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Circumcision                   

The United States is the only country to practice                                                                          non-religious circumcision almost routinely. About 80% of                                                      males are circumcised.

What is Circumcision?

The following is taken from the ICEA paper “When Your Baby Boy Is Not Circumcised”

 

Circumcision is the cutting away of the foreskin on the penis. At birth, the penis consists of a cylindrical shaft with a rounded end called the glans. The shaft and glans are separated by a groove called the sulcus. The entire penis-shaft and glans- is covered by a continuous layer of skin. The section of the penile skin that covers the glans is called the foreskin or prepuce. The foreskin consists of two layers, the router foreskin and the inner lining similar to a mucous membrane.

During fetal life (before birth), the foreskin and glans develop as one tissue. That is, the foreskin is firmly attached-really fused- to the glans. Over time, this fusion of the inner surface of the prepuce with the glans skin begins to separate by shedding the cells from the surface of each layer. This is not difficult to understand. Virtually all body cells are continuously discarded and replaced by regenerated cells. For example, the skin surface of the entire body is normally replaced every 30 days. So too are the epithelial layers of the glans and the inner foreskin lining-not only in infancy, but regularly throughout life. The discarded cells accumulate as white, waxy “pearls” which gradually work their way out via the tip of the foreskin.

Eventually, sometimes as long as 5 or even 10 years after birth, full separation occurs and the foreskin may then be pushed back from the glans toward the abdomen. This is called foreskin retraction. The foreskin may retract spontaneously with erections which occur normally from birth on and even occur in fetal life. Also, all infants “discover” their genitals as they become more aware of their bodies and may retract the foreskin themselves. If the foreskin does not seem to retract easily early in life, it is important to realize that this is not abnormal and that it will eventually do so.

The Function of the Foreskin

The glans at birth is delicate and easily irritated by urine and feces. The foreskin shields the glans. With circumcision, this protection is lost. In such cases, the glans and especially the urinary opening (meatus) may become irritated or infected, causing ulcers, meatitis (inflammation of the meatus) and meatal stenosis (a narrowing of the urinary opening). Such problems virtually never occur in uncircumcised penises. The foreskin protects the glans throughout life,. In addition, it is erogenous tissue serving a sexual function. The sexual benefit claimed for circumcision, namely the reduction or elimination of premature ejaculation, is totally without basis; witness the fact that at sexual dysfunction clinics, premature ejaculation is the most common presenting symptom among young men, of whom perhaps 75% are circumcised.

Is the Foreskin Dangerous?

The claims that the presence of the foreskin causes cancer, VD, masturbation and a host of others problems are unfounded. While it is true that penile cancer is more often found in uncircumcised males, it is occasionally found in males circumcised in infancy. The penile cancer rate in non-circumcising countries, such as Japan and Scandinavia, is no higher than the US, where circumcision is virtually done routinely. This exceedingly rare cancer may be effectively prevented by good hygiene.

The foreskin is helpful, not harmful. This does not mean that the foreskin will never develop any problems. Things can go wrong with any body tissue, including the foreskin. Infections of the skin, ears, eyes, throat and dozens of other body parts are well known; they are rarely a cause for alarm and rarer still a cause for surgical intervention. The foreskin is the only tissue considered dangerous enough to warrant preventive surgery-circumcision.

Parents are warned that foregoing newborn circumcision will only mean postponing the surgery until later in life when it will be more troublesome. This attitude is found only in the US. Foreskin problems are not very common. When problems such as infection arise, they usually respond to simple medical treatment. Surgery is rarely necessary. This is the experience in all medically advanced countries where circumcison is not practiced routinely, e.g. France, Japan, Scandinavia, Germany, etc.

Smegma

What about smegma? Isn’t it dirty and disease-producing? The answer is NO! Smegma is probably the most maligned body substance. It is normal, natural body product, no more harmful that ear wax. It is definitely not a carcinogen (cancer-causing).

What then is smegma? It is the material produced under the foreskin. The term has been used incorrectly for generations. There are two types of smegma: infant smegma and adult smegma.

Infant snegma: As noted above, the entire body skin is shed every 30 days. The shed skin rubs off on clothing, in bathing and in a thoroughly unnoticed fashion, unless there is a special skin shedding such as sunburn.

Skin cells from the glans of the penis ans the inner foreskin are also shed throughout life. This is especially true in childhood, copious skin shedding serves to separate the foreskin from the glans. Since this shedding takes place in a relatively closed space-beneath the foreskin-the shed skin cannot escape in the usual manner. It escapes by working its way to the tip of the foreskin. These escaping discarded skin cells constitute infant smegma.

Adult Smegma: Everyone is familiar with the enormous changes that occur at puberty-menses, breast development. Hair distribution, voice change,. Etc. There are also noticeable skin changes. At birth, there are millions of skin glands whose function it is to produce an oily substance called sebum. These are the sebaceous glands. In early childhood, they are largely inactive. At puberty, hormones stimulate their development.

Sebaceous glands do not produce an odor; most are associated with hair follicles. There are also specialized sebaceous glands “Tyson’s Glands” located on the glans under the foreskin. Tyson’s Glands produce an oily substance which, when mixed with shed skin cells, constitute adult smegma. Adult smegma serves a protective, lubricating function for the glans, just as adult smegma in women protects the clitoris.

Foreskin Hygiene

With the foregoing as background, we can now discuss foreskin hygiene. Despite the myths, the foreskin is easy to care for. The newborn or infant of either sex should be bathed or sponged frequently, and all parts should be washed, including the genitals. The external penile skin is soft and pliable and easy to wash. It is not necessary to retract any part of the skin in order to wash under it. In the newborn, the uncircumcised penis is quite easy to keep clean. NO special care is required! Leave the penis alone. The body provides its own protection of the glans area, because the foreskin is fused to it. As the shed epithelial cells (infant smegma) ooze from underneath the foreskin, cleaning away the material is logical. No other manipulation is necessary. There should be no use of Q-tips, irrigation or antiseptics. Good old soap and water is perfect. The same hold true for the newborn girl’s clitoral foreskin-leave it alone except for external soap and water.

Mothers are told that the circumcised penis is easier to keep clean,. The implication is that the uncircumcised penis is difficult to keep clean. This is obviously untrue!

Foreskin Retraction

The biggest circumcision bugaboo is the issue of foreskin retraction. Unfortunately, many parents have been warned by some physicians and nurses that parents must retract the foreskin daily from birth on, to avoid the “devastating effect” of foreskin retention and inadequate hygiene. Some “authorities” go so far as to urge that retraction be done rapidly so as not to “over-stimulate” (masturbate) the child. THIS IS INCORRECT ADVICE, described by one pediatric urologist as “cruel and inhuman, unfounded medically and physiologically.” Many physicians have written that mothers often shirk the task of foreskin retraction, thus making circumcision an absolute necessity. But the mothers were correct in their reluctance to retract and the physicians were incorrect in urging such retraction.

Two questions should be addressed. Should the foreskin be retracted, and if so, when?

THE INFANT FORESKIN NEED NOT BE RETRACTED

Bear in mind that in the newborn, the foreskin is NORMALLY attached to the glans. Retracting the foreskin from the glans means forcibly tearing the foreskin from the glans. This is a painful process and will likely leave the underside of the foreskin and the surgace of the glans raw. Bleeding may occur, leaving the area open to urine and local irritation and infection.

It is easy to understand why premature retraction needs to be avoided. No body organ or tissue should be put to use before its time. For example, solid food should not be given until the infant is able to chew, swallow and digest it. It is, by the same token, ill-advised to forcefully retract the normally fused foreskin.

Retraction Timing

This is the key element of penile hygiene. As noted, the foreskin and the glans develop as one tissue. Separation will evolve over time. It should not be forced. When will separation occur? Each child is different. Separation may occur before birth, this is rare, occurring in perhaps 5% of newborns. It may take a few days, weeks, months, or even years. THIS IS NORMAL. Although most foreskins are retractable by age 5, there is no need for concern even after a longer period. No harm will come in leaving the foreskin alone.

NOTE from this midwife: Leave it alone! Most do not retract until about age 2-3. Do not ever force the foreskin back-or you can do damage that will then cause a problem that you will need to seek medical care for.

Testing Foreskin Retraction

For the parent who is caring for a newborn male for the first time, handling the penis may seem strange. This is why the concept of “leave it alone” is sound advice. As parents become more comfortable in handling the penis, they may be curious to determine the degree of foreskin retraction in their son. Although unnecessary, this is simple to do.

The parents may have had the opportunity to observe a newborn’s erection. If full erection has occurred, full retraction may also have occurred. If partial erection has occurred, partial retraction may have occurred. If no erection has been observed, this does not mean that foreskin retraction is not possible. Some newborns do not experience erections; this is not unusual.

To test retraction occasionally, hold the penile shaft with one hand and with the other hand, push the foreskin back GENTLY-NEVER FORCIBLY-perhaps 1/8 of an inch. Retraction may also be done with one hand, pushing the shaft skin gently toward the abdomen. This will automatically retract the foreskin. If there is ANY DISCOMFORT in your baby, or if you feel resistance, stop. Try again in a few months. If the retraction is easy for both the child and the parent, further retraction may be attempted in due time. There should be no rush to retract. Eventually, the foreskin will retract completely, exposing the entire glans. This may take several years.

Is “Leave It Alone” Good Advice?

Yes!

If you wish to see a circumcision done, here is a link to that.  Link 

Here are a few other links to read other views.  Link 1    Link 2     Link 3    

For those of you who feel that you are obeying GODS law, please do your research about how the circumcision was done back then vs how it is done today (today they take off all of the foreskin).  link 1   link 2  link 3   link 4 

These are not exclusive, please do your own research.