decide now is whether to circumcise. That is, if we have a boy.

I honestly have no idea where we are going to land on the issue. I know there is no real medical reason to do it, and only about 20% of the men of the world are circumcised, but we do live in that 20% population. On the one hand, I feel like we tend to be more “natural” parents are therefore why mess with something unless it is a problem? Why would we choose to put our baby through a painful and unnecessary procedure? Did you know circumcision is the only surgery in America routinely performed without anesthesia? On the other hand though, I feel like it is a “now or never” type situation. If there does end up being one of those small percentage problems (such as frequent infections and penile cancer) then somewhere down the road it would need to be done. OR he might feel embarrassed about it and choose to have it done later. Both cases make me cringe to think about. And, the procedure becomes more complicated as the child/boy/man ages.

In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrcis formed a task force on circumcision that decided the procedure shouldn’t be routinely recommended. The task force based this policy on 40 years of studies of both circumcised and uncircumcised boys, and it concluded the following:

  • Problems with the penis, such as irritation, can occur with or without circumcision.
  • With proper care, there is no difference in hygiene.
  • There may or may not be differences in sexual sensation in adult men.
  • There is an increased risk for a UTI in uncircumcised males, especially babies under 1 year. However, the risk for a UTI is still less than 1 percent.
  • Newborn circumcision provides some protection from penile cancer, which only occurs in the foreskin. However, the risk of this cancer is very low in developed countries such as the United States.

If you want to read up a little on the issue click here for a helpful article.

So PLEASE help me out and share your opinions! If you have a son or sons, did you choose to circumcise? Why or why not? Even if you don’t have sons, please share your thoughts on the subject! Women- how would you feel dating or marrying an uncircumcised man? Men- would you be thankful to your parents for taking care of it before you could remember, or feel like something was taken from you without your consent? Would you want a son to have an opportunity to have something you never did, or would you want him to look like you in the shower? All thoughts and opinions are welcomed!

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t have sons but this came up with I was pregnant… We decided it it was a boy we would not. For a couple reasons.

    1. Neither of my younger brothers are circumcised and have never had any problems because they aren’t.
    2. It’s an unnecessary procedure, they don’t numb the area and WHY put a 2 day old baby through that??
    3. Most insurances won’t cover it because it is that unnecessary procedure
    4. Just the simple fact its not “natural” if a boy was meant to be that way he would have been born that way.

    I don’t think poorly of people who have chosen to have this procedure done, its each parents personal decision, and each parent has a right to choose. This is just how my husband and I felt about it.

  2. oh also, my mom never had any problems cleaning the area and now the boys who are almost 8 and almost 10 have still never had any problems and know how to clean themselves and have for quite a few years now.

  3. Shaun and I agree with your first commenter. Shaun was not circumcised and he has never experienced any negative consequences (emotional or physical) from the choice his parents made. We did not circumcise our boys and our pediatrician praised us for the decision citing all of the same reasons you’ve listed here. I do acknowledge that the decision was made all that much easier for us because Shaun was not circumcised himself, but when we talked about it he told me that he still would not have wanted our sons to have the procedure done even if he had been circumcised himself.

    I know it’s a tough decision and I wish your family the best with whatever you decide! 🙂

  4. First of all, they do numb the area so ignore the first comment. Mark had it done at two months old and he cried when they numbed him, but that was it. He sat there the whole time calm and collected.
    We did it since Brett was circumcised. That really was the biggest reason for our decision. That and I had a friend who had to get it done at 18 and he said that it was very painful and that he wished his parents would have done it when he was a baby.
    You don’t have to decide right away. You might have a better idea once the baby is born. And you just might have a girl and all this worry will be for nothing.

  5. Making a decision like this so that he would look like his Dad seems absurd. What if his eyes are different colors? Or his feet are a different size? Heaven forbid his hair color be off. How in the world would you ever explain THAT, let alone that his penis might look differently.

    Would you cut off your daughter’s breasts at birth? There’s a much greater risk in her developing breast cancer after all then there is leaving your son intact.

    Saying they numb the area is crazy. It’s barbaric and it hurts. Then, they’ve got to pee and poop all over it for however long it takes them to heal. Really?

    God made him exactly as he is supposed to be.

    Doing something because you want him to look differently is just plain stupid (you’re not stupid…but the idea of doing it for this reason alone is stupid).

    Please, please please do your research on this and don’t leave the decision to your husband because he has a penis and you don’t. You have a womb and a brain.

  6. oh…you may want to check with your insurance too. A lot won’t cover it if you don’t have it done prior to your release. I agree with the last person…I let my hubby make the final decision and I do sort of regret that. I spent 9 months trying to make sure he was protected, I shouldn’t have turned him over at 2 days old to be unnecessarily cut.

  7. When I was pregnant both times I was emotional and freaked out at the thought of my son’s having the procedure done. BUTTTT.. like mentioned before (I did not go for the procedure I had my husband go with the dr) they numb it and let them sit for a while like that.. its just a cream.. the only reason why our son’s cried was because of the restraints that are placed on them they don’t like being held down. My husband was the one that pushed the issue and I agreed cuz he is as well and has NEVER had any problems. He has had friends that even as adults are not circ. and they have said they have problems with cleaning etc. And some of them have chosen to have it done and it was obviously a great deal of pain for them. Neither of my boys were in pain after the procedure. I like the method that their pedi used the 2nd time a round. A medicated type ring is put around it and it stays clean and in time each time they go to the bathroom it comes off slowly. The first time we had to clean it, use gauz and medication to keep it clean that was awful I HATED dealing with that. I know it seems weird.. they are born with it its natural why mess with it. BUUTTTT we are born with widsom teeth and don’t need them and often times have to come out… we are born with an appendix and we don’t need it and often times comes out etc. Its a personal choice of the parents.. but I personally would only have my sons circ. NOT everyone will have the same problems if they are not circ but i’ve heard enough negative stories to stand by my choice. Just think of it this way.. if you have a son.. and down the road there are problems and the procedure needs to be done.. it will be worse for him vs when he is an infant.. they honestly don’t feel anything. I would highly suggest the ring method tho when talking to your pedi if you chose to go that route.

  8. As a woman, aesthetically I prefer circumcised, but that’s really low on the list of things I look for in a man and certainly not a dealbreaker. DH is not circumcised and I think his penis is just dandy 😀 We did have some problems with condoms early in our relationship because of the foreskin. Otherwise, I haven’t noticed a difference during sex.

    We chose to have our two sons circumcised, for a couple reasons.

    1) We know a few men who had to be circumcised as teenagers/adults for various reasons. They all described it as extremely painful. DH agrees that the idea of being circumcised as an adult is “horrifying”, so if it’s better to be circumcised or there’s a chance it could happen, it’s better to get it over with. Nobody we know regrets or remembers being circumcised as a newborn.

    2) Our pediatrician thinks that the AAP recommendation is out of date, based on some studies that came out in the past five years. She showed us studies that point to a reduced risk of HIV, HPV, and herpes for circumcised men. There are risks either way but overall it seem safer in the long run to circumcise.

  9. […] hair bent over the bathtub. (Whatever the answer is, 37 weeks isn’t it!) Another big one is whether or not to circumcise if it is a boy. But the time has come to ask the biggest one of […]

  10. […] been wondering where we landed on the whole circumcision issue. If you missed it, you can read my original post here. Well, I am happy to report to you that we brought our WHOLE baby home. Even though there are […]

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