Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To circumcise or not to circumcise

Brazil is not as circumcise happy as the US of A.  They just don't feel the need to snip off that extra skin and I have yet to meet a Pediatric Urologist down here who is willing to do it to a newborn. They feel it's barbaric to strap a kid to a board and take a scalpel to an non-anesthetized kid's penis. 

When you put it that way, who wouldn't be against it!

But I am for circumcision. Call me old fashion, but I think it's cleaner. And as a Mom of boys, it's not as easy as it seems to get them to clean down there correctly.  Being a balanced person, I find the middle ground partial circumcision the most desirable.

So why write about it on my blog. Well, we've yet to circumcise our youngest as we are waiting until he's out of diapers.  It's easy to get infection when poop get smashed around an incision.  You asked, didn't you!   And for other medical reasons, it has been recommended he have one.

Well, those medical reasons bit me in the ass this morning when I went to change his diaper and found his penis swollen 3 times the normal size, and not in the good way!  Emergency room visit and bam, circumcision is needed as soon as the swelling and infection are under control. And NO, my kid is not dirty! They are Brazilian boys. They take like 2 to 3 baths a day for goodness sake!  And I do make sure those little hidden pieces are washed and clean thank you very much.

This situation only confirms two things for me, that circumcision is good and that the private Brazilian medical care is great!  I, yet again, had wonderful treatment at Copa D'Or in Copacabana. I spoke personally with my our pediatrician who also spoke with the Emergency room doctor. Our pediatrician will follow up with us tomorrow and we are being referred to a Ped Urologist asap.  I have to say Bradesco health insurance and their doctors ROCK!

And note to self, if you have a little boy and he's feverish and cranky, check the penis. I never thought of that. I looked at teeth, belly, throat, glands, toes, hair, and whatever else possible.  I never looked at the penis. Not until morning.  Oh the power of a penis.

I plead Vagina ignorance on that one.

* More available at : Copa D'or from the inside

** UPDATE** Emergency Circumcision was avoided and 5 months later, we have still yet to get the procedure done.  During the wait our son's pocket of smegma under his foreskin has grown to a point that you can see it very clearly from a distance. This makes the area a great place to grow bacteria.  As for poo poo-ers who want to automatically talk smack and compare me to a penis executioner, all extremists are bad. Just because everyone in the country where you are at gets an automatic circumcision doesn't mean that's how it rolls in other parts of the world. And just because too many people do it and it's rare to actually need one, doesn't mean it's impossible... not at all.  So instead of just being a pile of soapbox throwers, understand where this Mom is coming from. Heaven forbid I try to joke around about a penis and make light of a tough situation. 


  1. I am already mourning the loss of your son’s foreskin. As a circumcised man
    (TMI) I think you should think carefully about the act you are about to exact.

    When all is said and done – circumcision means much less about cleanliness and much more about cultural mores. And can I interject - sex is better uncut.

    Teaching our boys about how to peel back and keep clean totally trumps any idea that danger lurks in the recesses of foreskin. Fear not. Celebrate. Be natural!

    Don’t be afraid. Let him be.

  2. This just reaffirms why I want to circumcise my unborn son when he arrives. Plus here in the US where it is so prevalent, I don't want my son to be scrutinized for being uncircumcised.

  3. Dear Rachel,

    The practice of mass circumcision in the US started about 100 years ago when a radical Baptist minister in New York city convinced the Health Department at the time to recommend circumcision to the whole American public as an attempt to "CURB MASTURBATION", it was not hard to convince doctors when they knew most Americans still used out houses and didn't have indoor plumbing.
    Yes, this is the main reason people get circumcised in the US today, that and the fact that doctors make an easy 2000 dollars for a quick and simple surgery, you go and try to convince a guy who makes 500K per year that he should make 400K, good luck with that.
    There are NO BENEFITS WHATSOEVER to circumcision today, there might have been when Jews and Muslims were nomads in the desert and there was no water and little hygiene, but ABSOLUTELY no need to do it today that we have indoor plumbing.
    In Brazil, even kids with birth defects have an option for a corrective surgery that completely preserves the entire foreskin and takes care of the tight foreskin issue.
    The penis infection your kid had is normal and not the end of the world, as he grows, this won't happen again.
    There is a growing movement in the US to STOP circumcision in boys and the movement has been very successful, HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS in the US stopped paying for circumcision surgeries in the last 3 years and that has helped parents to look closer at the subject before they cough up 2000 dollars for the unnecessary and YES, I agree, barbaric surgery.
    The percentage of US babies circumcised now has dropped from 80% circumcised to only 40% of parents willing to pay the surgery out of pocket and do it anyway.
    So, today in the US, 60% of boys your son's age are NOT CIRCUMCISED and the numbers are dropping fast with the recession.
    DON'T DO IT, DON'T DO IT, PLEASE DON'T DO IT, it is not reversible and your sons might curse you for life for having taken the choice away from them at an age they can't decide for themselves and such an intimate and important part of a man's body.
    If they still want do it later, they can always do it when they are older.
    Not to mention that it drastically reduces the sensation on the penis, because the head of the penis will form a second thicker skin to protect itself from the elements, taking away the natural sensation and leaving a horrible scar.
    It does not curb masturbation, by the way, the radical Christian leadership of the time was wrong!
    I will post a link to "Intact America" the group responsible for the recent drastic drop in infant circumcision in the US.

    Take care


  4. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010AAPconf/IntactAmerica/prweb4597844.htm

  5. Rachel,

    Here is a list of famous INTACT men in world history and recent celebrities.


  6. Even if my little boy had his penis 5 times swollen I wouldn't search for a surgery. It is interfering in his body, an invasion. Maybe you should think twice.

  7. I knew people felt strongly about foreskin but wow! I will allow a partial circ. It's just the removal of the very tip of the foreskin to solve the problem that it's too closed. We've had doctors and specialists look at it here, it is very unlikely it will stretch on it's own. The little guy will still have the skin with just a bit more of the tip showing, almost like a turtle with his head pulled into his shell. And yes, infections there are common but it's not common to be hospitalized because of it. To be weak and vomiting. It can get serious and a couple hours after I posted it went from that to very. Natural is good but there are also reasons medical practices were started... Even if crazy soca used them for evil instead of good

  8. You don't need to circumcise a boy for a yeast or bacterial infection. Amputation isn't a first method of treatment for these things, medicine is the appropriate course of action. He probably is having yeast or normal separation symptoms. Bacterial infections are extremely rare, usually they only occur when there is a wound. Your doctor isn't well informed on the normal development and care of the intact boy. Here are some of articles I have written that can help you understand what is going on:
    Basic Care of the Intact Child:
    Phony Phimosis Diagnosis:
    Painful Separation Symptoms:
    You should have a culture done by swabbing the tip. NO RETRACTION, as that will cause tears. Then, if there is yeast or bacteria treat it with the correct medicine. Be sure to give loads of oral probiotics to support growth of good bacteria. These things happen just like with little girls and there is zero reason to remove his foreskin to treat it correctly. You can contact DOC (Doctors Opposing Circumcision) and they will be happy to give you more information about the development of the intact prepuce and you are always welcome to email me at latinalonestar@gmail.com
    PS, I live in Brasilia.

  9. Thanks for the info Jen! I will say though, that my doctors were not being rash nor were they incorrect. They are not saying to snip because of the infection, forgive me for not being clear. I blame lack of sleep on that one.

    The reason he got the infection is due to the tip of his foreskin, the malformation for lack of better terms. Basically some sort of scaring or something, again, for lack of better terms since I'm translating from Portuguese and from my memory of exactly what they said. As you know, they do not push circumcision at all in this country. The antibiotics have worked well but since his foreskin does not allow for all liquid to leave, it is at a big risk of getting infected again. That's why it wasn't the run of the mill infection and got so much more serious. They also want to wait 6 weeks to 2 months before doing the procedure. Again, they treated it wonderfully but they say that this will be a life long issue. we saw a surgeon and 2 pediatric surgeons, one who was also a pediatric urologist.

    Again, they are only going to do the partial and basically take off the tip that is causing the problem, leaving in tact the vast majority of the foreskin. I agree that the majority don't need it. And my pediatrician isn't for it nor does he normally suggest it. It came up when my son was littler and how it looked like he could potentially have an issue but we waiting because most often things loosen up on their own in their own time. As it turns out, the chances this one will open up is little to none. The doctors I've talked to don't like to put children under for a cosmetic procedure. They have deemed this otherwise.

  10. Did mommy unknowingly retract his foreskin prematurely? This could be the cause of scar tissue and infections. Read up on proper intact care so you can reduce the risk if further harm.

  11. Nope, never retracted his skin. My second boy, not that I did it with my first one. Already knew that was a no no :)

  12. It's not just extra skin. It has 20,000 specialized erotogenic nerve endings. I wouldn't call that just "extra skin."

    It's the boy's penis. Why not let him decide? If this were a girl it wouldn't even be discussed. I don't understand why people are so quick to cut our boys and we protect our girls.

    Another note...contrary to popular belief boys do not compare penises. Well, most boys don't. I don't know where people are getting this from. My husband is circumcised and he never once compared penises with another boy. He didn't even know if his own father was circumcised. Circumcising your son to "fit in" is a poor, poor excuse to inflict pain and suffering on your child. How about protecting your son because you love him?

  13. We went over this in the comments. I'm not doing it for other boys, I am doing it because I love him. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you have never dealt with a newly circumcised penis. It is not fun. It is not something I would choose to deal with, although I do think that it is easier.

    And I'm sorry to say, it's so NOT the same thing as a girl! So not the same ordeal at all and not the same reason they do circumcisions on girls.

    This is the thing that gets me about the whole natural, we are what we are, rose buds and butterflies thing. Just because some doctors have taken things out of content and overdone them, does not mean that some people actually do need them. An example other than circumcision, C-sections. There's a reason other than doctor's scheduling that they were made. Are they used way too much, of course! But some women do need them. Just because you disagree with the practice doesn't mean there aren't little boys that medically need them to have a better quality of life, and not have the risk of needing emergency surgery.

  14. "This situation only confirms two things for me, that circumcision is good"

    Circumcision of a healthy, normal foreskin is not good. And even when there's a problem that's not always indicative of an automatic need to cut.

  15. yeah, it is what it is. I am pro. Then again, I didn't seek it out... If it never needed to come up, I wouldn't have it done to my son. And having it done to my oldest sucked, the healing sucked, but there are no issues now and he still has a foreskin. My youngest, after this, will now follow suit. I didn't think it would but it did.

    Could we change the topic and talk about over medicating our kids or something?

  16. But it is good that the doctors don't sound as snip-happy as our American doctors would at the first sign of trouble.

  17. "If it never needed to come up, I wouldn't have it done to my son."

    That's not necessarily being 'pro'. I'm not against medical intervention with circumcision if it's absolutely necessary. But I am against the routine cutting of babies that's done far too often - especially in America.

    "Could we change the topic and talk about over medicating our kids or something?"

    ?? I'm responding to your blog entry ... which is about circumcision. Why do you want to change the topic of your own blog entry?

  18. lol. I know but you are the only one who has actually come back. I'm about 14 comments into answer very similar questions over and over again :)

    I'm pro because if someone chooses to do it, it doesn't bother me. I'm not out there saying rid the world of foreskin either. I'm kind of middle ground which, in my opinion, is pro. I have my own special relationship with the foreskin and it has not been easy or pretty. I really don't see the big deal in snipping off a couple of cm.

    That being said, I'm totally against strapping a baby down and cutting it off US style. So barbaric. Here you have to wait partially because, if it's needed or you want to do it, the vast majority will only allow do it when your kid is old enough to put under. That way it isn't nearly as barbaric and the doctors are able to do a good job. The stats on the number of American circumcisions that have to be corrected are not pretty

  19. Simmer down. This is a blog not anything serious. I am not back peddling nor changing my opinion, I am attempting to explain to each and every special little comment in a way that someone could understand. I am not saying that everyone should get it done! I don't think it's a big deal. I don't think my son is going to stop talking to me when he's older because he's missing a little skin. And I don't think he's going to hate sex because of it.

    And I am not lying nor totally misinformed (I could be somewhat because I am not a urologist nor do I spend a huge amount of time researching this like some people do). My oldest had a partial done. It was not easy to take care of. It sucked. But it was 2 weeks of sucking. That is totally tolerable and now it is fine. We haven't had one bit of a problem

    And that thing I call a partial. If you know everything about circumcision, unless you are 'flat out lying', you should know what that is.

    And I would prefer to do a little snip to excessive topical steroid use. I think steroids are overused and bad for our system. I'm surprised such a natural would be ok with that. Have you taken care of a circumcision wound? I can't imagine your child would get it done, unless you personally dealt with it at an age you remember. If not, then you are just regurgitating crap you've read. I've dealt with it. I've dealt with mellow infections and, obviously, serious ones. And with everything going on in life, I am not going to sit and mourn the death of a couple of cm of skin.

    The world, including my youngest's life, is not going to end. I'm sure he'll have plenty of sex and not even know what he's missing out on.

    Plus there are other benefits. The chance of penile cancer in adult men. I'm sure he'll appreciate that ;)

    Anyway, if some family is set on it, fine. I don't think it's that big of a deal. My son needs it. I think it's stupid and reckless to not do something that is medically needed just because you disagree with it. Same line of thinking you have for doing a medical procedure just because it's socially acceptable.

    I've done it before and, as it turns out, I'll be doing it again. And if I ever have a third son and I have two different surgeons and a doctor tell me it's needed, I'll do it again. I choose our doctors carefully and trust their opinion... plus I get to see why on a daily basis.

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  21. I disagree, there is a middle ground and I am standing on it.

    Its not the same thing as a pro-appendectomy because people aren't debating it as we are circumcision. I feel you are on one side or the other and I can't be on a side that says no at all costs.

    And I'm not fooling myself. We opted with our oldest to go for surgery over attempting other options. With our youngest, we have no option. They are pretty damn clear here on what you can and can't do, what will and will not work.

    So since I didn't do everything humanly possible to save my son's foreskin, I guess you can say I'm pro.

    Btw, the circumcised penis is healed, not bleeding, and not at all a problem. An infected foreskin tip, although common, is not very comfortable for these little guys.

    I mean, give me a break. I'm not screaming ALL FORESKIN SHOULD BE REMOVED AND BURNED!

    And my vagina has no bacteria. I leave it out to breath. (Don't go and get offensive and call me ignorant again, I'm just joking!)

    You'd think I was talking about beheading my son for goodness sake.

  22. Note to readers: I'm not talking to myself. I'm replying to like 3 other comments that are, for some reason, not even showing up... Freaking blogger.

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  25. People, since we are talking about our boys penises I have to participate. This is some important shit.

    First off, anonymous people should not be able to post, they are cowards.

    Second off, I was not circumcised because my foreskin was almost none. So I am the middle ground, that is, I have some but when the penis is erect its gone heheh tmi i know, but you all need to be enlightted about this.

    Third, americans have a more agressive approach than in here, so the procedure itself is different, we leave more foreskin and we do in a much older age with anestesia.

    Forth, its bullshit about the pleasure, all rumors, people that did circunsion after being old have not shown any decrease on pleasure. Its the old grass is greener stuff.

    Fifth, dont compare to female mutilation, its just stupid. MAN dont care either way, I have a brother circumsised and my best friend isnt, I can ask both their girlfriends, and might find a friend or two who slept with both, my point is, ITS NOT THAT BIG DEAL. BTW, my brother had the same condition my boys have and my parents waited till he was much older, he ended up having to do it as an emergency procedure, so we are trying to avoid that.

    Sixth, woman like to give blow job better without all that skin - That alone gives me a HUGE reason to cut it off. They also say that the circumsided can last longer and have better orgasms... but again, cant be proven.

    Seventh, it lowers chances of STDs, for the boy and his partner... by a lot. No matter how much you explain your kid how you need to clean it, this or that, after he gets laid in the back of the car, or wherever those teens get laid these days, it would take hours for him to go wash tha dick. Fun Fact: studies show that HIV infection have decreased by a great amount in Africa on cut men.

    And last, both our boys have a type of Phimosis, and we did wait to see if it would get better, so in their case, the skin that will be removed could potentially prevent some serious shit that I would not risk, such as penis deformation and shit like that.

    It has been done for over 5 thousand years, being the oldest procedure on our planet (maybe on others as well).

    I agree with Rachel, middle ground is the best. If you son has little and normal foreskin, let it be, or at least wait a couple of years, if it can be a healty issue, like in our case, cut it off and dont look back.

  26. 2 or 3 baths a day is probably why you're having this problem. Soap gets in and irritates it. Only water is appropriate when a child is young. Once the foreskin retracts on it's own, then water and a very mild soap can be used. Soap is very irritating. It would be like trying to wash the inside of a girls vagina.

    And DJ, Fun fact: HIV and STD rates are high in the U.S., higher than any other industrialized nation and so are the number of circumcised sexually active males. Where is the protection? By that reasoning, the U.S. should have the lowest HIV and STD rates! And actually there are studies in Africa that show an increase in HIV in countries that have the highest circumcision rates.


    In Europe, where circumcision rates are low, so is the rate of HIV and STD's.

    Can you please cite the studies where it shows HIV infection has decreased because of circumcision. A long term study preferably, I'm not interested in the most recent studies that weren't even completed and where the intact men were circumcised anyways. I don't believe that proves anything.

    Also, African studies cannot be applied to first world countries, since we have better sanitary conditions.

    My husband is intact and I never even noticed until he told me. So do not speak for all women, as you have no idea what you're talking about. Oral sex is not a problem because of foreskin, in fact, I find it much easier on an intact man because of the mobile skin.

    Hello, why do you think a circumcised man can "last longer" - because he has less sensitivity!
    Here is a summary of many studies performed that concludes circumcision DOES affect sexual pleasure.


    True phimosis is extremely rare and is usually caused by retracting or trying to retract the foreskin before it's ready.


    As for female circumcision, it is appropriate to compare since the cultures that practice it believe in the same myths as those who practice male circumcision: they believe it's cleaner, will prevent disease and is more attractive.

    Did you try other treatments before resorting to circumcision? My first instinct would be to preserve the body, so yes I would opt for steroid cream before surgery.

  27. Erika, I enjoy your post because it's not so defensive. With out oldest, we didn't. With our youngest, it's not even an option.

    I never thought about the soap and bath thing. Since it's such a hot country, we do bath constantly but I only use soap once a day. I don't even pull back the foreskin during bath. I also asked the school not to bath him, which they have ignored and we will have more conversations.

    I have heard the sexually transmitted disease info too. All the stats, on both sides, do not prove significantly either way about anything on this topic.

    Female circumcision horrifies me. I can imagine, if you feel they are the same, that readers would be horrified with our choice. But I do not feel it's the same and I feel it's apples and oranges.

    It's like comparing teen pregnancy in Brazil and the US. You could blame education but, in this country, it goes sooo much deeper. So much more messed up than in the states. Same thing with female Circumcision, so much more messed up. And in many of the countries that practice it, they believe a woman SHOULD NOT enjoy sex and that is another reason they do it. Far from the case with male circumcision done in industrialized nations.

  28. You obviously haven't been doing your research. Many men circumcised as adults report devastating consequences on their sex lives. They report dramatic loss of fulfilment, comparing orgasm with a foreskin to full-colour vision, and orgasm without a foreskin to monochrome vision.

    Many men find the foreskin to be highly sensitive, and results in scientific studies have shown this (look up Sorrel et al).

    Do some research and you will almost certainly find that circumcision is not necessary to alleviate the condition you're referring to. Circumcision is almost NEVER medically necessary. Speak to a doctor from NOCIRC, or Doctors Opposing Circumcision, as they (unlike many) actually know something about the foreskin.

    //" woman like to give blow job better without all that skin"//

    What a moronic, pathetic statement. I'm a woman. I wouldn't go near a mutilated penis. So bang goes your ridiculous little generalisation.

    Truth is, if a woman doesn't want to have sex with you, it's because of the man attached to the foreskin, not the foreskin itself.

    Can you just imagine the uproar if we reversed the sexes here? If women said they were going to trim their daughters' labia because men prefer not to deal with the smegma and bacteria?

    //" circumsided can last longer"//

    Rubbish - the missing nervous feedback that the foreskin provides causes circumcised men to suffer more from Premature Ejaculation than do natural men. This is a documented fact. They also suffer from an earlier onset of erectile dysfunction.

    So you've spouted yet more lies put about by circumcised men to massage their own egos and make themselves feel better.

    Furthermore, given the fact that women report that circumcised men are more prone to "banging" and to self-gratification rather than love-making, given that many women report pain and discomfort and inability to orgasm with circumcised men (but not with intact men), why on earth would it be a benefit to make that experience last longer? Longer does not equal better.

    //"it lowers chances of STDs"//

    It actually INCREASES the risk of the most common STIs (chlamydia and gonorrhea), and has no significant impact on the rate of HIV/AIDS. The number of men you'd have to circumcise to prevent a single man from contracting HIV is in the hundreds. The other hundred or so men would never have got HIV if you left them alone, and one who was circumcised would get HIV anyway. So there's no overall benefit.

    Handy hint - don't cut pieces of your kids just because you can't be bothered to teach them to have safe sex. Condoms work, and they don’t require amputation.

    //"for the boy and his partner"//

    This is a disturbing piece of misinformation, since the only studies looking at this phenomenon with HIV/AIDS shows that the partner of a circumcised man actually has a massively INCREASED risk of contracting HIV.

    //"Fun Fact: studies show that HIV infection have decreased by a great amount in Africa on cut men."//

    Fun fact - because these men think that circumcision is a "vaccine", as it has been touted, they no longer practise safe sex. There has actually been a dramatic RISE in cases of STIs (HIV and others) in parts of Africa.

    //"And last, both our boys have a type of Phimosis,"//

    You should have done some research instead of being so ignorant and insensitive. Phimosis is easily cured without recourse to amputation. It’s also perfectly natural and normal in children, often not resolving itself until well into puberty.

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  30. Once more, there is no middle-ground between cutting off part of a child's body, and NOT cutting off part of a child's body. Cutting off a little piece is still cutting, is it not?

    As for being anonymous, it has nothing at all to do with cowardice - who I am should mean nothing to anybody, since it is surely the CONTENT of the post that ought to be judged, rather than the person posting? This is at least how I judge posts.

    Sadly for you, "DJ", the content of your post was badly researched (if at all), and nothing more than repetition of old lies and myths because you obviously haven’t researched honestly but have sought to defend views that you held a priori.

  31. Dude, he was joking about the blow job thing. And aren't you being just as judgmental saying you wouldn't go near a mutilated penis. I thought that it's not the foreskin but the man attached that matters...

  32. As for my sons, I take it you are the 2 ped urologists who saw them, right? Wait, you weren't there. That's right.

    You are right up there with the people who say there should never be a c-section. Just let women die. It's natural, birth is natural, death during birth is natural.

    Go live on an island, get no medical treatment, and be all natural. No middle ground there. IF you are going to say it, then live it. I dare you.

  33. heheheheh oh boy, you anonymous people are taking this way too seriously, lighten up... so tense! Plus, are thinking and researching way too much about the top of the penis hehehe

    So let´s see, anonymous post with some bogus internet research or opinion of two pediatricians plus two infant urologists and personal experience... that´s a though one.

    Go take it with wikipedia, would ya?

    You will see that a lot of what your saying it´s not what is in a lot of places, including :


    but like our doctors, they must be wrong huh? I am sure a warm skin pocket full of moist must be deadly for bacterias and all that...

    I think your crusade belongs there, checking their sources and general information.

    I can send you some other places to go complain if you can read in portuguese, where I did most of my short research.

    Peace... (sorry to those who felt offended by the jokes, inlcuding the BJ one, I really thought that was a good one ;)

  34. Jesus, Mary and Joseph!!


    Ok, now you have enough information to write a book, hell, an encyclopedia on Circumcision or No Circumcision...


  35. I do. A friend posted this and she said it so much better than I did!

    Thais said...

    I'm going to now make a very biased Brazilian comment. I think it's hilarious that in US there is even a word for uncut men "INTACT". This discussion had to come from Americans, no offense, but there's an association for everything there, why not to support or fight circumcision... I honestly never met a mother that got a kick out of cutting her boy's foreskin. Nor have I ever heard of a circumcised man complaining about it, or their partners. Lastly, I have also never heard of a man who questioned his mother for having him circumcised, probably bc, at least here, there are only 2 possible answers: 1 - bc you're jewish; 2 - bc I had to. To me this is, in all honesty, a non-issue. If 2 reliable competent doctors say it's needed, then it's needed. End of story.
    Another thing I learned when becoming a mother: never - NEVER - judge another mother.

    It's so true. The reason I argue like I do is that I never seriously looked at it as a had to do thing. It came up when I was pregnant but we went on with life. If the foreskin sat there like a good little boy, I'd never have given it a second thought.

    Sadly, our foreskins didn't. We've tried everything: Conversations, time out, ignoring said foreskin, and taking away privileges. Nothing has worked. Sadly, the foreskin will have to go.

    On the another note, I did have my husband interview his brother's circumcised penis, so awkward, and he is happy. He has, thus far, led a VERY rewarding penis life. No complaints. He's a bit lazy as penises go and is happy to not have to make the extra effort to pull back said skin. To each their own. At least he's happy.

  36. Wow- the anonymous commentors are so out of line. I love how they hid behind "anonymous". Suck chicken-shits. You really handled it well Rachel.

    I also really love the way some of the commentors like to act like they are medical doctors who have evaluated your son's condition. Plus, it's obvious that most of them did not read everything you wrote.

    I know that you are an intelligent and well-informed individual. Only you, as your son's mother, is to say what it best for him.

  37. That supposed to say, "Such chicken shits" by the way. Damn auto-spell!

  38. Thanks Hen House! I did find it amazing how quickly people judged without ever hearing me. I never thought while writing this post that I'd get such a strong reaction. I would post pictures of the trapped goop under his foreskin but I think that's be creepy.

  39. Why would you use surgery as a first resort, instead of steroid cream? (The school probably retracted & hence your problems; my kid's tight prepuce- at 10- has had zero problems, because we leave it ALONE. No one in the US would dare touch my kids' junk, or they'd be in prison, although I know from my daughter's talking to her Latin bf that mothers & female relatives touch around down there more than would be considered 'normal' in our culture.)

    In the (educated) US, we tend to think of Brazil as a country with c-section-happy doctors (90% in private hospitals!) because of women obsessed with the tightness of their vaginas (instead of doing their Kegels). This is not changing my impression... (And no, I'm not debating medically necessary c-sections, I had one. And then a VBAC, because there was no need to do it again.)

    Look at the things you are saying! 'Too much trouble to wash'?! You can say what you want about the US, but I know how to wash my bits, & so have the intact guys I've slept with (and I have a cleanliness fetish that not all cut guys have passed muster with).

    'No mother should judge another.' If I burned my kid with cigarettes, or got him tattooed, would you not judge?!

    'People should not question doctors.' If I'd had that attitude my youngest would've been fed sugar water because of his low blood sugar, disrupting his gut flora, instead of waiting for the colostrum to take effect (which it did in twenty minutes, shocking the nurse). The doctors get paid for each procedure.

    You are obviously not as ignorant as the average American woman who circumcises (and amputates the entire foreskin), think! You are a product of your culture as are we, & doctors in Brazil have a reputation for being very willing to cut for little medical reason.

    I'm sorry that your son has had issues, but there are non-surgical remedies (and minimally invasive surgeries, such as tiny dorsal slits rather than removal of the entire prepuce extending over the glans).

    You think it's funny that we need to use the word 'intact'; it beats the crap out of 'uncircumcised'. Are you 'unmastectomized'?

    And lastly, female circumcision can consist of varying degrees, most comparable to or less disfiguring than male (google 'sunat'). The reasons given are the same- 'cleaner', 'less susceptable to infection', etc.

    If you don't mind me asking, why is your husband's brother circumcised? (And you know, he's hardly going to complain about his dick to his brother.)

    It's ironic that much of the reason that circumcision rates are going down in the US is due to a larger population of Hispanics, but in Brazil you admit openly to preferring circumcision.

    I hope you decide to reconsider for your son's sake (at least get another opinion!), & if not, that your decision does not impact other children.

    Anyway, at least you know enough to know that skinning the entire glans, and doing it immediately after birth without anesthesia is wrong; I don't have to hate you- it's more exasperation.

    (And yeah, it's anonymous because I don't want to discuss my kid's penis on a blog, although I don't judge you for doing so, or we wouldn't be having this dialogue. 'Pictures of gunk'- my dog's ears got a yeast infection, but I didn't cut them off!)

  40. I understand this anonymous and your tone is educational, not bitchy or judgmental... well, completely anyway.

    The snip is because he has pockets of his natural fluids, pardon the lack of terminology. I have no Portuguese translation left in me today. We you a doctor or a concerned family member, I would tell you to come by and I'd show you.

    The thing is, as long as it can't get out, the penis will eventually irritate. And while doctors in private hospitals are C-section happy, the vast majority of pediatrics are NOT circumcision happy. NONE of my friends boys have circumcision and some of us have the same doctor.

    And his penis was never pulled back more than the few soft experimental times by his doctor, to see if it'd go back at all. We have been watching this foreskin for some time and it would have been left alone if the issue hadn't gotten worse.

    While I have talked about his penis and wiggled around topics, I will be more detailed this time because of the interest and your direct (yet considerate) way of asking. We have been dealing with infection in this little penis. While it's been manageable, we have done nothing. Watch and wait kind of situation. It has just gotten worse, to the point where you can see the build up under the skin.

    My oldest was circumcised (at 10 months under anesthesia) for the same reasons. I also sought out numerous doctors and specialists. It was horrible. I have part of me that believes in the easiness of having it partially done. Of course, I've had not one, but two boys with sealed shut little men and it's NOT fun. On the other hand, it was a nightmare having it done to my oldest. The healing process was long (10 days is long to a Mommy. And more for it to really heal, if you know what I mean).

    I usually try to have a joking upbeat attitude in my blog. I try to find the humor in things. I try to see the side that needs to be done in a light that makes it easier.

    But it is not easy to do any procedure on your child, even if it is a short and, in doctors' terms, a relatively mild one.

    And I do believe in questioning doctors. I also believe in finding ones you have faith in and giving them credit where credit is due. My doctor won't so much as give my kid amoxicillin unless it has been proven, without a doubt, that he needs it. Hell, he don't even want you to use Tylenol unless you really really need to. I trust he'd feel the same about cutting a piece of my son off.

  41. I'm late chiming in... but my husband's gfather was circumcised at 21... similar reasons. But yeah some people just need em.. and some people don't... kinda like tonsils :) And that's the way I look at it. No one would be all over you if you said your kids tonsils kept gettin infected so you had them removed... it is just cuz it's the precious male part that everyone has an opinion.

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