The Circumcision Discussion - page 16

I know this can be a HUGE debate, and I'm not looking to start any arguments. I was just wondering as you are OB nurses. I'm expecting a boy in July and not sure if we should circ. or not. My... Read More

  1. by   RunningWithScissors
    Your uncircumcised son may one day have another sensitive body part pierced; seems they don't mind the discomfort to have tongues and other body parts pierced with metal objects hanging out of them for the sake of style.

    For the record, I have 2 sons; one circumcised, one not.
  2. by   alexillytom
    Kudos to you Sharon! If the research is there that proves this may be a viable way to decrease the spread of AIDS in any country, it deserves further investigation. My cousin died from this horrible disease and my uncle suffers from it today. As Sharon stated, it is truly a long and painful death.

    I am currently a nursing student and have witnessed a few circumcisons. I have never seen a baby pass out. As a matter of fact, they barely even whimpered. The babies went immediately to their mothers. A couple of those mothers were breastfeeders and had no problems nursing their babies afterwards.

    I am also a mother of two wonderful boys. They were both circumcised. They were happy and content babies and are extremely happy and well adjusted boys.
  3. by   Works2xs
    Quote from porterwoman
    "lack of male circumcision has also been associated with sexually transmitted genital ulcer disease, infant unrinary tract infections, penile cancer, and cervical cancer in female partners of uncircumcised men. (emphasis mine) The latter two infections are related to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Transmission of this virus is also associated with lack of male circumcision."
    from CDC HIV/AIDS science facts "Male Circumcision and Risk for HIV Transmission: Implications for the United States, December 2006.
    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/fac...rcumcision.pdf

    Cervical cancer has been referred to as "a developing epidemic" with high rates in sub-Saharan Africa. http://www.paho.org/English/DD/PIN/pr041220.htm

    Naturally, the HPV vaccination will most likely bring those rates down the most dramatically in developing nations. However, this news about circumcision is very promising--a relatively simple procedure that can potentially reduce HIV rates and oh yeah by the way reduce cervical cancer rates is exciting.
    Again, thanks, Timothy,
    Rebecca
    Seems odd that the most vociferous voices against circumcision seem to ignore these non-trivial health impacts. Having undergone the procedure in my infancy, I can say that just for the reasons noted above, I'm glad it was done. Also, since these issues do have potential impacts to the health and well being of my kids, I don't have a problem "making the decision" for them. I'd go as far as to say that it's less of an impact on my kids that the battery of injections I ensured they received to fend off numerous maladies. Speaking of mental impacts...

    Before anyone asks...I have seen circ's done. And what struck me the most was that the child protested the most during the process of putting them in the restraint. When it came to the procedure itself, they couldn't seem to care less. As far as "passing out" - I don't doubt the veracity of the poster's observation. I've also seen kids get quite agitated at the Vitamin K or Hep injections they got. Are you suggesting that we stop these sorts of procedures based on the same criteria? I'd have to agree with Timothy in that these illustrations are more of a play on emotion as well as a being a "red herring" than any meaningful argument against totally stopping the practice.

    Regarding any notion that "I was robbed" of some meaningful piece of my anatomy. I can't say as I've ever heard of a man suffering from "phantom foreskin pain" as a result of a childhood circumcision. I don't put this on any trauma level above having ears pierced. Equating the loss of this small piece of skin to the loss of a limb is just silly hyperbole.

    Regarding sensitivity - Ok, I won't argue. However, for me at least it's a big "so what." As I noted to the ladies in one of my nursing classes a little while ago, it's like saying my 90 ft tsunami is somehow less of an event than a 100 ft one. To the people living on the coast, they're equally affected. I also seem to remember numerous discussions during the "sexual revolution" about how to stave off the big moment so your partner can reach hers. So I'll just say the sacrifice of my small skin fragment was done to help in the fight to help women realize their unlimited capacity for reaching the big moment.

    ... back to our regularly scheduled programming....
  4. by   Works2xs
    The idea of having circumcision as an item in the arsenal for fending off HIV infection rates in high rate areas is tempting. However, I think some fairly big problems would have to be wrestled with before getting aggressive about putting this out there in those areas.

    First one, as others have mentioned, is the potential health risks associated with doing the circumcisions in the first place. While reading a completely unrelated article in "Fast Company" (Nov 2006), I came across this tidbit:
    "Tanzania has only one physician for every 20,511 people, a ratio typical of sub-Saharan Africa. Ipuli's [village in central Tanzania] women in labor have been trundled 37 miles by wheelbarrow to reach the nearest clinic." (Ok, I can't vouch for the scientific accuracy of the author's statement.. but it does illustrate a point). If this procedure were to become more standardized in these areas, would it be done with the edge of a rusty razor blade or hunting knife? How much would such conditions contribute to other mortality and morbidity issues for these children? Would they just trade adult deaths for childhood deaths?

    Second, I get a bit nervous at suggesting such measures for poor populations. We've seen just in this thread the level of emotion associated with circumcision. I'd imagine similar objections would arise in the heavily affected areas. There'd be numerous moral implications associated with "marketing" this idea, regardless of any practical considerations. I'm sure a Nobel Prize awaits anyone who could overcome those sorts of issues. Of course, doing nothing is equally steeped in moral damnation as well.

    Interesting discussion.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Jelli_Belli
    Why is it that the only response for circumcision that we are hearing is "Oh well I had my son circumcised and when I asked him he didn't mind." Come on now, are you serious?
    I imagine if you asked victims of female genital mutilation in Africa if they "minded" the procedure, they would tell you no. They are products of social conditioning. They are taught to believe it is a necessary procedure.
    The same applies to males. Parents of circumcised children obviously believe it is the right thing to do, and they indoctrinate their children with that same belief. I doubt anyone has ever explained what was lost during that procedure to them and they will never understand because they won't know what they lost. They can't miss something that they never had, but that doesn't mean that they never needed it in the first place.
    Just because a circumcised child doesn't think that he "misses" his foreskin later in life doesn't justify cutting it off as a child.
    I had to chuckle - I"M THE ONE who thinks my sons should not have been circ'd and I didn't do any "social conditioning" or "indoctrination". I didn't even talk about it until recently during one of these discussions.

    And I don't think it justifies circumcision either - I just thought it was interesting that most of the folks here talking about this are women and MEN would rather be circ'd . .. for the most part anyway.

    steph
  6. by   rnin02
    I've seen a number of circumcisions done in the past few months, and while I've never seen a baby pass out, most cry and are uncomfortable, although the lidocaine, sweetease and tylenol help, for a little bit anyway. Then they spend the next 24+ hours fussy, not wanting to eat, and screaming (not crying) during diaper changes.. I'm glad other nurses have babies that sleep thru the whole procedure. I think more research, testing, etc should continue, and definitely increasing the amount of education regarding STDs, etc is the best answer. Its a complicated situation however, with no easy answer.
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Science & Medicine | Routine Male Circumcision in Sub-Saharan Africa Could Prevent 6M New HIV Infections, 3M Deaths Over 20 Years, Report Says - Kaisernetwork.org

    "Routine male circumcision across sub-Saharan Africa could prevent up to six million new HIV infections and three million deaths in the next two decades, according to a report published in the July 11 edition of PLoS Medicine, Toronto's Globe and Mail reports. The report is based on an analysis of findings from a recent study in South Africa that indicates that male circumcision significantly reduces HIV transmission (Gandhi, Globe and Mail, 7/11). According to the South Africa study, which was published in the November 2005 issue of PLoS Medicine, male circumcision might reduce by about 60% the risk of men contracting HIV through sexual intercourse with women. The randomized, controlled clinical trial enrolled more than 3,000 HIV-negative, uncircumcised men ages 18 to 24 living in a South African township. Half of the men were randomly assigned to be circumcised and the other half served as a control group, remaining uncircumcised. For every 10 uncircumcised men who contracted HIV, about three circumcised men contracted the virus. Researchers believed the findings were so significant they deemed it was unethical to proceed without offering the option to all males in the study. Two similar studies examining the effect of male circumcision on HIV transmission currently are underway in Kenya and Uganda (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/29). "

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  8. by   mvanz9999
    This doesn't give enough information on variables, I believe. Does this take into account other factors? Do the two sets of men have the same frequency of sex with the same number of partners, or do the circumcised men have less sex because they are experiencing a higher percentage of erectile dysfunction?

    I'm not going to take either side, because there isn't any data to support this.

    "....the virus' chances of survival might be higher in a warm, wet environment like the one under the foreskin"

    Hm? Just like it was designed to be. Not the dry, keratinized cells of the circumcised male?

    ****

    Lastly, how could this possibly even be implemented? Earlier it was posted that Africans have, in general, resisted the use of condoms. Why would anyone assume a surgical procedure would be more widely accepted than latex? This would be far more work than condoms. I guess if the reduced risk of death gained by the use of condoms is not effective, I doubt a more painful and/or questionable procedure such as surgery would be any more effective.

    I don't claim to have an answer, but I suspect this is not it. I just don't see any way to effectively implement it. It would require the citizens to actually go to a center and seek treatment. There is no way to enforce this. In those regions where it is not already considered routine, I do not think it will be accepted.
  9. by   onehusbandsevenkids
    The Politics and Motivation behind the African “Research” on Male Circumcision and HIV Infection

    By: Dr. Paul Tinari Ph.D.,

    Research Epidemiologist

    For more than fifty years, the circumcision industry in North America
    has reaped windfall profits by use of a clever combination of
    disinformation, lies and fear. By carefully targeted lobbying,
    selective funding of political campaigns and by playing the
    “religious freedom” card, the industry assured that laws were passed
    banning all forms of genital mutilation in females (even with
    consent), but shamefully and in blatant violation of both Charter and
    Constitutional guarantees of gender equality, permitted the genital
    mutilation of males (without consent).

    In the last ten years, the pharmaceutical industry has discovered a
    universe of profitable products that can be manufactured from stolen
    foreskins. Even though the trade in human organs and tissues,
    especially those taken without consent, is universally banned as an
    affront to human dignity (starting with the Nuremberg Laws passed in
    the 1940’s), the circumcision industry has once again exempted itself
    from any restrictions that would hinder the profit of its
    operations. As a result, each pilfered foreskin can be worth tens of
    thousands in commercial products – not bad for a product that they
    get paid to steal, despite the protestations of its rightful owner.

    Gandhi <>once said that the truth can never be suppressed for ever,
    and the carefully crafted faade constructed by the circumcision
    industry has begun to crumble in the face of successful assault by
    scientific and ethical facts. Parents are now, in a powerfully
    rising tide, rejecting the lies and deceit of the baby mutilators,
    and increasing embracing the axiom that if males were meant to have a
    foreskin, then they would be born with one. And as such, it makes
    sense to believe that his creator gave a foreskin to its male owner
    because the intent was for him to keep it.
    As parents are now increasingly responding to scientific fact and
    reason instead of to hysterical claims and superstition, circumcision
    rates have plummeted to single digit percentages in many
    jurisdictions. This is most worrying to the circumcision industry,
    because their profits have begun to suffer. Seeing no hope of
    increasing supplies from North America or Europe, the industry has
    now targeted Africa as a brand new “virgin” source of foreskins to be
    harvested for luxury pharmaceutical products for well heeled
    consumers in the developed world. Let there be no mistake: The
    circumcision industry does not give a damn about the health of
    African children – they are only seen as a new - and more gullible -
    resource to exploit.

    If the industry truly cared about the health of Africans, then it
    would be funding proper epidemiological studies, not the severely
    flawed, politically motivated “research” that has just been
    selectively made public. Why the obsession with ONLY studying male
    circumcision and HIV infection? Why has no work been done or even
    proposed on studying the link between female circumcision and HIV
    infection? After all, the female labia has exactly the same cellular
    receptors as the male foreskin. If it were discovered that
    circumcised females have a lower risk of HIV infection than intact
    ones, then would the researchers then be demanding large scale
    circumcision of females in North America? And if not, why not? Why
    has no study been conducted on the link between “dry” intercourse and
    HIV infection? Dry intercourse, popular with many African men,
    consists of drying out the vagina before intercourse by using harsh
    astringents. The dry, irritated and cracked vaginal tissues are far
    more prone to tearing, bleeding and hence, to HIV infection. Why
    have no studies been made on the link between malaria infection and
    HIV susceptibility? Hundreds of millions of Africans are infected by
    the malaria parasite. Certainly it is of interest if this increases
    a person’s risk of HIV infection. And what about the known links
    between the prevalence of other STDs and HIV infection? Antibiotic
    resistant gonorrhoea and syphilis are epidemic throughout Africa, and
    it is well known that their presence greatly facilitates HIV
    transmission to an infected individual. For that matter, any
    systemic infection that compromises the immune system including
    tuberculosis, sleeping sickness and many parasitical worms (all of
    which are endemic throughout Africa), will all greatly facilitate HIV
    infection. It is scientifically criminal that none of these factors
    was controlled for in the recently published “research.” Yet each
    of these factors is potentially a far greater contributor to ease of
    HIV infection in males than the presence or absence of a foreskin.
    To be blunt – these research results are scientific garbage and
    should be treated as such.

    In conclusion, the sad truth is that these were not professional,
    objective scientific researchers who were conducting an unbiased
    study whose goal was the improvement of human welfare. Rather, these
    are little more than amateur hacks, with at best a poor understanding
    of elementary epidemiological or statistical principles who were
    willing to do anything to prove their pre-supposed dogma – that male
    circumcision prevents HIV infection. Why is the inconvenient fact
    ignored that the lowest rates of HIV infection in the world are found
    in the Scandinavian nations, countries where circumcision is
    virtually unknown? Why is it ignored that the Western nation with
    the highest circumcision rates, the United States, also has the
    highest rates of HIV infection?

    The truth can be obtained by asking the innocent question: “Who
    sponsored this highly flawed research and for what political
    purpose?” The true intent of the study organizers can be deduced by
    their boastful claim that the results of this research would have all
    African men “lining up” to get circumcised. As usual, the African
    get conned while the Western multinational corporations laugh all the
    way to the bank.

    A little digging will reveal that this research was paid for the same
    sponsors who soon hope to richly profit from harvesting a huge new
    supply of African foreskins. After all, the same poverty stricken
    Africans were easily conned by Western multinationals into buying
    expensive formula (diluted with contaminated water) for their
    children, instead of using free, healthy and sterile breast milk.

    Paul Tinari
    Pacific Institute for Advanced Study
    Last edit by onehusbandsevenkids on Dec 21, '06
  10. by   onehusbandsevenkids
    intersting I come across this blog posted by a horrified mom:

    (and by the way, there are plenty of other circ disasters, including deaths, out there to research...all fully 100% preventable and unecessary)
    (also, - I dont have time to find all of the links and info right now, but if memory serves me correctly, all of these "circ's saves the world from __________" studies have many serious flaws in them, its just that the original studies that come out are grabbed by the media and when the retractions and/or the flaws are out there, interestingly enough, they just never get the same "press time")
    ************************************************** ********************
    This was posted in a group for mothers on Myspace. Keep in mind, serious complications like this are more common than most people think. Most are not reported so as to protect the boy and his family from embarassment.

    Yesterday was Haydens circumsion, and it went horribly wrong. We got him home and went to change his wrap and there was too much blood, we rushed him back to the doctors and Hayden almost bled to death. He was so pale, and wouldnt react to any stimulation hardly. They spent 1 hour trying to get it to stop, the doctor kept pushing and pushing and I just kept crying. It looks horrible. They had to use 5 gel things to stop the blood when the doctor said only one will do. All the nurses were waiting when we left to see how he was. His penis looks hideous, swollen, deformed, and it appears the doctor cut too much. Later on around 11pm hes breathing got really rapid so we rushed him to the ER and the doctors looked at it. They said if there was no bleeding theres nothing they can do, and only time will tell if the doctor cut to much or damaged his penis. (we took him to phx childrens hospital, and they got us in immediately it looked so bad) We have another check up today, and one Friday. All I can say, is honestly, if you want your son circumsized you are taking a huge risk, no matter the doctor. This doctor has preformed tons, in fact I believe he is Jewish even. I won't even touch Hayden, I feel so horrible, my mom has to feed him, change his clothes, his diapers, his wrap, ect... Its the most horrible feeling knowing you just ****** up your own kid. I blame Matt, he is the reason Hayden has welfare insurance, other wise he would of been done the next day at the hospital. Also they ripped his umbilical cord off in the process. His balls look like golf balls, and there is so much bruising at the base of the penis. I will include a picture. The whole time the doctor kept saying, oh he cant feel any pain, hes just mad, and I kept saying no he can, I can tell by my sons cry, ive never heard this tone and pitch before in his life. My mom said your going to give him cardiac arrest. It was just horrible. I kept saying should we take him to the ER? And he said what are you asking me, no he is fine. I felt like saying this is my son, i know when hes fine, and hes not. But I knew we had to stop the bleeding first. Now Hayden is having nightmares, whimpering in his sleep, and I am afraid to even look him in the eye because I remember how his eyes looked, just like help me mom. Just everyone pray that it heals well, and nothing is done to his penis, theres no permanet damage and hes okay. What also upsets me, is Hayden just got nursing down. Hes been nursing for an hour every 3 hours except at night the past 2 days, and now he just gets so frantic he wont nurse. If your going to get your son circ. theres no amount of research that isn't enough, and after this, I wouldn't ever suggest it.

    In a later post, she posted that her son has received permanent damage and that his penis will likely never look "right."

    Below are links to some of the pictures she posted of what happened. BE WARNED, they are very graphic:
    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...en11106156.jpg
    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...en11106155.jpg
    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...en11106155.jpg

    links should work now
    Last edit by onehusbandsevenkids on Dec 20, '06 : Reason: fixing links
  11. by   mvanz9999
    Thank you, onehusbandsevenkids. In my last post I stated (as a layperson, even) that this study appears flawed, with so many variables unaccounted for (dry sex, female genitals, as well as sex frequency, number of partners, geographic location, wealth, education, and a host of other factors).

    It seems to me that the people on this board should clearly see the errors made in the "research" linking circumcision with reduced HIV transmission. I'm not even very well schooled in research protocols, and I see a host of errors.

    And before the host of angry rebuttals start talking about how *they* have never seen a "bad" circumcision -- A) that doesn't mean they do not happen and B) that alone does not have anything to do with this silly, flawed research.
  12. by   tvccrn
    Quote from onehusbandsevenkids
    intersting I come across this blog posted by a horrified mom:

    (and by the way, there are plenty of other circ disasters, including deaths, out there to research...all fully 100% preventable and unecessary)
    (also, - I dont have time to find all of the links and info right now, but if memory serves me correctly, all of these "circ's saves the world from __________" studies have many serious flaws in them, its just that the original studies that come out are grabbed by the media and when the retractions and/or the flaws are out there, interestingly enough, they just never get the same "press time")
    ************************************************** ********************
    This was posted in a group for mothers on Myspace. Keep in mind, serious complications like this are more common than most people think. Most are not reported so as to protect the boy and his family from embarassment.

    Yesterday was Haydens circumsion, and it went horribly wrong. We got him home and went to change his wrap and there was too much blood, we rushed him back to the doctors and Hayden almost bled to death. He was so pale, and wouldnt react to any stimulation hardly. They spent 1 hour trying to get it to stop, the doctor kept pushing and pushing and I just kept crying. It looks horrible. They had to use 5 gel things to stop the blood when the doctor said only one will do. All the nurses were waiting when we left to see how he was. His penis looks hideous, swollen, deformed, and it appears the doctor cut too much. Later on around 11pm hes breathing got really rapid so we rushed him to the ER and the doctors looked at it. They said if there was no bleeding theres nothing they can do, and only time will tell if the doctor cut to much or damaged his penis. (we took him to phx childrens hospital, and they got us in immediately it looked so bad) We have another check up today, and one Friday. All I can say, is honestly, if you want your son circumsized you are taking a huge risk, no matter the doctor. This doctor has preformed tons, in fact I believe he is Jewish even. I won't even touch Hayden, I feel so horrible, my mom has to feed him, change his clothes, his diapers, his wrap, ect... Its the most horrible feeling knowing you just ****** up your own kid. I blame Matt, he is the reason Hayden has welfare insurance, other wise he would of been done the next day at the hospital. Also they ripped his umbilical cord off in the process. His balls look like golf balls, and there is so much bruising at the base of the penis. I will include a picture. The whole time the doctor kept saying, oh he cant feel any pain, hes just mad, and I kept saying no he can, I can tell by my sons cry, ive never heard this tone and pitch before in his life. My mom said your going to give him cardiac arrest. It was just horrible. I kept saying should we take him to the ER? And he said what are you asking me, no he is fine. I felt like saying this is my son, i know when hes fine, and hes not. But I knew we had to stop the bleeding first. Now Hayden is having nightmares, whimpering in his sleep, and I am afraid to even look him in the eye because I remember how his eyes looked, just like help me mom. Just everyone pray that it heals well, and nothing is done to his penis, theres no permanet damage and hes okay. What also upsets me, is Hayden just got nursing down. Hes been nursing for an hour every 3 hours except at night the past 2 days, and now he just gets so frantic he wont nurse. If your going to get your son circ. theres no amount of research that isn't enough, and after this, I wouldn't ever suggest it.

    In a later post, she posted that her son has received permanent damage and that his penis will likely never look "right."

    Below are links to some of the pictures she posted of what happened. BE WARNED, they are very graphic:


    Close:
    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...en11106155.jpg

    Farther:
    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...en11106155.jpg

    Another angle:
    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...en11106156.jpg
    As a Mom-to-be, I am still on the fence about this. Yes, my other two sons are uncircumcized and one wishes he had been. Everytime I read things like this it goes further toward no circumcision. I was interested in seeing the pictures so I know what kinds of things to look for if, and that's a big if, I decide to go this way. but, the pictures wouldn't come up, it said page not found. Is there a way you can provide a link to the blog for reference?

    tvccrn
  13. by   onehusbandsevenkids
    Routine Infant Circumcision - Google Video

    for those interested, btw this is a 5 min video condensed down from 14 mins.

    make sure you have your sound turned on. If you're response is that the baby should have had pain relief & that they get it nowadays, I'll have you know that I've talked with many different nurses in several different states who tell me that circs like this happen all the time. Pain relief doesnt work, docs are too rushed to give it time, ect. The pain (torture is what is actually is) the baby goes through is just a small part of this whole issue.

    also, there is a whole "world" of men out there that ARE very upset they were circed without their consent, there are even foreskin restoration efforts. And, adult males state that without question s*x is better uncirced, which only makes sense.

    Personally, I would never chose to have an elective, cosmetic surgery done on my child. If he wanted it done, he is more than welcome to have it done himself when he is of consenting age & can choose for himself. Who am I to take that from him?

    I mean, why dont we all just cut off /out our gentials for fear of AIDS and STDs? That would solve the problem, no? Sometimes the logic people use to convince themselves of something really surprises me.....
    Last edit by onehusbandsevenkids on Dec 20, '06

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