75 will not readily breastfeed post-op
55 will have adverse reactions from the surgery
35 will have post-op hemorrhaging to one degree or another
31 will develop meatal ulcers
10 will need to have the circumcision surgery repeated to fix prior surgical problems/error
8 will suffer infection at the surgical site
3 will develop post-operative phimosis
2 will have a more serious complication (seizure, heart attack, stroke, loss of penis, death)
1 will require additional immediate surgery and sutures to stop hemorrhage
1 will develop fibrosis
1 will develop phimosis
1 will be treated with antibiotics for a UTI (urinary tract infection)
1 will be treated with antibiotics for surgical site infection
Of those who do receive pain medication for the surgery (about 4% of those boys undergoing circumcision in the U.S.) some will have adverse reactions to the pain medication injected
Out of 100 Intact boys:
1 will be treated with antibiotics for a UTI (fewer if the foreskin is never forcibly retracted)
1 will be told to get cut later in life for one reason or another (fewer if the foreskin is never forcibly retracted)
End note: One reader of these statistics (a man cut against his will at birth with 4 intact sons today) critiqued, quite accurately, that it is actually 100 of 100 circumcised boys who experience negative consequences as a result of circumcision. Each and every one has lost an organ responsible for a great deal of his life-long normal health and functioning.
Doctors Re-examine Circumcision
Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy
Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery
Marked in Your Flesh
Circumcision: What Every Parent Should Know
A Surgical Temptation
Children's Genitals Under the Knife
Circumcision: The Rest of the Story
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision
Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma
Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective
Dangers of Circumcision Report (pdf) at DoctorsOpposingCircumcision.org
The following are the front and back sides of informational cards available for distribution.
Request postcards and other materials at Saving Our Sons here.
Request postcards and other materials at Saving Our Sons here.
Care difference between intact and circumcised babies:
Circumcision Complications stickers available at Etsy
PHENOMENAL!!! Its about time that it got broken down this simply!ReplyDelete
I wrote a post on circumcision yesterday -- looking at it from the perspective of female "circumcision" -- and if you wouldn't want that for yourself and wouldn't do it to your daughter, why would you do it to your son?ReplyDelete
This is extremely near and dear to me, my husband and I are both HUGE intactivists. Now I have come across a woman who is trying to get her 18 month old son circumcised because there wasn't enough skin to do it at birth. This should not be something that insurance approves, it should be something the doctor REPORTS to CPS.ReplyDelete
I had my son at 17 and I thought about it but I never did it and Dr. dose not accept Medicaid to cover that surgery. If you really want it you have to pay cash $600-$700Delete
- proud mama of a whole boy!
Amen! I live in an area (the Midwest) where we have a 90% circumcision rate. You can imagine the "tsk tsks" from people when they discovered my son was intact. I honestly don't care what people think--I am not about to do a cosmetic procedure on a newborn baby who was born perfect just the way he was.ReplyDelete
Thanks for bringing awareness to this issue.
I am amazed at how many people think this is an acceptable practice. Can you imagine getting ANY part of your body cut off without pain medication, never mind a piece of your genitals? I think if more people KNEW what really happened during a circumcision - like how infants have their arms and legs strapped down - they may choose differently. This is a practice that was adopted to prevent boys from masturbating (which obviously doesn't work:-). It has no medical reasoning and in my opinion is not much different than female genital mutilation.ReplyDelete
You will be surprised at how many people have an idea of what happens and are convinced by their doctor that the infant doesn't feel pain and he is only crying because he is strapped down. I am 9 months pregnant and was looking for information because I was undecided. I talked to a couple of my friends and of course, they had this done to their sons and thought that "I was overthinking this", "that he will be fine", "he wont feel a thing". I understand that they may be defending their decision because they don't want to admit that they made the wrong choice but I don't know how any mother can see what happens and think that is okay.Delete
There it is in black and white. Not only is it barbaric to cut off a piece of a baby's penis, but also has many negatives. I'd love to see these statistics plastered all over drs offices.ReplyDelete
yes! wonderful idea :D How do we help this happen?Delete
why not bring magazines with this article pasted inside of them or even paste this article into a few of the mags already there?Delete
And this is where the reality of circumcision meets the medical profession. Especially in America, doctors benefit financially from this non-therapeutic surgery and therefore have a vested interest in minimizing the language of risk and/or suppress actual data outright.ReplyDelete
As always, you are spot-on.
I highly recommend another childbirth educator's blog post on the topic:
Extremely effective perspective shift.
Thanks for the post! I'd like to see more stuff on here about circumcision. People still think it's going to lower STDS and UTI rates to circumcise....sigh.ReplyDelete
They also think that if for whatever reason they may have to get it done later that it would be more painful. I was told this too. After thinking about it for myself and not letting someone tell me what I should think about it. That doesn't make sense. The reason it appears to be more painful is because when you are older, you can tell someone that it hurts as oppose to being an infant and can't say anything. Although the cries when getting it done should be enough. Doctors have convinced parents that the baby is only crying because he is strapped down.Delete
Sarah - the rate of MGM in the Midwest has dropped (thankfully) to 65% as of 2008 (according to national hospital surgery statistics and is likely lower as we enter 2010). It continues to fall as parents become educated prior to their son's birth. However 6-7 out of 10 babies being cut up at birth is still WAY too high. Thank you for protecting your own son. We need MUCH activism in the Midwest.ReplyDelete
I did a lecture tour at Universities (human development and childhood education courses) in IA/WI/MI/IL this past fall and the response from students was overwhelmingly positive. Change CAN be made - we just have to be willing to talk about this difficult subject and spread accurate information - not lies, myths and misconceptions that the media loves to jump on.
Strwberryjoy - Thank you for the encouragement. Your comment made me smile because we have oodles here on the subject of circumcision - more, in fact, than any other general parenting site and this sometimes gets people 'upset'... Some don't like coming face to face with MGM in the U.S.ReplyDelete
If you go up to the search feature on the left hand side of this blog, you can type in various words (such as 'circumcision' or 'circumcised' or 'intact' or 'foreskin' or 'pain') and come up with more articles that apply to this subject.
On the topic of sexually transmitted infections (and HIV) here are a few recent links (most of them also have additional links to more reading at the bottom of the article):
Dr. Dean Edell on HIV: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/dr-edell-discusses-africa-aids.html
HIV increases among men who were cut in Africa: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/hiv-increases-in-africa-where-most-men.html
HIV increases among female partners of men who were cut in Africa: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/07/african-hiv-circumcision-study-ends.html
Public policy cite HIV: http://www.circumcisionandhiv.com/
If you haven't already read "The Functions of the Foreskin" it is a basic 101 on the prepuce that everyone should read. :) http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html
And this video, "CUT: Slicing through the myths of circumcision" (made by a Jewish filmmaker) answers a LOT of the "STD" myths out there: http://www.cutthefilm.com/Cut_Website/The_Film.html
FGM and MGM share a similar history of myths in the US: http://drmomma.org/2009/09/history-of-female-circumcision-in.html
Just an update on my previous comment -- that post now has the list of AAP doctors (with their emails) who are currently considering whether or not to recommend routine infant (male) circumcision. Please email them now -- after they make the decision, it will be too late! Feel free to copy & paste the names & addresses from my blog into this post or another post.ReplyDelete
DrMomma: I am glad to hear that the rate has dropped. I am trying to educate more people, but it's so hard to change minds. Most people's reason for doing it is so that their baby won't be "different" and that is just plain sad. Evolution would tell me that if there was something "wrong" about a part or if it wasn't needed, it wouldn't still be there.ReplyDelete
Blissfully intact and a PROUD intactivist!
What a great post. Is that truly what a baby who is circumcised looks like right after? All of them or is that just a bad one? I didn't have the heart to look at pictures or video of procedures. We knew way ahead of time that we would not be getting this done. My Mom is the only one who pushed for it because "uncircumcised penises look gross". I told her I had yet to see a penis I found particularly "attractive". Anyways, great post and I hope you don't mind me quoting it or directing people to it next time the debate comes up!ReplyDelete
Emmalie and Aidan's Mom -ReplyDelete
Yes, this is what a typical cut and intact newborn's penis looks like. There is nothing unusual about the circumcised penis in this photo - except that it shows the genital mutilation of a human baby in close detail. And I'm not sure this could ever be considered anything but 'bad'. :(
Sarah - keep up the good work! Every single baby saved is a human life changed - and generations that are spared from such atrocities continuing. You touch more lives than you probably realize. If you are not already in the peaceful parenting group on FB, you can find many other parents in your shoes there. (Link on the side of this page). Or, if you'd like me to introduce you (in online fashion) to more intactivists in WI and the Midwest, I'd be happy to do so. They have lots of great ideas going around. Find me there on FB as well - http://www.facebook.com/drmom and just let me know *who* you are. ;)ReplyDelete
Alyssa G: I know how you feel. An acquaintance of mine decided to get her adopted son circumcised recently - I think the surgery was just done yesterday. Even after I asked her to read the literature about this issue on 'peaceful parenting', she still went through with it. The poor little guy is 32 months - just a few days older than my little girl - I feel horrible for him!ReplyDelete
This post omits things for which we have good anecdotal evidence but not data: a penis damaged for life by scar tissue or glans damage; difficulty with adult erection because of too little skin; difficulty enjoying intercourse, especially after age 40.ReplyDelete
Circumcised men have a tendency to thrust harder, faster, and deeper during intercourse. This detracts from the women's pleasure, in ways that are impossible to measure but are real nonetheless.
The head of pediatric urology in a major American teaching hospital told a friend of mine that about 25% of her caseload consists of repairing damage from routine circumcision.
My son is not circumcised. The skin never "pulled back" as they said it would. When he was 12 yrs. old he began experiencing pain because the skin was too tight. I brought him to a pediatrician who recommended that he be circumcised immediately. I was appalled and refused to believe that there were no other options. I found a pediatric urologist in our area who prescribed a topical medication to be applied 2x daily...and in six weeks...VOILA!! Problem solved. The transformation was amazing! The skin now pulls back normally. No pain, no cutting. I want as many people to hear/read my story, because our sons deserve better!!!ReplyDelete
Great to know....I have an intact son who just turned 12 and his skin has not "pulled back" yet either, however since he is not experiencing any trouble/pain, we haven't done anything about it. We figure we will wait and see if it takes care of itself. If not, it is good to know there are options available that don't involve cutting. I will definitely keep this in mind if the need arises.Delete
This is a very straightforward way to put it - thank you!! I have been exploring the circ issue myself on my own blog a lot over the past few months... it is such a deep issue, and it is unfortunate that people tend to brush it off as "no big deal." I wonder if seeing this list of stats would change some minds... I hope it would!ReplyDelete
To Alyssa G - not having enough skin to circ the baby at birth would, to me, mean that he doesn;t need to be circed *ever*. My mother was told the same thing about my youngest brother in 1988... that there wasn't enough skin for them to feel comfortable doing it, so she should go to a pediatric urologist. When she did, they told her that she should just leave him as he was, that circing was not necessary anyway, so she did. And... he grew up thinking he was circed! So, just think of how much more likely the damage would be on a boy who has less than average amount of skin there in the first place! Maybe you could convince this mom that since her baby has less skin to begin w/, he may end up looking more circed than intact anyway, so why ct off even *more* of his skin??
Hi! Thanks for posting this. I'm trying to convince a friend not to circ his son, and I'd love to send this to him, but he'll want to know the source/s. Can you add that to your post somewhere?ReplyDelete
Interesting read from Glick's "Marked in Your Flesh": "that the Lord's covenant and his two definitive promises (prodigious reproduction success and a lavish land grant (all of Canaanite land) appears first in Genesis 15, an earlier J text but with one crucial difference, there is no mention of circumcision." "To seal this covenant the only requirement is that Abram offer several sacrificial animals- a heifer, goat, ram, dove, and one other bird. Here we find no mention of circumcision, no change of name, no mention of Isaac or Ishmael." "Like a number of their neighbors, the ancient Israelites had practiced circumcision, but not as a mandatory rite and probable seldom on infants; nor did they associate it with the idea of covenant."ReplyDelete
It was the Judean Priests who wrote Genesis 17 (P text) 13 centuries after Abraham's putative lifetime that called for male circumcision of infants. A initiation rite not so much for the infant but of the father who must circumcise his son himself for he is cognizant of the event whereas the infant is not. These type of circ.s were the cutting off the acroposthion (the part that hangs past the glans). No damage of tearing the foreskin from the glans (thus results scarring from the cut up to the tip of the glans) and no amputating the part covering the glans. The radical circ., also medically known as penile reduction, as we do happens centuries later. The Torah says not to mark the body, the original Covenant jives with the earliest Judea.
I'm so glad that we left our sons intact. Our midwife told us that there was no medical reason to perform circumcision, and we followed her advice. After reading your post and hearing other information, I feel so very confirmed in that decision.ReplyDelete
I am so happy that I stuck to my guns. My husband wanted our son circumsised and I didn't. I couldn't even think of putting him through that pain right after going through the stress of being born, pushed through the canel and being out in the world instead of warm and snug inside me, having to work for his food instead of it getting directly to him. I asked about it at my dr appts, read some stuff on it, found there really is no medical reason, and when I asked my husband why he wanted it done, really his only reason he could come up with was because he was....i asked other moms and a lot of them said they just left the decision up to their husbands because they didn't have a penis, so thy let the dads make the decision. if I would have done that, my son would not be intact just because his dad isnt...once my husband saw a picture of how the baby gets strapped down, and how the penis looks right after it was cut, he came to my side of the fence, luckily! ugh! Reading even more in depth about it, here, makes me feel so greatly that I stood up for my child's rights to stay intact!ReplyDelete
Great information...I'm sure if parents really knew the dangers they would keep their boys intact. Not to mention the way it must effect Sex in America. So glad my Son is intact.ReplyDelete
I couldn't agree more with the fact that circumcision doesn't need to be done. Proud mama of a whole baby here too!ReplyDelete
Thankyou for posting this information. We have a three year old daughter and are planning on trying for our second in a year. I know that if we have a boy i do NOT want to have him circumcised but my husband still believes that there are benefits to circumcision and that getting circumcised later in life would be more painful.ReplyDelete
I am so happy for all of you who learned these things before your sons were born. I have 2 boys and I had them circ'ed, truly believing at the time it was the best thing. I live with agonizing guilt over it. If I have more boys they will be spared, and maybe I can help others along the way learn more about this. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
@Prizill - you're not the only one! I've found a lot of support and people in our same shoes at some of the groups and pages listed from this site:ReplyDelete
We have two sons who were circumcised before we knew better, and two who are intact. So I know your feeling too well...
i have learned a lot from reading all of the posts here as well as all of the statistics. i dont have kids of my own yet, but now firmly stand with the belief that there my boys will never be circumsized. My younger brother(adopted at 9 months) was never circumsized. it was a topic of discussion for a long time between my parents and i(im 14 yrs older). my mom and i stood firm that there was no reason why he should be circumsized and that he will grow up the same as other boys. my dad had other ideas, but eventually saw our point. at age 8 now my brother is growing up just fine and is a happy intact boy and i think could be a great rolemodel for my boys in the future if questions of the sort ever arise. thatnk u all for ur input and info and making me a firm 'intact' believer now :)ReplyDelete
I just have to say as a mother of 4 boys all circumcised I wish I would have known then what I know now. I just did it because I thought it was no big deal and that's just what we should do here in the US. Thankfully all the boys are okay but they under went a needless procedure and painful. I am a labor and delivery nurse now and strongly encourage my patients to seek out education and not circumcise their little boys. Thanks for sharing and all the research articles.ReplyDelete
Actually, they are not ok, but they don't know as they don't have anything to compare with.Delete
I agree with the reader who said 100% of circumcised boys will experience adverse effects. They will all become men who will not experience full sensation during intercourse and whose penises will never function as nature intended. A great post on the functions of foreskin found here:ReplyDelete
I honestly cannot believe with all of the evidence out there that this is still being debated at all. Breaks my heart:(
I honestly cannot understand how anyone 'prefers' the look of a circumcised penis and will mutilate their children based on their sexual preference. There has to be something really wrong there, surely? As for the two images at the top, the first one made my stomach heave. I've always trusted my gut instincts and my gut nearly threw up at that image. Never. I will never tolerate idiots who go and do this intentionally to their sons. (I'm not talking about the people who had their hospitals do it behind their backs).ReplyDelete
Out of 100 Circumcised boys: 224 out of 100 ???????? How does this Work Out ??????ReplyDelete
What exactly are you referring to?Delete
The items on the list are not mutually exclusive. 224 means that the average for a cut infant is 2.24 of the things on that list.Delete
You think that maybe some of the boys experienced repeat surgeries AND infections? Maybe they overlap in having MULTIPLE problems as a result of circumcision .. ? I could definitely see these things occurring together.Delete
nice information i had a son born jus todayReplyDelete
this is very helpful information for the decision i will be making tommorow!!ReplyDelete
Both my boys are proudly whole!ReplyDelete
Thanks for a frank post on this often taboo subject.
The pictures are disturbing, but so necessary ღ
I used to work in a doctors surgery, where EVERY one of the NINE doctors were 'intactivists'.
(in South Australia)
You would be surprised how many patients came in requesting circumcision for their newborns!
Informed GP's - Love it!
I recently explained to my son what circumcision is and how it is performed since he is intact and I wanted him to understand why he may look different than dad or other boys. I showed him the pictures and started showing him the procedure. (he is 8) he couldn't get past the needle given to the baby and just asked " why can't they make that illegal?"ReplyDelete
Truth from an 8 year ok'd who obviously doesn't care that he looks different than dad!
Why we continue to think that altering our natural bodies is good for anything just boggles my mind...
I feel blessed and fortunate to never had to endure this.ReplyDelete
I asked a pediatrician if he pulls back the foreskin at a well-baby check-up and he said just enough to make sure it is open. SIGH!!! So I said, "You could ask the parents if he's peeing and if they say yes then it's obvious it is open, no?" He agreed. Hope he never "checks" on one again.ReplyDelete
I just had to put my 2 cents here, I come from a latin american country -Chile, were circumcision has never been a topic, because it's practically non existent!! nobody circumcises there. I asked my two brothers and my father not long ago about this, my younger brother called me crazy! what was I talking about, how crazy could a person be to cut a penis!! those were his words (in spanish lol) my oldest brother aswell as my dad said that it was something we never do, doctors don't offer it to you when you are born, it is a silly procedure if it is not backed up with something currently happening to a baby...ReplyDelete
not even our closest friends, who are jewish are circumcise! so I am guessing that is a US thing, created to get more money!! ... I will never do this to my kids.. so sad to see close family here in the US still doing it, while non of my friends and family do it in Chile...
I have to agree with you on this. I feel like we need to make a shirt that says, "Do you circumcise your women? Than don't do it to our men!Delete
I have read soo many articals of girls who were forced to get circumcised, and I can tell you right now I would run far far away. If you cringe and say,"That isn't real, they don't do that to girls." Than I suggest you look it uop yourself.
No matter why a culture does it it's still not right. Boys and girls deserve a voice on this matter
I guess when it comes down to it we should be giving our boys a choice rather than force it upon them. Every guy I have dated has not been intact, and though they say they never experienced any problems, this scares me. I don't think I could put my son through that hell. I have forced myself to watch videos of the procedure being done, and I cried each time. I find myself wanting to pluck the poor child out of that situation and craddle it in my arms. The child always screams bloody murder, as if it's own life was being wripped from it.ReplyDelete
I am pregnant and having a boy. Thank you for this information. I have always been against circumcision.ReplyDelete
My husband has very bad scar tissue on his circumcised part, and so when I told him I didn't want to have our son circumcised, I was shocked when he said he did! How could any man who has had such a bad expereince with something, want to put his own child thru it? He is a momma's boy, and I have a feeling his mother is telling him what we should be doing because he suddenly 'knows' things, and has opinions on random topics.
Pure and simple ingnorant and egotistic statement from you husband. Stand your grounds for your son's sake!Delete
Not quite true. "1 will develop phimosis". How can you develop a medical condition in a organ that's not there? ;-)ReplyDelete