To Cut or Not to Cut? My Thoughts on Circumcision

I have been thinking a lot about the topic of circumcision lately. Part of this is because my husband and I recently chose to leave our third boy intact. Part of it is because I have seen a lot of debate on social media lately about this issue, especially in some of the pregnancy and birth-related groups I am a member of.

When I had my first two boys, I was pretty indifferent on the topic. I felt that it should be the parent’s choice whether or not to do it. I left the decision largely up to my husband, since he was the one who had a penis. I had heard a few horror stories from nurses who worked with the elderly about infections. I figured that circumcision¬†was cleaner and healthier, but I never really researched the topic.

I couldn’t bear to watch the procedure, so I handed my baby boys over to my pediatrician (who I trusted completely) and waited. Thankfully, neither of my babies had any adverse side-effects or complications from the surgery. However, my second boy became very colicky shortly after his two-week appointment (which is when he was circumcised). I always wondered if that procedure was traumatic for him, and triggered his colic.

When I found out I was pregnant with another boy last year, I decided I would actually do my research on the procedure. The more I thought about it, the more it felt wrong to me. As I started to read, I was amazed at how much misinformation was floating around on the subject. One of the main arguments for circumcision was based on a study performed in Africa. I learned that the study had many flaws.

The thing that sold me on leaving my son intact was reading about the actual functions of the foreskin. It’s an essential part of the penis, containing between 10,000 and 20,000 nerve endings. It provides lubrication, making intercourse more enjoyable for both partners. In fact, when asked which they prefer, the majority of women who have experienced sex with both types of penises prefer an intact penis.

I was nervous to bring up the topic with my husband. I had already decided I didn’t want to circumcise my perfect baby boy, but I wasn’t sure if he would agree. To my surprise, his preference toward the procedure was not as strong as I had thought. I asked him to do his own research and come back with strong arguments in favor of the procedure if he wanted to do it, but he never did. We left our sweet new baby whole, just as he was created.

If you are pregnant with a boy, I encourage to watch this video:

He does an excellent job of covering this topic in just 30 minutes. I must warn you that his slideshow contains graphic images of both intact and circumcised penises, as well as a circumcision being performed on a brand new baby. I would encourage you to watch the whole thing, even if it is difficult, because it is impossible to be fully informed unless you do.

I have a prayer in my heart that this procedure, which is purely cosmetic and entirely cultural, will soon be eliminated from our hospitals and doctor’s offices, and that baby boys will be left whole and perfect as God created them.

 

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