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Circumcision -- Yes or No?
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Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
Circumcision has often been a hot topic on our men's and parenting boards here at WebMD. If you have strong feelings on either side, this is the place for you to share your viewpoint.

A new study shows that men who were circumcised before their first sexual intercourse may be 15% less likely to develop prostate cancer .

Should boys be circumcised at birth ? Ever? Why or why not?





(Remember to keep the debate vibrate, but civil!)
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ami_nix responded:
I had my son circumcised before he left the hospital. I've seen an infected foreskin and I've known people who've had to have them removed as adults due to infection. As far as the question, should boys be circumcised, I think it's up to individual parents and their beliefs etc. As with so many parenting issues, this should be a decision that parents can make based on what they believe is best for their child. As with so many other parental decisions however, there will always be someone there to tell you that your decision was incorrect.
 
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Anon_34374 responded:
of course they should be circumcised...forget religion or custom and focus on the health benefits. sometimes we need to say to parents, "the medical community knows what is best in this situation, and since the child cannot speak for themselves we are making the decision"

we do not each have our own island we live on...we are part of a community and sometimes the community needs to decide what is best for the health of those too young to understand the implications of the decisions made for them. at the risk of moving the question in the wrong direction, how about immunizations for children...another health issue that we should allow medical science to dictate and not the preferences of an individual parent.

just because two people have the anatomy for having children does not mean they have the good sense required to raise them without some help from those who specialize in health.

circumcise your boys and keep them healthy.

-a fellow parent
 
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Anon_2163 responded:
We chose not to have our son circumcised when he was born 5 years ago. My DH was strongly opposed to it, and after doing some research and speaking with my doctor's I decided that was fine with me. My DH is circ'd, and his nephew was not circ'd at birth and had to have it done at about age 4 because of infection. This was my main concern but after speaking with my doctors I feel confident that with proper education and cleaning my son can avoid this problem.

It is a totally personal decision, obviously some have it done for religious reasons, medical reasons, etc. I don't think it should be legislated either way, either requiring it or banning it, for that very reason.
 
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sarahdear replied to Anon_34374's response:
I'm curious about the health benefits you are saying make circumcision a no-brainer.

In my understanding, countries that do not routinely circumcise their boys have no higher rates of cancer than the US where at least until recently, circumcision was almost always done.
 
 
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queston responded:
We did not have our sons (who are now 19 and 14) circumcized. We were living in Seattle at the time, and it was running about 50/50, so we didn't feel that it would be any less "normal" for them either way.

Since then, though, we've moved to Kansas, and I suspect it's nowhere near 50/50 here, so that line of thinking didn't necessarily work out. NOt that I've ever thought it was a big issue or anything.

I still feel that there's no clear health benefit to circumcision, but it's not just about health benefits--it;s also about cultural norms, etc.
 
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iocasta responded:
There is no right or wrong answer here. Through out history men have and have not been circumcised. This isn't some major health decision that requires interference by the medical community to protect the health of the child. Nor are all that do circumcisions are doctors. There was no detailed medical discussion with us and our doctor about the pros and cons of circumcision. Why? Because it in itself isn't a medical issue. Males function quite well with or without that piece of foreskin. We had our son circumcised at birth. Why? Because his father is.
 
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iocasta replied to Anon_34374's response:
Those concerns have nothing to do with whether the foreskin is intact. They have everything to do with sexual behavior. I think you have the cart before the horse.
 
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gymrat44 responded:
There are few if any non-religious or cultural reasons why a newborn boy should be routinely circumcised. Routine circumcision appears to be basically a cosmetic trend or fashion. Incidence of disease or later problems caused by having a foreskin is minimal.

As an individual I am proud to be uncircumcised and have a "penis classic" -- have you ever seen a statue where the guy was circumcised? Of course not!
 
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nursingbug replied to gymrat44's response:
The general consensus I see in medical literature shows that getting circumcised does not impact health. I do not have a son, but I am pregnant now, and if we have a boy I do not think I will. I have considered it in the past, but really only because my husband is and at one point that may be an issue for a son to be different from his father. My husband really doesn't have much of an opinion.
One difficulty for us may be my mother in law, who is awsome, but really is strongly for circumcision. She is our daughters caregiver while we are at work, and would be with this child as well. We have agreed to disagree before though, so I am confident that we could settle it.
 
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alicia_s17 replied to Anon_34374's response:
I don't see how circumcision would reduce HIV and STDs and I don't think that should be your primary concern in deciding for or against circumcision as long as you teach your kids about safe sex and tell them to use condoms HIV and STDs shouldn't be a primary concern
 
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Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
I wrote this Blog a while ago, but my views really have not changed....

http://blogs.webmd.com/all-ears/2006/08/circumcision-an-unkind-and-unnecessary-cut.html

Circumcision is NOT medically-necessary, unless of course, you live in sub-Sahara African where HIV is rampant and condoms are rarely used. This is really the only place where a cracked foreskin may make a person more vulnerable to blood-borne pathogens. Otherwise, circumcision is a cosmetic procedure where parents (or just the mother) makes a decision that they want their son's penis to look like it's wearing a helmet, instead of sporting a turtle neck sweater.

Why do you think that millions of years of evolution has left the foreskin intact? The foreskin protects the ultra-sensitive tissue on the head of the penis, just the way an eyelid protects the eyes, or the labia protects the delicate female genitalia. Cancer of the penis is extremely rare and does involve the foreskin, but to remove the foreskin of all boys to prevent penile cancer does not make sense. Breast cancer is more prevalent, but not one is suggesting we remove all breast to prevent it.

I offer parents the choice, but I make them read both the pro and con regarding circumcision. And, I support whatever decision that make without any judgements, eye-rolling, etc. If they want their child circumcised, I have someone else in my office do it. I made a personal decision four decades ago, that I would not do circs. If we had boys wait until they were, say twelve, and ask them if they would like a piece of their penis removed, I suspect we would have few takers.

This is a hot topic, my friends, with lots of opinions. Please remember that the vast majority of men on this planet are uncircumcised....just the way God made them. Even Jews are actively questioning the rationale of this 3000 year old religious, tribal covenant.
 
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brunosbud replied to Rod_Moser_PA_PhD's response:
Tough to argue with that, Rod...I mean, Dr...

Great post!
 
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SARVERTH responded:
I WAS CIRCUMCISED WHEN I WAS BORN. I DID NOT WANT OT GO THROUGH THE PROCESS WHEN I GOT OLDER, PEOPLE WHO THINK BOYS SHOULD NOT GET CIRCUMCISED SHOULD READ THE BIBLE , IT SAYS THAT ALL MALES SHOULD GET CIRCUMCISED . IT TELL US THAT JESUS WAS CIRCUMCIED ON THE 8TH DAY AND IT IT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF MATTHEWS .MALES THAT DON'T BELEIVE THAT GETTING YOU FORESKIN REMOVED WHEN YOU ARE A BABY , BACK IN W.W.1
THERE WAS A TIME THAT ALL MEN IN THE ARMY HAD TO BE CIRCUMCISED BEFORE THEY WENT INTO BATTLE.MY GREAT GRADFATHER TOLD ME THIS .


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