Let’s talk: What is your opinion on this controversial practice?

I was surprised the other day when my GP told me that she was going ahead with something I thought
Let's Talk

I was surprised the other day when my GP told me that she was going ahead with something I thought was completely out of favour.

Don’t ask me how the topic came up but my doctor, who is pregnant with her third child, said she would be having her son circumcised as soon as he was born.

It turns out some 15 per cent of parents still go through with this surgery, although most do so for religious or cultural reasons.

For my GP, the decision has nothing to do with faith, a scientist through and through, she says she is inflicting “the kindest cut” because of all the health issues she sees – in boys and men of all ages – every day in the surgery.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) does not recommend routine neonatal circumcision for boys, however, Brian J Morris from the University of Sydney and Alex Wodak, from St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, say there are sound medical studies that show benefits of circumcision.

These include the reduction of childhood urinary tract infections, which are common, painful and often cause permanent kidney damage, and protection against many common, as well as not so common, sexually transmitted infections, including the epidemic of cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital herpes, genital ulcer disease and HIV, among others.

“Circumcision also helps protect against penile candidiasis (thrush), inflammatory skin conditions and inferior penile hygiene. It can help those with physical problems, such as a tight foreskin that interferes with passing urine, and an inability to return the foreskin after it is retracted. It virtually eliminates the risk of penile cancer that occurs in one in 1,000 uncircumcised males over their lifetime. And there may also be some reduction in the risk of prostate cancer,” write the professors.

The benefits extend beyond the mere male to their women partners, who are provided some protection against cancer-causing HPV and cervical cancer.

Let’s talk: When you had your sons, what was the attitude towards circumcision? What did you decide and were there any regrets? What would you say if your child told you your grandchild was going to have “the chop”?


Originally published here

  1. I had my two boys circumcised 40, and 34, years ago. Not for any other reason but the personal health of the infant. The data has always been there, but pushed to the background because of the bleeding hearts who scream child abuse.

    • People have the right to make informed decisions about child health without being labelled “bleeding hearts”. A child of a very close friend contracted golden staph when he was circumcised as a new baby. He was very ill for more than a year as a result of it. There are many things to consider before subjecting a child to a surgical procedure.

    • Well you are lucky then aren’t you,because problems are very common,so that’s the problem !!!

      • Cherry  

        My father wasn’t, my husband wasn’t and my son wasn’t (he’s 35) non of them ever had a problem, it’a matter of teaching them how to take care of the penis. My girlfriend had to have her son done twice due to problems which left scaring causing further problems,

    • Unfortunately I held many little babies as they were butchered! Poor little darlings. Holding their legs open as they screamed and screamed. Was distressing for the baby, myself and in some cases the doctor too. One particular doctor who was against circumcision, said to the mother if you want your baby done you have to come and hold your baby. It became less common, and I thought had become less fashionable!

    • Dean a people like you should go back into your box and mind your own dam business. My son could not be circumstances at birth because he had jaundice, not taking him back to have it done was the biggest mistake we ever made. Because he is allergic to many things he now suffers because I made that decision. Just keep your decisions to yourself and look after your own kids not everyone else’s. In other words MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS

    • I had my son done back in the 70’s and was advised to by the doctor and many other professionals, i think it was the done thing thing, as far as i know he has never had any problems, no fuss and no bother babies scream anyway everytime they get a needle or such, everyone just do their own thing, neither right or wrong, why do some people get so hung up on these things, everyone to their own, no need to put others down!!

    • My ol man got done in the Middle East during WW2 due to necessity, sand gets everywhere & lack of sanitation did not help.
      I was done at birth & don’t recall a thing.
      Some men fail to clear the fetta so I have heard

    • Christa Caldecott so I guess that means you don’t wear any make up, leave your hair natural, have no tattoos, , have no surgeries such as appendix, , tonsilitis etc…..I guess from your statement you are in exactly the same state as you were born..

    • Judy Gehring Luck has nothing to do with it, but born ignorence certainly does. Cannot believe this is vstill being practised. Absoluetly cruel and barbaric.

    • I knew people whose sons had health issues resulting in circumcisions having to be performed a later age, one an adult. Extremely painful recovery process for them. I also had an operation 12 months ago and spent my first day of recouperation listening to a boy, approx 8 years of age, crying because of his pain. Babies in our family stopped crying as soon as they were dressed. But I do agree that it is personal choice for the parents.

    • Marjorie Fowler your analogies are over the top. Colouring one’s hair does not hurt you physically, or wearing makeup; having a tattoo is the choice of an adult and very stupid in my opinion as I believe it hurts a lot; having surgery is again an option. However a baby has no say in the matter and, as boys are born with a foreskin to protect them, why put them through such pain just because it looks better or because their father was circumcised. This is just my opinion; others can and will of course disagree as is their right.

    • Wendy Perrins So folks like Tracey who express an opinion are fine but folks like Deanna who express an opinion should be shouted at and told to mind their own business? Seems a bit hypocritical to me, just because Deanna’s opinion is not aligned with yours. I have a family member who was butchered soon after birth and suffered all sorts of complications as a result. Does that mean I should shout insults at Tracey? No, it means we are all different with different experiences. I must add that I always smile when the term ‘bleeding heart’ is thrown as an insult. Definition of a bleeding heart? One who feels empathy for others.

    • Deanna Dunham : each to his own Deanna, but Golden Staph is potentially in every hospital and they try to keep it under control. It is a sad fact that hospitals can cause worse than the disease, but if we all decided we would not take the risk and go to hospital when we need we would never last to the age we are (respectively) now. I know I wouldn’t, I would have bled to death at 40. Or died of cancer at 17, 20 and 28. And I am sure I would have opted for euthanasia if my gall bladder had not been removed. (not a lot left inside but a very big heart <3 <3 <3 ) One heart each for my grandsons who do keep me young.

    • Shirley Sanson I also had my 3 sons in the 70’s and I was advised by doctors then ,as were many other mothers that there was no medical reason to get boys circumcised…and it was an old way of thinking that had been carried through the years….My sons now,42,40 and 38 who also all have many,many male friends from that era,not cicumcised,who have never ,ever had any problems….there are far more men nowadays that are uncircumcised…and yes,it is brutal for the child,it is an operation,and babies have died from complications from being circumcised….

    • Christa Caldecott don’t be so ignorant,I don’t need links to prove this,my god it’s common knowledge that many young men have problems and need to be done when there older now that is barbaric,I’m quite sure my son doesn’t remember anything about it being done a week after birth,however if I’d have to have him done when he was older then,I think he would certainly remember it.

  2. My son had to be circumcised for medical reasons at 5.
    It was a huge trauma and the pain.
    We didnt have the procedure done at birth because we took the attitude why cut off healthy tissue…but in hindsight I wish it had been done them…it was awful for him,

    • Madeline Pitt  

      My son also had to be circumcised at almost 8yrs.old,and that was very traumatic for him too.For many yrs.after the op, he was very self conscious about how his penis looked, due to a series of lumps left after the stitches came out! That was some 40 yrs ago now!

  3. have it done while young saves problems later. my husband had it done at 56yrs. wished he had it done as a baby.

    • Helen Kaye  

      You wouldn’t cut off a babies nose to prevent a snotty nose, so why cut off a foreskin to keep it clean?

  4. It’s not a big deal, there will forever be two schools of thought because there are two alternatives, best go with the healthy one.

  5. No none of the males in our family have been cercumcised no problems in severel generations not common in Uk where we came from

  6. had both my sons circumcised before we left hospital. much better then than later in life. my husband was in the RAN and saw lots of problems for guys who weren’t circumcised. A friend’s husband had his done in his late 20’s because of problems and immediately took his 5 year old son to be done. Previously, he was against it.

    • Lyn Pride My husband wasn’t done as he was being put in a home, He had so many problems growing up, & at 24 he ended up getting it done, IT was painful & being in RAN & in tropics made it worse. He was in pain for a week, My son was adopted, and e ws 6 weeks before we got him, First thing I did was take him ti Dr, He was done in surgery, & hardly a whimper BUT Grandson wasn’t done in 1986, not my decision, as S I law & his brother were Drs. They followed protocol

    • Dawn Bruce my grandson isn’t circumcised either. I just hope he doesn’t have problems as he gets older.

    • My obsterician told me it’s barbaric when I was pregnant with my first child, who turned out to be a female. I was in the mothering room with another mother, her son had just been taken away to be circumcised and he came back screaming, she was so upset. Four years later when I had my son, no way would I put him through that, he’s now 32 and has never had a problem.

  7. Agree 100%,saves all the discomfort of disease,skin problem,rashes,and helps with cleaning from a young age to an older age.Also helps during sexually transmitted infection,and with sex itself.

  8. All my sons were circumcised for health reasons and if they decide to do the same with their boys or not it is absolutely a choice made by them and their partner. I would never interfere in their decision as a parent but I would give my advice if asked. My first son was done at 13 months because of thrush, my other boys were done at birth as I insisted even although the hospital staff were less than happy about it! It was an educated choice by my husband and I at the time. I have never regretted having it done.

  9. I have 3 sons aged 38, 35 and 28 i wanted all my sons circumcised but the Doctors and the condemation at the time was terrible. The termoil i went through talking to nurses one who said i was disgusting was terrible .so my first son was done no problems then that Doftor retieed so the next Doctor didnt like doing it so he did a Half one and by the time i had my 3rd son i didnt want the arguement so my 3 sons are all different. At the time i spoke to a 70 year man who was not done and said he always woshed he had been because of the troubles it caused him. So i found it a terrible decision arguing against the medical staff.

  10. My first two sons b 1977 and 1980 were circumcised for no reason other than their father was. I knew better for my third son b 1986 and he was not circumcised. We don’t approve of female genital mutilation, why do we allow it for males?

    • Well female genital mutilation is often performed when the child is older, and it inhibits her sexual pleasure, where in males it doesn’t, it often causes more problems like infections, post op bleeding and scarring, and is often done without anaesthesia… Women who have had this procedure done often have huge problems in childbirth…apart from the more severe procedures where females often have their labia removed or stitched together… I don’t think there is a comparison.

    • Go on line and see photos of the terribly bad result of botched circumcision operations resulting in deformity, terrible scarring, infection, erectile problems etc. … no thanks. I have never heard of anybody I know that was not circumcised having any problems … that’s just me and I am sure there are problems with uncircumcised males.

    • FGM is obviously worse than male circumcision but that is still no argument in its favour. It is a completely unjustified medical intervention with no benefits that I am aware of but documented risks. Who knows what the long term psychological effects of inflicting this trauma on a days old baby are? Has this ever been studied?

    • I agree totally. My mother and mother in law said it was necessary. consequently my sons born in 1977, 1979 and 1983 were all done…so they would be like their father….time over…..NEVER.

    • Oh for goodness sake there is a huge difference between male and female circumcision. There are no medical reasons what so ever for female mutilation, where there is and has been for male circumcision for health reasons, look up the research.

    • Well I guess the best thing is whatever a parent decides is best for their son. My son is almost 30. I got a hard time for deciding to have him circumcised. I’m not barbaric, but loving and caring. The nurses had me in tears. Asked me if I was going to hold my son down. My husband had words to say to her when he found out. But my son was done in 15minutes. He went away asleep straight from my breast and came back asleep. My girlfriend almost lost her son to an infection at 3 and she had done everything right. So I don’t need to see pathetic photos of circumcision gone wrong. Anything can happen in any procedure, everything has a risk including not to circumcise.

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