The biggest decision parents of boys will make is if they have a circumcision performed or not. This is the biggest decision they will ever make. The typical circumcision is performed on a baby within the first few days of life. Male circumcision is is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis. Female circumcision is removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Although female circumcision is now called genital mutilation.
Male circumcision was routinely performed because it was thought to help with urinary tract diseases as well as other diseases. This was true when clean water was not available daily. Now that we have clean water available at any given moment, circumcision is not necessary. There are certain circumstances where circumcision is recommended and needed. Circumcision should not be a routine procedure.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that the health benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision. The procedure may be recommended in older boys and men to treat phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) or to treat an infection of the penis.
The risks of circumcision are pain (in a brand new baby), bleeding and infection (again, in a brand new baby), irritation of the glands, increased risk at meatitis (inflammation of the opening of the penis) and injury to the penis, prolonged bleeding, nursing strike, loss of or diminished sexual function, accidental cutting of an artery during the procedure, erectile dysfunction later in life, and even death. Ask yourself, would you risk injury to your vagina or penis for a cosmetic surgery? As an adult, is that something you would willingly do? To look like other people. Would you risk injury to your most sensitive parts? What about death? About 117 boys die each year in the United States as a result of their circumcision, most from infections or blood loss.
Most insurance companies do not cover circumcision because it is an elective surgery. It is not medically necessary and is therefore an elective cosmetic surgery. When a baby boy is a day or two old, without being asked or giving his opinion, he is subjected to an unnecessary cosmetic surgery that could potential damage his penis.
It was once believed that babies do not feel pain. This is absurd and has been disproven. I clearly remember when my first daughter had the heal prick to test her blood. She screamed like she was dying. Because she felt pain. Babies DO feel pain. More often than not, during a circumcision no anesthesia is used. Read that again. More often than not, during a circumcision NO ANESTHESIA IS USED.
Why is the foreskin important and what does it do?
- Protection: Just as the eyelids protect the eyes, the foreskin protects the glans and keeps its surface soft, moist, and sensitive. It also maintains optimal warmth, pH balance, and cleanliness. The glans itself contains no sebaceous glands-glands that produce the sebum, or oil, that moisturizes our skin.11 The foreskin produces the sebum that maintains proper health of the surface of the glans.
- Immunological Defense: The mucous membranes that line all body orifices are the body’s first line of immunological defense. Glands in the foreskin produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme.12 Lysozyme is also found in tears and mother’s milk. Specialized epithelial Langerhans cells, an immune system component, abound in the foreskin’s outer surface.13 Plasma cells in the foreskin’s mucosal lining secrete immunoglobulins, antibodies that defend against infection.14
- Erogenous Sensitivity: The foreskin is as sensitive as the fingertips or the lips of the mouth. It contains a richer variety and greater concentration of specialized nerve receptors than any other part of the penis.15 These specialized nerve endings can discern motion, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations of texture.16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
- Coverage During Erection: As it becomes erect, the penile shaft becomes thicker and longer. The double-layered foreskin provides the skin necessary to accommodate the expanded organ and to allow the penile skin to glide freely, smoothly, and pleasurably over the shaft and glans.
- Self-Stimulating Sexual Functions: The foreskin’s double-layered sheath enables the penile shaft skin to glide back and forth over the penile shaft. The foreskin can normally be slipped all the way, or almost all the way, back to the base of the penis, and also slipped forward beyond the glans. This wide range of motion is the mechanism by which the penis and the orgasmic triggers in the foreskin, frenulum, and glans are stimulated.
- Sexual Functions in Intercourse: One of the foreskin’s functions is to facilitate smooth, gentle movement between the mucosal surfaces of the two partners during intercourse. The foreskin enables the penis to slip in and out of the vagina nonabrasively inside its own slick sheath of self-lubricating, movable skin. The female is thus stimulated by moving pressure rather than by friction only, as when the male’s foreskin is missing.
- The foreskin fosters intimacy between the two partners by enveloping the glans and maintaining it as an internal organ. The sexual experience is enhanced when the foreskin slips back to allow the male’s internal organ, the glans, to meet the female’s internal organ, the cervix-a moment of supreme intimacy and beauty.
The foreskin, which comprises up to 50% (sometimes more) of the mobile skin system of the penis. If unfolded and spread out flat, the average adult foreskin would measure about 15 square inches (the size of a 3 x 5-inch index card). This highly specialized tissue normally covers the glans and protects it from abrasion, drying, callusing (keratinization), and contaminants of all kinds. The effect of glans keratinization on human sexuality has never been studied.
The frenar band of soft ridges — the primary erogenous zone of the male body. Loss of this delicate belt of densely innervated, sexually responsive tissue reduces the fullness and intensity of sexual response.
Circumcision outside of America is rare. Only 10-15% of men throughout the world are circumcised. Worldwide, only about 20 out of every l,000 male infants are circumcised—and 18 of those 20 are in the United States alone.
Caring for the uncircumcised penis is easy. Much easier than caring for the circumcised penis. Do NOT retract the foreskin. Wash baby’s body. I do not clean inside my girl’s vagina, there is no need to clean inside the penis as well.
Here is a post that really puts it into perspective. I am not sure who the original author is. If you know please leave a comment or contact me so I can give them credit!
I told her that his nose looked different than my husband’s, and I’d like them to look the same. This should avoid any awkward questions when he’s older. The doc looked at me like I was insane and told me that was no reason to perform elective surgery on a neonate.
I told her that the girls would probably like him better when he started dating if he had a nose-job. Again, baffled, the doctor told me that she could not, and would not, perform cosmetic surgery on a newborn for such a ridiculous reason.
I told the doc that I had heard a rumor that my son would be less likely to get rhinitis later in life if we removed a little of his schnozola. Starting to show a little concern for my parenting, she told me that there was no conclusive evidence to support elective surgery as a means of effectively preventing complications or infection in adulthood.
Starting to get impatient, I told her that I just wanted to get this over with. After all, my son would probably decide later in life that he’d like a designer nose, so it was better to just have it done now while he was too little to remember, and probably couldn’t feel it anyway. Looking at me like I was bonkers, she asked me what made me think that this perfectly formed little person wasn’t capable of feeling pain. Hadn’t he shrieked when he had a tiny pin-prick to draw blood from his heel? Of course he could feel pain!
I told her that I thought it would be easier for him to keep his nose clean if we just took a tiny bit off. I could see the doc making a mental note to call child protective services on my crazy ass, but she humored me and explained that it’s very easy to teach a child how to properly clean his nose.
I told her that I was afraid that years later, all of his friends at school might have a certain kind of nose, and that he would be ridiculed. The doctor told me that everyone’s nose is different, and that she would not be performing elective surgery on a newborn for such an asinine reason.
I told her that I heard that lots of people were having their newborns’ noses done. She didn’t even have an answer for this one… she was just so shocked that her jaw hung open!
I told her that this was my baby, and I wanted this nose-job done today! After all, how risky could it be?!?! The doc told me that performing surgery on a newborn is always risky, and should only be done when absolutely necessary for the well-being of the baby.
END OF DISCUSSION.
No nose-job would be happening for my baby today.
Disappointed, I began to leave.
But then I remembered the other reason I had brought my baby in to the pediatrician’s office that day.
“When can we have him circumcised?” I asked.
“We can fit him in today if you’d like!” replied the doc. “Although your insurance doesn’t cover it any longer so you’ll have to pay the full $500 up front. Is that okay?”
“Sure!” I replied, as I walked my baby back.
In retrospect, the nose-job probably wasn’t a good idea. Thank God my son’s pediatrician has the integrity to refuse to perform cosmetic surgery on a newborn!
If you are going to circumcise your son, PLEASE WATCH these videos. They show exactly what happens during a circumcision.
Here are some links to help you make an informed decision.