If Intact – Don’t Retract! Foreskin is Adhered to the Glans During Infancy.

A fan of ERIC, by the name of Jen, shares her story with us. Thank you Jen!

When I was little, my parents had a baby boy — my brother was left intact, but my mother was told to forcibly retract him and wash under the foreskin at every diaper change. As a direct result of this, my brother’s foreskin become troublesome and at the age of 4, he had to be circumcised. Because of problems with his lungs, he could only be locally anaesthetised. I was 6 years old when this was done. I will never, ever forget the screams from down the hall in the operating room. For two weeks he was in pain after that. He remembers it forever. The sad thing is — if my parents had been given proper information on how to care for an intact penis, never to retract, just to wipe it like a finger, he would have been fine. But those screams — I didn’t know what ‘circumcise’ meant at the time, only that they ‘hurt my brother’s pee-pee’ and that I hated it. As soon as I was old enough to know what it meant, and later on, had had sex with both intact and circ’d men, I vowed to never, ever do something so horrible to a child.

My husband is intact, luckily, because there was not even a question — as soon as we found out we were having a baby boy, that he would stay intact. Our area in Canada has a below 2% circ rate for newborns, so all of our doctors, pediatricians, and my obstetrician were all very supportive. I’m glad that ‘if intact, don’t retract’ is becoming the norm, although it still disturbs me how many people think you need to pull it back to clean. If everyone just left it be, the problems wouldn’t exist. I’m so happy to have an intact husband and son, and that someday soon, they’ll be in the majority.”

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Misconceptions Of Infant Circumcision

While speaking with a young male friend of mine about infant male circumcision and how it is unnecessary, and that no medical health organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision, his response was, “I was told it’s always better to have it done as a baby than as an adult, why is that?”

It’s actually quite the contrary, I explained to him.  Unless it’s absolutely medically necessary in individual cases for an infant male to be circumcised, then there’s no valid reason for routine infant circumcision to exist.  My friend is very open minded and was willing to hear what I had to say, especially after growing up and being told that circumcision is better to happen on babies than on older boys and men.

If an adult male wants to get circumcised, more power to him, whether it’s for personal reasons, or if in fact he needs one for medical reasons (which is quite rare by the way). The pain he experiences after the surgery can be controlled with pain medication.  Also, the amount of foreskin to be removed can be easily determined by the health care professional and the patient.  Most importantly, the man is able to make his own choice. It is his foreskin after all.  I also told my friend that intact men in intact nations, and even those intact in America, are not forming long lines at circumcision clinics waiting to get circumcised like it’s going out of style. Intact men are actually pleased with having a whole penis, and there is nothing wrong or unhealthy with growing up intact.

In babies, however, routine non-therapeutic circumcision imposed on them is problematic.  You will often hear people say, “they can’t feel the pain and they will not remember the pain.” Watch a video on a circumcision being performed on a baby, some doctors will not use anesthetic, some do, and some only apply a topical cream which does not take the pain completely away.  Just because a baby wont remember the pain does not make it right.  Can we slap the baby silly because he or she will not remember the pain?  Can we torture the baby in other ways because he or she will not remember the pain?  Of course not!  Recent studies show that males, circumcised as infants, can experience psychological problems later in life.  I will go into more detail about psychological side effects in a later post.  Circumcising a baby is taking away his right to a whole body. Another reason why it’s not better to circumcise an infant is because when he is born, 9 out of 9.99 chances are is that his intact penis is perfectly healthy; no defects.  If it ain’t broken don’t fix it.

Penises develop and grow into different shapes and sizes.  Doctors have no accurate way of determining how much foreskin to actually excise from the infant.  Some cut off way too much, some too little; which at times upsets parents and they make their son endure another painful, yet unnecessary circumcision.  Circumcised adult men can experience unpleasant painful erections because too much foreskin was removed shortly after birth. Why should he or anyone have to suffer from a botched circumcision?  The foreskin protects the glans of the penis.  Shortly after an infant gets circumcised, the raw open wound of the glans, until it heals, can easily get irritated from the diaper and being exposed to urine and feces…the glans of an intact penis does not have to endure any of that.

My friend’s response was, “very interesting, I never thought about it that way.” Thank you friend for listening to me with an open mind!  Education is power.