Circumcising My Son Is My Biggest Parenting Regret

 

I couldn’t believe it when the nurse told us that, as a practice, they did not recommend circumcision. It’s been over six years since that moment. I’ve learned so much since then, but that day in the hospital I knew absolutely nothing. The nurse was prepared to take our son to be circumcised for us, if we wished, but she wanted to be sure that we knew we had the choice to make. If I had just had time to do research, I might have learned how horrifying the procedure was that I was about to let them do to my newborn baby. But I didn’t, and we told the doctors to go ahead.

It tears me up to think of the pain that we elected to put our son through. It was completely unnecessary. And then, weeks later, as his body tried to repair itself, a pediatrician would have to pull the healing skin back again, essentially a second circumcision. I am literally in tears when I consider the fact that infants feel pain just like we do, and even have a lower pain threshold. God gave him to us perfect, and in our ignorance, we wounded him.

I wish someone had told me how much I would regret that decision. I wish someone would have told me how much pain my little baby would be in and the potential lasting effects of that pain.

Not only did we subject our perfect baby boy to excruciating pain, twice, but now research is showing that too much pain in infants can have lasting effects. A 2015 study indicated that “regardless of cultural background, circumcised boys were more likely than intact boys to develop ASD before age 10.” Research is also indicating that when babies experienced pain in the first weeks of life, they can become permanently hypersensitive to physical pain and it can even affect immune function. For example, circumcised boys have been shown to experience higher levels of pain at their six-month routine vaccinations than boys who had not been circumcised.

The more I read, the more I learn, the more deeply I believe that I did a terrible, terrible thing to my son. Will he be “fine”? Sure. I’m positive that he will grow up to be a well-adjusted and highly functioning member of society. Is he traumatized? Probably not. But we took something from him that day. Beside the fact that we took away a very sensitive part of him that might have brought him pleasure later in life, we took a moment that should have been one of trust and comfort, handed him to a stranger and asked them to do something unspeakable to his body.

I am so, so sorry, son. I wish I had known.

 

Maybe you are reading this and feeling defensive of your decision to circumcise your son, or maybe you are feeling guilty. I don’t want to condemn anybody or question their parenting decisions. I just feel the need to talk about this, because I so badly wish I had known.

I wish someone had told me how much I would regret that decision. I wish someone would have told me how much pain my little baby would be in and the potential lasting effects of that pain. I wish someone would have told me that leaving boys intact is becoming more and more common. With the percentage of circumcised boys in the U.S. dropping to 55 percent in 2015, my son would not be the odd one out in the locker room if he has been left intact.

But nobody told me.

So I’m telling you. Do what you believe is best for your child, but please, please do the research and know what’s at stake with this very painful cosmetic surgery.

 

Sarah kovac


37 thoughts on “Circumcising My Son Is My Biggest Parenting Regret

  • March 23, 2016 at 8:22 AM
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    Funny my hospital said the EXACT opposite, they said they highly recommend circumcision because if not under the foreskin can get very infected very easily. Also if needed for any reason as an adult it becomes a very risky and painful surgery, so they recommended it with all 4 of my boys and all 4 of my step boys..Not sure what hospital she went to but all of mine were born at 5 different hospitals and all said the same.. IT IS NOT JUST COSMETIC, other than what I said, it is also a deep relgious practice for Jews and Christians!

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    • March 23, 2016 at 11:05 AM
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      No, it’s not funny at all. It’s unethical to males to allow the choice to be taken away from them at birth. Circumcision is pushed because it’s routine. Thank goodness some medical professionals have a conscience.

      What I do get a chuckle out of is the excuses. People like to dance around the subject with them. You tell them there is absolutely no medical need, they tell you it’s for aesthetics and cleanliness. You tell them how simple it is to keep the intact penis clean, and they tell you that it’s part of religious practices.
      Forced is forced. Genital cutting is genital cutting. All of your excuses are used to justify female genital cutting. Don’t give me crap about comparing them. THOSE ARE THE BELIEFS USED TO JUSTIFY BOTH PRACTICES. One only seems weird to you because it’s not part of your culture.

      I’m telling you all genital cutting of children needs to end. They will be adults one day. They will have their own feelings and opinions about what should happen to their bodies.

      Circumcision is non-theraputic. It isn’t treating anything. Getting circumcised to avoid the tiny chance of needing a circumcision later in life is not logical.

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    • March 24, 2016 at 2:44 PM
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      It is not a religious practice for Christians and the majority do not do it in Europe. Christians are not asked nor encouraged to circumcise. Your facts are incorrect. Do more research and you will see. It was pushed on Christians. I understand that it is religious for Jews and Muslims. For Jews, I believe, the type of Rabbi who performs a a circumcision is MORE qualified than a pediatrician and does it with more care and love, in my opinion. The problem is anesthesia and aftercare, It is not as if the wound heals immediately. The pain signal continues and it triggers a response in the brain that MAY change the neural pathways. I almost think these specially trained rabbis are the only ones who should do it or a Urologist! They are the most qualified at this procedure. I also think aftercare and pain reduction should be highly emphasized if a circumcision is chosen. I do not think it is necessary. However, if it is done, it should be done with the utmost compassion, care, and love.

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    • April 1, 2016 at 7:36 PM
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      Religious practice for Jews. Not Gentiles.

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    • April 9, 2016 at 9:33 PM
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      I’m a Jew who said no to genital cutting when my son was born, I do not believe that the Creator requires us to torture our newborns. My intact son is 25 years old and he has never had problems with his healthy, functioning and multi-purposeful foreskin. ALL human beings are born with a foreskin, males and females. The foreskin is NOT a birth defect and it is a normal part of the HUMAN genitalia. The foreskin in the female is the clitoral hood and we certainly do not cut our genitals to deal with the various issues that we women have; ever seen the feminine hygiene product aisle at the supermarket? Yeah, we use products, not amputation. In fact, female genital cutting is illegal in this country and our boys deserve the same protection. The United States has a high rate of STD’s and HIV/AID because circumcision prevents none of these problems. Most doctors are still uneducated about the normalcy of an intact penis and are sorely lacking in the advice they give to parents about the care of an intact child; and they are financially motivated to cut our children as circumcision is big business in this country. Genital cutting? Follow the money.

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    • September 22, 2016 at 10:03 PM
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      Funny that American hospitals act unethically. They should have told you that NO medical organization in the world recommends infant circumcision, that 90% of the world’s non-muslim men are intact, and that 99% of boys will NEVER need a circumcision. Circumcision is NOT routinely performed in Europe, Australia, Canada, Asia and Latin America! Only the USA :'( My husband is from Europe and shocked that Americans cut their sons- he said he’s never heard of ANYONE having an issue with their intact body. In fact, Muslims promote female circumcision for the same reasons- “cleanliness, healthy and hygiene”. All mammals are born with foreskin. It was MEANT to be there. Designed and created to be there! Human males are NOT born defective! http://www.YourWholeBaby.org
      By the way, Christians have zero reason to circumcise. Christ was the last blood sacrifice so abolished circumcision with His death. The New Testament actually calls circumcision “mutilation”. Baptism has now replaced circumcision in the New Covenant.
      http://www.LittleImages.org

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  • March 23, 2016 at 10:06 AM
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    She would have really regretted it when he developed a serious infection that for some people required amputation. Also, adult men can pass on some nasty infections to the women they mate with.

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    • March 23, 2016 at 2:38 PM
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      in the old days there was no circumcision, and no infection, this is just a fad someone invented, alot of people bought it

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      • March 25, 2016 at 8:49 AM
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        There absolutely are issues in europe, ssia and the rresof the world from not being cut. Urinary tract infections that uncut men get regularly are unheard of here in the states. Std rates are much higher in the uncut areas even though condom use is higher as well. The list goes on and on.

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      • May 5, 2016 at 2:52 PM
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        How do u know that there were no infections? Are u 2000 years old?

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    • March 23, 2016 at 10:09 PM
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      Women can also pass on some nasty infections to the men they mate with…odd how in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Asia, there don’t seem to be foreskin-related epidemics…
      Why do Americans have all these foreskin-related “issues” that don’t exist elsewhere? Probably forced retraction and other improper intact care, since so many people want to sabotage a perfectly healthy body part just to see it removed…

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    • April 10, 2016 at 3:26 PM
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      Men in this country already pass on nasty infections to women and these men are MOSTLY circumcised. The United States has a high rate of STD’s, HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer. If circumcision prevents these problems, then why is this country–with all of it’s cut men–still plagued with these problems?

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  • March 23, 2016 at 10:54 AM
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    Circumcision is definitely a painful and unnecessary cosmetic medical procedure. It is not a Christian practice, I recommend you read your Bible (Galatians 5, Acts 15). My grown sons are intact, healthy, and have all played varsity college ball on full scholarships, never made fun of or felt different.

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    • March 23, 2016 at 7:24 PM
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      I read the Bible every day.. Thank you very much!! Have a very blessed day!! I am just as entitled to my opinion about the matter as you are!! 🙂

      And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him, (GEN 21;24),And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb (luke 2:21), He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, (GEN 17:12), And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. (LEV 12:3), Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” (GEN 17:14), Circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; (PHI 3:5),And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, (LUKE 1:59), THere are other scriptures but I Think I made my point, Not being rude, but please don’t tell me to read my bible, when you know nothing of me! I have birthed 4 boys I have 4 step boys, I have had 5 hosptials and 6 different Doctors tell me that it is best, I chose to do it to my boys and that is my right, as it is yours to not do so!!

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      • March 23, 2016 at 10:14 PM
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        Philippians 3:2 – Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.
        Galatians 5 – Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

        Do those look familiar? Not only is circumcision considered an egregious sin in Catholic denomination, but it was lambasted repeatedly by Protestant reformers including Luther and Calvin. Europeans have no foreskin issues, nor do Australians, New Zealanders, South Americans, or Asians.
        Why do Americans have so many problems that doctors recommend cosmetic surgery? European medical communities have criticized the American position on circumcision for a long time, but they don’t waste too much effort because they have a lot of brainwashing to combat…

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      • March 23, 2016 at 10:18 PM
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        You are entitled to an opinion, but the person who owns the penis (read: your son) has the opinion that matters. Unnecessary medical intervention is never a good idea, and doctors in the US will take measures (forced retraction and invasive cleaning) to set the foreskin up for disaster, thus “requiring” circumcision because they abused the body part to make it look like it needed last-resort amputation.
        At the drop of a hat, cut off the child’s foreskin…a sick policy but it is the embodiment of the American medical community…

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      • March 23, 2016 at 10:44 PM
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        So you read your Bible well that is good but do you read it by the Power of the Holy Spirit if you did you would know some things that GOD Himself wants you to understand which is this, #1 Abraham was a Gentile there was no Israel, Isaac was circumcised and Abraham was circumcised when he was 99 years old, Ishmael Abrahams son with Hagar was circumcised when he was 13 years old he is the father of the Arabs and not of the Promises given to Abraham & Isaac had Twin Boys Esau and Joseph and Joseph is the father of Israel the 12 tribes of Israel come from him. Circumcision is under the Law for the Jews the cutting of the flesh is for them, we Christians must be Circumcised of the heart and we are not under the Law that the Jews or the lost are under for we have the Faith of believing in JESUS CHRIST, there is Faith not religion, Faith is the subject of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. Circumcision today if you want to do it for health benefit is fine no problem, but Please accept Jesus as your Savior. I am Brother Leonard Bagdol.

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      • April 1, 2016 at 7:44 PM
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        Tracy, so glad you do know your Bible. But…. All the verses you quote are in reference to JEWS. Not gentiles.

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  • March 23, 2016 at 11:16 AM
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    I’m so sorry no one told you, that you didn’t know to protect him, but thank you for sharing. Maybe someone else will realize they can leave their child’s body intact as is much more common worldwide than not. One great website you may want to share especially when people claim Christians have to do this is littleimages.org.

    Again, I’m terribly sorry about this, but thank you for speaking out!

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  • March 23, 2016 at 4:34 PM
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    Same goes for parents who pierce their baby girl’s ears…With my eldest I was still wet behind the ears.lol and it was so unessesary cz she can’t wear earrings…my youngest daughter must make decision herself when she is the right age…I also didy research and won’t get my 2 y/o and 8 week old circumcised

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  • March 23, 2016 at 9:42 PM
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    There’s an agenda here, I’m not sure what it is but at the highest levels the medical establishment has no intention of stopping MGM. Perhaps they’re terrified at the public reaction when people start asking questions in the age of the internet. Keeping it swept under the rug helps delay the day of reckoning.

    Maybe it’s being used as a tool of social control via its effect of wrecking families. Destabilization is the first step toward colonization.

    Or maybe the satanic cult that controls this country likes the idea of torturing infants. I don’t know.

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    • March 25, 2016 at 3:00 PM
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      Rich, they sell boy foreskins to cosmetic industry. It has stem cells that help rejuvenate and tighten wrinkles. Saw it on Steve Harvey show and looked it up.

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  • March 23, 2016 at 11:47 PM
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    The whole time I was pregnant I did not even think about circumcision if I had a boy. I know when the nurse asked me what I wanted to do I was taken aback.. I opted to circumcise him after consulting with his father who is circumcised and living a full productive life. He was not opposed to either way so we went ahead and did the circumcision and in the 18 years since that day he has not had any pain or emotional complications related from our decision. I think great if you do and great if you don’t. But don’t make it something its not.. Lots of men have had circumcisions and had no problems and some have had them and had problems.. Uncircumcised men have had problems as well .. some don’t … Don’t act like the world ends when a foreskin is removed or not!

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    • March 24, 2016 at 6:55 PM
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      Many babies die from this. Their world does end.

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  • March 24, 2016 at 10:11 AM
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    My son didn’t even notice when they snipped him… My wife and I watched the HARMLESS procedure… Took like 5 minutes to do.

    Yes, if u don’t pull it back and take proper care of it, you will find the pediatrician pulling it back and your son in pain. Congrats, you failed as a parent.

    No need to further be an idiot by pushing your anti circumcision BS on other non suspecting individuals…

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    • March 24, 2016 at 6:54 PM
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      Never ever pull the skin back or let anyone else do it. This procedure was not harmless either. You are perpetuating myths.

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    • March 25, 2016 at 7:18 AM
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      As a formerly intact male I can tell you for a fact that sense my circ I have not had 1 urinary tract infection. Before, I was on IV antibiotics for 9 months fighting a reoccurring infection. I can tell you that the sensitivity is in the gland and not the foreskin. I can tell you that remaining in tact can cause long term mental issues because of it. Every boy is different enough from the others and when forced to shower in gym and most if not all the other boys are circumcised it makes an impression on him. A circumcised penis is easier to clean, easier to go to the restroom, is more pleasing to the eye and has fewer odors.

      The decision is the parents but think of the child. Most of what you hear and see is done by people with an agenda. Just remember, circumcision could save his life or his partners life because there is less of a chance of contracting a STD or penal/cervical cancer.

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  • March 24, 2016 at 8:37 PM
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    I was going to have my son circumcised, but when they took him to do it, they said the instrument they use wouldn’t fit into the hole and that I would have to wait until his 3mth check up….well, after talking to my doctor and my mother, I decided not to get it done.. I regret it. I think my son felt different from the other guys., and he has told me, that he understands why I didn’t after 3mths…but wishes I had.

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  • March 25, 2016 at 2:58 PM
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    I have circ regret also. My OB said it was not necessary, Ped said it wasn’t necessary. I did it anyway. Second son, I said no circ. Docs said it was not necessary, but what does dad want to do? He said circ. I said not now… He’s still mad at me that I lied to prevent our son’s circ.

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  • March 26, 2016 at 5:46 PM
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    Momma regret…sadly, it happens with both the big stuff and the small stuff. I’m sorry that you made a decision that was not fully informed and that you regret it. Hugs to you my dear ❤️ Your son will be fine, I’m sure.

    Circumcision was never a consideration for any of my children. It is not part of my family’s culture or religion on either side. Here in Canada, it is discouraged for “preventative” medical purposes and has been for decades. Both my husband and son are intact and neither of them have had any issues ever. An intact penis is by far more simple to care for than female genitalia and far less problematic. As an infant, there is nothing to be done but wipe the outside as if it were a finger. Puberty and hormones during the teenage years will release the bond between the glans and foreskin and the boy can begin to retract and clean underneath at that time.

    I’m very glad that there was never a “decision” that I felt I had to make. My children came to me perfect and I’m so thankful every day that I never had to subject them to unnecessary surgery when they were just days old. There are so many other Momma regrets. Thankfully, this isn’t one of mine ❤️

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  • April 3, 2016 at 9:12 PM
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    Thank you for sharing! I completely agree: baby boys are not born broken; foreskin is NOT a defect. God/nature designed them exactly how they are intended to be. The vast majority of the world’s men are intact, happy & whole. Circumcision reduces sexual pleasure in males and females. Please check out http://www.yourwholebaby.org and also for any Christians: http://www.littleimages.org

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  • April 10, 2016 at 1:34 PM
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    Well here we go again. That is a completely harmless procedure that I watched them perform on my son. Will somebody stop it with this liberal agenda bullshit. Long term effects. Smh. Maybe my daughter shouldn’t get her ears pierced either. And why didn’t my doctor tell me that it was not recommended? Sounds like the nurse who told the writer had an agenda.

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  • April 15, 2016 at 9:21 AM
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    I only have a question to the dads that have been circumcised. Are you psychologically impaired? Did it affect you emotionally? Do you remember the pain, if there really was any, when it occurred? If you do have mental health problems then go ahead and use this as an excuse. ?

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  • April 15, 2016 at 9:31 AM
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    I’m so glad both my son’s are circumcised. I did my research before, my husband and I also discussed it. It’s something you think about when you find out you’re having a son. I read articles stating how unnecessary the procedure was, met men who complained about their circ and read all the negativity. Then I read the medical side, stating recoveries for a circumcision later in life. I never met a man who was upset about his early circumcision. I wouldn’t want my son to experience that pain later. That is something he’d never forget. I also researched natural birthing techniques for 9 months then had an emergency cs to which I’d never learned a thing about, but it’s over. We made it, we’re here. Enjoy the now, no regrets. You can’t change the choice. They’re also little minds full of life, not walking penis’ or vaginas. There’s more to life than this little disagreement, I hope you don’t tell your son about how upset you are with his penis. The men I met who said their circumcision was the worst decision ever were from Jewish families who circ’d at 13 years old by a priest. Be grateful we live in this “modern” society where we can choose to be upset over a quick procedure and complain about it years later than actually have a problem that needs medical intervention and not have the chance to get it.
    Basically, get your son circ’d early rather than later, they remember that and it has an everlasting effect compared to a newborn who is only looking for love and he (hopefully) gets it and the attention he needs. Your son will be ok….

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  • May 5, 2016 at 12:51 PM
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    I circumcised my son because all the doctors told me he was more likely to get and spread HPV. Apparently that was crap. I thought I was helping him, but I don’t think I was. What’s done is done, but if I had to do it over again I wouldn’t do it.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 7:17 PM
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    I find it funny that it seems to be only women talking about this I am a guy and very glad that i was circumcised. I have no memory of it happening and didn’t even know it was a thing until i was 15. I feel bad for any guy that is not circumcised.

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