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Much mis-information continues to be spread about the natural penis. The care of the non-circumcised boy should be as innate to parents as the care of the non-circumcised girl, yet because of the extremely high rate of circumcision during the 20th century, this common knowlege has been lost. This includes the medical community as well. In fact, this makes sense because medical students are not taught anything about the natural penis in med. school - except how to circumcise it.

"I graduated from Cornel medical school in 1967. I was taught zero about the structure and function of the foreskin- as were most doctors of the era." -Dean Edell, M.D.

"We thought we were doing the best thing for him by not circumcising and now this. The ped admitted he had never seen an uncircumcised penis firsthand. I am so angry and upset and I feel so guilty I let this happen to my precious boy. I wish someone had warned me about this sooner, and I think the Intact Care Agreement is a great idea. But isn't it rediculous that we have to instruct medical professionals-- who think they know everything-- on the proper care of the human penis in its natural state?"-- "jcomet"

Today, it is a choice to sign the circumcision consent form or not when you give birth to a boy, yet it was not always so. Even when a circumcision is not signed for, or even refused, doctors still may do them. This is termed wrongful circumcision. A mother wrote to me in 1999 extremely upset. A doctor had circumcised her son against her express wishes and without her permission. She wrote him this letter. There was also an article in Complete Mother magazine on Penile Torts, or "wrongs".

The caption on the 1966 cover of "FACT Magazine", below, reads, "fact: A Physician says, 'Circumcision is unnecessary and barbaric. It cripples children physically and mentally for their whole lives." This is very usual, given the date in which it was written, as the 1960's had the highest circumcision rate of the 20th century. Click on the picture to read the article.

Medical Historian, Frederick Hodges, talks about medical informed consent during the 20th century:

"Informed consent did begin in the 1970's, not only for circumcision, but for all aspects of medical practice. In almost all cases the movement for informed consent was initiated by patients and their lawyers, rather than doctors and hospitals.

"In the particular case of circumcision, hospitals instituted their informed consent procedure, as minimal and unsatisfactory as it is, as a result of various lawsuits, which were reported in the medical press as warnings. Two of these critical lawsuits were brought against hospitals by Orthodox Jews, ironically, who were horrified that their babies had been circumcised in the hospital without their permission, thus destroying any possibility of a proper Bris Milah on the 8th day.

"The 1940's saw the origin of routine circumcision itself, rather than any notions of informed consent. Doctors operated without bothering to inform the parents, simply because in the parternalistic medicine of the time, it was recognized that parents had insufficient information on which to make such a decision. Only a trained doctor could determine whether or not a baby required circumcision. Not surprisingly, most doctors determined that all babies required circumcision.

"One of my maternity nurses told me that one of her sons is intact and the other is not because Phoenix children's performed one and did not even ASK her permission. Unbelievable."-- Suz

"During the transitional phase, when informed consent procedures were being introduced, many doctors could not adapt and continued to operate at their own descretion
Cover of FACT Magazine July-August 1966:
A Rare Exception

without bothering to either ask the permission of the parents or inform them of their intention to operate. Even today, there are many doctors who do not bother to inquire. They just assume that all parents would want all babies to be circumcised."

In an ideal world, one would have her baby, and take him or her for the usual check-ups, ask the doctor any questions concerning her and leave feeling good and with new knowlege. But the reality is that parents of non-circumcised sons actually dread these because they fear that a medical professional will retract their son's foreskin and/or recommend a circumcision. Its not unheard of for a doctor to say, for example, 'Your son's foreskin does not retract; he needs a circumcision. I have this Thursday at 1:00 open..." Without the common knowlege of the care of the intact penis, many parents, unfortunately submit to these suggestions and then later regret it when they find out more information about the normal development of the foreskin.

"The best message that we can give to parents and doctors, nurses -anybody that cares for babies- babysitters...is 'Leave the foreskin alone'! 'Don't retract it; don't cut it; don't damage it; don't do anything to it'." --Dr. Paul Fleiss, Pediatrician.

The foreskin of the baby and young child is naturally sealed down to the head of the penis by a connective membrane- much like the one that seals fingernails to fingers or toenails to toes. In utero, the foreskin and glans develop as one tissue, taking several years on average to become completely retractable. This separation process is very gradual. One thing that helps this along is the boy's exploring his genitals. All boys like to play with -what I jokingly call my son's- "favorite toy". This "playing" might look like it hurts, but it does not. All boys are different. There is no rush nor need for a boy to have a retractable foreskin- and in fact its desirable to have a non-retractable one while the boy is still in diapers. Cleaning beneath the foreskin is not needed and actually isn't possible because of its seal to the penile head. Even so, boys can still have erections with a non-retractable foreskin. The range of ages of full-retractability is from infancy through teenagehood, and this is completely normal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has put out a pamphlet, the care of the intact penis. Also, you may find the pamplet Caring for the Intact Penis helpful, along with a very reassuring page called Raising Intact Sons. Too often, a diagnosis is made by a doctor of "phimosis". What this term means is a foreskin that cannot retract. This is not something that can be diagnosed in children because of the wide age range of the natural separation process. True phimosis is a previously retractable adult foreskin which now cannot be retracted due to a problem. The proper care of a child's intact penis is to "leave it alone".

"Last month our new pediatrician tried to retract my baby's foreskin-- recommended we let him rip it right there 'because he has phimosis' and we 'need to start cleaning under the foreskin regularly or he'll get a UTI '. Then he said he recommended circumcision to prevent UTI's."-- Debbie, mother of three boys, the first circumcised, and the others intact.

"The medic usually rips the attached foreskin from the glans at the newborn 'exam.' This creates a place, raw at first, to burn with urea and fester in feces. Parents, by an intentional act of deception, are told to keep ripping the reforming adhesions, continuously creating new raw surfaces."-- Eileen Wayne, M.D.

I have heard many times from parents that, at least once, a medical professional has forcefully retracted their son's foreskin, often times similar to the experience in "My Son Clayton". This is a big problem. If this has happened to your son, tell your doctor that you will not allow it and if it happens again, you will walk out and find a new doctor! Premature retraction can cause pain and bleeding, and if severe enough, can cause scar tissue to form and/or infection. Because of this, some parents find the Intact Care Agreement helpful when they are searching for a new pediatrician. Don't assume a doctor "knows", because it only takes literally seconds and the damage is done. Below is only a small percentage of parents of intact sons who have similar stories. Mothering magazine had a recent article (12/2000) on this subject titled, Protect Your Uncircumcised Son: Expert Medical Advice by Dr. Paul Fleiss. A MUST read!

*A survey of doctors was taken recently on what they know about the care of the non-circumcised penis.*

"What is of interest... and I'm sure we'll get a report soon on this... is that the American Academy of Pediatricians is meeting right nearby here and an anti-circumcision consumer group decided to ask questions of pediatricians to see what they know about this piece of the body that they usually don't come across. And you know how often... I mean, how many calls have you heard on the air here?... and we get so many, we don't even put them on the air, all of them... is, you know, 'Dr. Edell, I did not circumcise my son'... I applaud you... and then you go to the doctor and the doctor (says), 'Oh, pull it back and wash it and scrub that dirty thing!'... which is of course, the wrong advice. It's amazing how many pediatricians will advise that. So it will be interesting to see this survey of pediatricians. Any pediatrician who volunteers for the survey, of course, is suspect right away. So I don't know how accurately this will portray the state of knowledge of pediatricians about the foreskin: the anatomy, function, care and feeding of... (little joke)... but nevertheless, that of course will be of interest."-- Dr. Dean Edell, MD, National Radio Host

"My son was retracted by his doctor before we could stop it. This same doc told us he needed to go to a urologist to use a probe and release his non-retracting foreskin because it was 'stuck'."-- Dawn

"Our first family practitioner tried to retract. My husband said, 'Oh, I thought you weren't supposed to do that.' The doctor indignantly said, "We HAVE to do that to check it," like, 'how dare you question me!' and didn't say another word. Well, we didn't know then all that we know now, and believe it or not we didn't leave just then...but he and his office staff proved to be more rude and incompetent later so we bolted."-- "Mitch's Mom"

"We never had a problem with a doctor (so far), but with a physician's assistant. When my son was only a few weeks old, the PA at my doctor's office told my husband-- I wasn't there at the time-- that we should retract his foreskin periodically "so it won't get stuck." Unfortunately, my husband did this once or twice before he mentioned it to me. I immediately told him I didn't think that was the right thing to be doing, then researched a little more to confirm this."-- Judy

"At Jasha's 15-month check up, a female pedi. there tried to forceably retract his foreskin without even telling us what she was doing. My husband and I were both there and of course we jumped up when he started to cry and she told us his skin was too tight- should have been retracted by now, etc. We started to argue, so she left and sent in the head doctor (male) who gave us a long lecture (like we were idiots) about the dangers of being uncircumcised (mostly related to UTI's). He told us that they begin retracting every intact boy's foreskin at ONE month and every well-baby check thereafter until it's fully retractable, which usually occurs by 8-12 months. We made it very clear to these doctors that they should never touch our son's foreskin again, and thankfully they didn't. Our second son was born in Taos, but we left 3 weeks later and took him to the Chinese doctor in Sacramento for a couple of checkups before we returned to Switzerland. But now comes the more disappointing part of my story-- our bad experience in Switzerland, a country that does not practice RIC. I've come to the conclusion that no matter where you are, some doctors will just go for the quickest "solution" in [an] attempt to apease parents and cover their own asses; and furthermore, they all love putting people under the knife. Actually, the first doctor we saw for check-ups in Switz. didn't say a word about circ, retraction, etc. Then we moved (again!) and since we had a pediatrician right in that town, I decided to go to him. Jasha was 3 1/2 and my second son, Nico, was about 13 months. This doctor examined the boys, and then told me that they both had "true" phimosis and should be circumcised-- the sooner the better. Thankfully he didn't try to retract or tell me I should, but he referred me to a specialist and told me that there was no alternative."-- SuzAnne, mother of Jasha and Nico.

"Our ped. forcibly retracted our son's foreskin. Now his little penis is inflamed and he cries whenever he urinates. The doctor won't do anything about it; he says he had to do it because the opening of his urethra wasn't big enough. NOT true! He never had problems or irritation before; we just left it alone, besides gently washing without retracting the foreskin like the books say. What do we do? Will our son have permanant damage? We thought we were doing the best thing for him by not circumcising and now this. The ped admitted he had never seen an uncircumcised penis firsthand. I am so angry and upset and I feel so guilty I let this happen to my precious boy. I wish someone had warned me about this sooner, and I think the Intact Care Agreement is a great idea. But isn't it rediculous that we have to instruct medical professionals-- who think they know everything-- on the proper care of the human penis in its natural state?"-- "jcomet"

"A couple of months ago, my son developed strep throat and I took him to see the dr. As this was also the time for his 24-month check, she did the regular examination and then she asked me to remove his diaper and she examined his penis and bottom. I mentioned to her that his foreskin was not retracting yet, and she then proceeded to retract it for him. My son screamed and cried. She said to put some vaseline around the area and that would help things along. A couple of weeks later we saw our regular ped and I mentioned what the first dr had done, and that the foreskin didn't seen any looser. He also went on and forcibly retracted the foreskin, to break the connections there. Once again, my son yelled and cried in obvious pain and discomfort. Under this dr's advice, I also started pulling the foreskin back a little during my son's bath, which always seemed to cause him discomfort. This went on for about 2 weeks until I...learned that the foreskin DID NOT have to be retracting by age 2! O.K., so I didn't know better, but shouldn't the peds have known this? I feel terrible for having put my son through this unecessary pain, but why are the drs doing this?"-- "kbamer"

"I am in TN and my son was retracted by his doctor before we could stop it. This same doc told us he needed to go to a urologist to use a probe and release his non-retracting foreskin because it was 'stuck'. He wanted us to retract every day at home until we could get the appointment with the other doctor to try and release it ourselves. We did not follow his direction; my son stayed healthy, thank goodness, so we never went back to [that doctor]."-- Dawn

"When I took my son in for his 6-month check-up, his pediatrician retracted his foreskin back, and she pulled it back FAR. My son screamed and cried out in an obvious shriek of pain! I remember picking him up and holding him, and began trying to nurse him, but he was crying so hard he couldn't calm down. I asked her why on earth she did that-- it happened so fast I couldn't stop her from doing it, and I honestly didn't think that she would! Naive and silly me, I trusted her. She said that a number of boys have been coming in to the office lately with Urinary Tract Infections. I asked her what made her think my son had one, as he had no symptoms of anything other than the low-grade fever he runs when cutting teeth, which he was at the time. She said that the only way she could see if he had a UTI was to retract his foreskin, and told me that I should be retracting it every day. I was still pretty unsure of myself regarding this topic, but I bascially left it alone, and dressed my baby and left the office. About a week later, the end of his foreskin was still quite red, not inflamed, just red. I knew there was a pediatrician in the same office-- an older woman who was from Europe. I called her privately and spoke to her of the incident. She told me that the ped. never should have done that, and that if I leave it alone it should be just fine, and to let him get plenty of diaper-free time during the day so that he would get plenty of air on the area."-- "Dierna"

"When our son was born in March 1997, I had picked the practice but not the doctor I wanted to take him to. At each check-up, I tried a different doctor in order to find the one I would feel most comfortable with. At our son's 6-month check-up, we had an older female doctor. We had a nice chat and I liked the way she handled my son- until the diaper came off. She proceeded to retract his foreskin. He grunted. I didn't physically stop her, but I told her that that was contrary to what I had learned about proper care, that I'm from Norway where they have more experience with intact penises, etc. Honestly, I felt kind of stupid questioning the doctor, and I was taken by surprise that she could be that ignorant. She got somewhat defensive and said something about checking for 'phimosis' and when to retract retract the foreskin AGAIN. I wanted to scream. At the time, I was less informed about the whole thing and couldn't remember what phimosis was, although I KNEW she was wrong. I felt really bad for days afterwards, feeling I had fallen down on my job as mother- I was supposed to protect my son!"-- "benzn"

"My son's first doctor checked to see if his foreskin retracted at his 6-month check-up. She did it so fast that I couldn't say anything to stop her. I wanted to say something to her, but I didn't know what to say. I never saw her again. We got my children a new doctor and I asked her to sign the Intact Care Agreement at my son's 9-month check-up, but she refused. I tried to explain to her that I was just concerned about someone retracting his foreskin because it doesn't retract yet and I didn't want him to be hurt. She said she didn't feel comfortable signing it because there may be a time when she may want to touch his penis. I later got a letter from her in the mail saying that she was dismissing my children from her care because, "...our medical care is best provided in a cooperative relationship with our patients and in a relationship which includes mutual trust." What is it with doctors having an obsession with touching the foreskin, anyway?"-- AnnMarie

"The doctor strapped my son down to a board, gently forced (what an contradiction!!) his foreskin back, while my son was screeming. He was bleeding, and there was lots of thick white/yellow goo on the right side of his penis. The doctor cleaned it out, while my son screemed on and on. It was horrible. Has this happenned to anyone else whose son is intact??? Most of the men in my family, except for my grandfather's generation and great grandfather (they were all intact)(all of whom I knew,were circumcised. My husband is Indian and everyone in his family is intact. He has never heard of this happening. My son is the first intact child of my generation and my generation's children. I now have to pull my son's foreskin back three times a day and put antibiotics on it while he screams. Everytime he urinates he screams in pain. I wish down deep inside that I had allowed him to be circumsized. Watching him go through this is one of the hardest things I have had to go through as a parent."-- M
[Note: She has since stopped retracting and her son has healed. The "white stuff" is infant smegma and means the foreskin is starting to separate, as does the ballooning during urination.]

"I too never thought there was any alternative to circumcision, as it was what *everyone* did and there was no indication to me that it was nothing but a quick, painless procedure. My firsthand observation of a routine infant circumcision as a student blew my eyes wide open, but I never did personal research on the subject until I was told by a doctor that my second son might need to be circumcised. Thanks to my research, when the doc changed his "might" to "definitely", I was able to decline the procedure. My son is not yet three and has a perfectly normal penis and foreskin. But had I not done the research beforehand and been unimpressed with the doctor's unwillingness to discuss conservative therapies for phimosis (which, my reading says, is not an accurate diagnosis at such an early age -- he was first diagnosed by this man at 2 months!), I would have obediently complied with the doctor's recommendations. Knowledge isn't always pretty (as in the web link to which you referred), but it is empowering."-- Elizabeth

"I feel so much better reading these posts because for the past year, I have done just that and left it alone, like I had first learned. However, since these two new peds. told me to retract it all the way back, (and they said it so adamantly it scared me) I did that yesterday during his bath and diaper changes, thinking I had been doing it wrong for a whole year! I'm so glad I found this thread and realized I was right and to forget what they say and leave it the heck alone!"-- Patty

"My 5 week old son had his appointment this past week. Things went well until the physician grabbed his foreskin (without even informing me ahead of time) and pushed it back. It caught me off guard. It did not look like any membranes were exposed or that it was pushed back very far. So I am not sure if she was just checking the opening of his penis or not. It happened pretty fast. I feel just terrible for not preventing this from happening to him. But then how could I predict she would do that? Then she mentioned that by month four, we will have to start 'retracting his foreskin'. Of course I have no intention of doing this at all. I am planning on finding a new pediatrician because this one just seemed pro circ and I see no reason for her to be. No wonder she has seen problems with foreskins! If she is telling parents to yank them back? Geesh."-- Suz (12/18/98)

"When AnnMarie did the same thing you're doing [confronting the doctor to ask why she retracted her son's foreskin]-- or, actually, that happened to her and she then brought in the intact care agreement to the next dr-- she was dismissed from that doctor's care. Simply because the doctor said she needed to be 'trusted'. Trust works BOTH ways. And clearly, we cannot always trust doctors to know -- and to ahere to-- the proper care of the intact penis. We can't because they know not point one about it, the majority of the time. Yet, not only do they not disclose this info to the parents (i.e. 'I've never actually seen an non-circumcised penis before...'), they go about things as if they know EVERYthing. Its my concern-- having been through this with my own son-- that these doctors have some strange 'need' to see under the foreskin. There is no reason to, yet probably because they view the penis as 'normally' circumcised, they feel they have to 'see under' the 'cap' that's over the intact's glans."-- Jen (12/19/98)

"Saturday I mistakenly (due to lack of information) tried to help my 2 1/2 year old retract his foreskin to clean in the bathtub now that he is toilet trained. We did it slowly and I stopped when he said to, it didn't hurt, he wasn't crying or anything. Then I noticed it was bleeding. I called the ER (we are military and go to a military hospital) and the nurse said with urgency to bring him right in... I was just going to ask if it would be okay to put bacitracin and watch it. When we were seen the first words out of the Dr's mouth was that he needed to be circ'd. I ask why and he said he has 'phimosis'. He didn't tell me what it was, and I pointed out that there wasn't a problem until I messed with him. Anyway, he said that we needed to be seen by the reg. dr and he would explain it to me... we haven't been yet, I wanted to get info before I went in there and they talked me into something uneccessary. I got all the info I needed from Circumcision Information and Resource Pages. Now I am only worried that because of my actions... he may have scars and then it WILL become a problem.... But now I know... leave it alone! Thanks again!"-- Stacey

"At my second O.B gyn appt. when I was pregnant with my youngest they already asked me to fill out the circ. papers. When I informed them that I would not have the procedure done they acted surprised and told me that the insurance covered the procedure. I informed them that I was against having unnecessary mutilating surgery done to my son and didn't care if they paid me, I wasn't going to do it. They still asked my two more times during my preg., at his birth and at his 2 and 4 week checkups if I wanted it done. I can not believe how hard it is to have an intact boy and keep him that way. At his 12 month check-up the doctor tried to retract his foreskin and left him with a little cut at the tip of the foreskin. Then a few weeks ago he got sick and needed to give a urine sample, the nurse was cleaning him to put the bag on and started to pull back the foreskin. I couldn't believe it, I quickly grabbed her arm and asked her to stop. These nurses and doctor's are bound and determined to have my son circumsized. What's their problem? Anyway I'm glad to have a place to come for answers and to vent when I need it."-- Lisa

"Hi all! I'm sitting here in tears after reading some of these posts. This is my horror story in progress. We chose to keep our son intact because we feel that circ is genital mutilation. At the hospital the ped that saw him said not to retract the foreskin. (A side note --my ob said he was going to say I told you so when we had tohave him circ at 8-10 yrs old -he is no longer my dr.) At my son's four month check-up his ped said that the foreskin needed to be retracted because the opening was too small and proceeded to do so. He then said that Brendan would probably need to be circ at 1-2 yrs old. Now, Brendan is 19 months and ped says scar tissue has formed and he must be circ. He referred us to a ped urologist and we have an appt. next month. Also at this same appt. ped retracted foreskin to point of bleeding. This was 1 week ago and now Brendan cries when he urinates. I am still very much against circ and cannot get any answers for other options. Does anyone think that ped caused scarring when retracting? Can anyone suggest non circ alternatives in this situation? Please help!!!!!! Thanks."-- Sonya (3/13/99)

"When I questioned the physician who retracted my son during her 'routine exam' she seemed indignant of course. Even after I told her that the AAP says leave it alone, no need to 'help it retract' and that it would do it naturally, she had to get her one last warning in to me and that was 'It must retract by the age of 3 or 4 at the latest or he will need a circumcision later.' It was very hard for me to face down someone who has so many years of education. But now I realize I probably know more about intact penises than some of the pediatricians out there! VERY SCARY!! When she asked me if her explanation was satisfactory I was like 'Well I am sure it satisfies you, but it doesn't satisfy me.'"

"What that physician did not understand... And what angered me the most is that since she did not have to force retract him to pull back a large portion of his foreskin that she did not damage my son. WRONG!! Even though he did not bleed, my son did cry every time he urinated for the next 24-48 hours. When I told her this she gave some lame excuse that it could not have been her less than gentle examination, that he could have rubbed on the diaper! I told her the foreskin would protect his glans from pain so rubbing on the diaper wouldn't cause it. I told her to let someone pull on her fingernail until it hurt her bad enough to scream, and I bet she would have some seperation of skin with no bleeding either. Just enough seperation to let in bacteria. I could imagine her rolling her eyes as I said this. Then when I mentioned that asking if his urine stream was normal would have been good enough, she goes on to say something about cordage and how if it is too tight or something that they could grow up and have crooked erections!! HUH? Does she mean the frenulum? Well if she meant the frenulum she must have pulled my son and every other boy WAY back to examine it.

"It was not a fun situation to be in. Like I said before you want to trust these doctors. After all, you expect them to be reasonably informed. They don't like to be challenged. Doctors are afraid to admit mistakes because they could be sued if they did so. So I know the phone call was not just to put my mind at ease, but to cover her tushy.

"When searching for a new pediatrician I had to get out my insurance hand book. I called at least 15 offices in search of a physician who did not retract. All of the nurses I talked to thought you had to retract infants. Finally got ahold of a nurse who said 'Let me ask the doctor what he thinks.' Then I went with that clinic. Before I even visited with the physician I made sure she knew ahead of time that she had better not retract my son and that I had been through an emotional roller coaster wondering if there already was damage. When it came time to examine my sons hips and the new pediatrician took off his diaper I stopped her to make sure she knew we did not want him retracted. She told me the nurse told her before the appointment and that she doesn't routinely retract to examine and doesn't know WHY that other physician did that to my son.

"I still don't trust too many of the doctors I run into and I do most of my research on my own. Sad to say that about the only reason I have a physician at all is so I can get a perscription for my medications when I need them. I have 3 doctors that I trust. So I consider myself lucky." --Suz

"I have an intact 2 1/2 yr. old son. He has never touched his "parts" and it seems to be that he is afraid of them !! He even walks like a cowboy when he has no clothes on ( I suppose to prevent them from touching his legs ) !! I have read that the pulling and tugging that boys do helps aid in the "unsticking" of the foreskin. We are able to retract his about half way, but one side does not retract as far as the other. His doctor said that if we do not force it that they would have to circ. him. I have not forced it because I have heard that this could cause dammage. Should I do some pulling or should I try to get him to get "un-afraid" to do it himself?"-- Anon. Mother

"I'm originally from Japan where circumcision is virtually unheard of and I never knew anyone who had to be circumcized later in life. It occurs more frequently in the United States where so many doctors have a pro-circumcision bias and blame the foreskin for any problems that go on down there. I'd also recomend getting at least two medical opinions because some doctors have this bias."-- Yuki

"I witnessed a circumcision as a nursing student about 15 years ago and was appalled at the barbarity of the procedure. Prior to that, I had thought it was a simple, relatively painless procedure that all boys went through (not knowing my father was intact). I decided at that time I would never let a boy of mine go through it.

"Seven years later, having done no further research, I told my husband that, if he felt strongly enough that his new son should be circumcised, I would agree only on the condition that he be there to watch and console his son. Fortunately, he felt that it was unnecessary and that was that.

"I only started doing research when my second son was diagnosed with a UTI by a pediatrician and with phimosis by the urologist at age two months. The specialist said to retract my son's foreskin gently on a daily basis, and he would recheck him in a year. It could go either way, he said, regarding needing a circumcision or not, but that if he got another UTI, he would definitely need to be circumcised.

"I stopped retracting within a week, because no matter how 'gently' I did it, I could see the thin, fragile skin tear. After about 6 months, I stopped giving my son the prophylactic antibiotic. When we saw the urologist again about 18 months later, my son was still UTI-free and had significantly loosened his foreskin on his own. But instead of getting a pat on the back from the urologist, I was told 'Your son is definitely in the 10% who will have to be circumcised. It's just a matter of who makes the decision: you, or your son when he is older.' He wouldn't even discuss conservative measures. Had I not done research and read that it is improper to make a diagnosis of phimosis at such a young age, I might have allowed my boy to undergo the 'knife'.

"My little guy is now 3 and thoroughly enjoying his penis and stretchable hood. He has had no problems with his penis, and his pediatrician thinks his anatomy looks normal. So do I." --Anon.

"Hi I am the mother of an uncircumcised 16-month-old boy. My husband and I thought it over carefully and decided that it wasn't right for us. My husband is not circumcised and we could find absolutely no medical basis for the procedure My doctor had another doctor talk to me because apparently they thought I was not capable of making up my own mind. He said that it wouldn't hurt the baby because 'babies don't feel pain'. He acted as if I owed him an explanation for my decision. Bottom line is this: Educate yourself and don't believe everything you hear. Even from a doctor." --"PatriciaJill"

"Hi! My name is Carie and I have a 2-month-old baby boy who is intact. My husband is not. So, really I have had to depend on info I read to make decisions and get my knowledge.

"The other day at his 8 week check-up, I went back to the waiting room to get a diaper before they weighed [my son]. When I came back in, the assistant had retracted his foreskin and was asking me if I ever did that! I was floored! I said, 'NO! I don't think I need to!' and he went on to say, 'Oh, yes--you have to get in there and--see that white stuff?--You have to clean that--at every diaper change.' Bradley (my baby) wasn't (or didnt' seem to be) in pain from him doing this, but I was just sick at the thought that he had done this to him. I asked the Dr. if I was supposed to do this, and her answer was 'You can work at it if you want to--and clean it with water while he's in the bath.' Why would I want to 'work at it'? I'm telling you--I was stressed! All I could think was that this guy did something to my baby that was going to cause problems--just because he was misinformed. I cannot tell you the relief I felt to come to this board and see that he is not permanently damaged by this, that he will be just fine if I leave it alone. I had to take him back to the Dr. today for a retty bad cold, and I had a discussion with this assistant. I told him it was unneccessary and I wasn't going to do it! He couldn't believe it. And come to find out, he has a baby boy who is uncut and he does it to him all the time. I just want to know where the medical profession is getting their information! Anyway, thanks for being here! :) You helped me sleep better!" -- Carie and Bradley (who is thankful I won't be doing that to him!)

"At one of my son's Dr's appt. I watched the male Dr. quickly tug at the foreskin, forcing it WAY further back than it should have gone. I did not have time to act." --Linda

"When my son was born in 1992, we didn't have him circ'd. We went to a family physician back then, and we made my son's one-week check up with this doctor. He's an elderly fellow, from the 'old school'. He went about the exam, and zero'd in on my son's penis. (I was prepared that this might happen.) I said, "Do not attempt to retract his foreskin." The doctor went ahead and began gently pushing it back, all the while telling me this MUST be done or else my son will have problems for the rest of his life. I began to panic, and grabbed his hands and physically removed them from my son. I told him this is not how uncirc'd boys are cared for now- that it's been proven [that] breaking the adhesions does more harm than good. He wanted to know where I had gotten such 'rediculous' information. While he was talking, I wrapped my son up in blankets- didn't bother to dress him, and we left. Never went back, though I did mail him a pamphlet on caring for uncircumcised boys! We now use a pediatrician for our TWO sons, and have had no further problems." --Lori, mom to Daniel Scott 9/11/92 and Aaron Lee 3/7/94 (2/98)

"Well this isn't really the same thing...but it may happen to you, too. My sons are 'natural', and when my sister had her son 3 months ago, she left him alone, too. Well, she took him to her family doctor, and apparently, he saw dollar signs in his naturalness. He convinced my young sister [that her son] MUST be circumcised now, and made the appointment right then. I found out when she called me with poor Mikey SCREAMING his little lungs out because of the pain, wonder what she should do! I was so angry that he had to go through that.:-("-- Larielle (2/98)

"My husband and I were talking last night: we think it is time to find another doctor. He works in the construction dept. at the hospital, and he said he has heared other Dr.s say our Dr is a bit of a flake. I think I should send her info. anyway, and hopefully she will learn something and not hurt any other boy. I really should have gotten a clue when I was preg. and found that I was having a boy, the 1st thing she said was, 'Oh I will circ. him right here in my office.' I asked for info. about the pros and cons and she did not have any. I just knew I had already made that mistake by circ'ing my 1st son. Then when he was born she came in my room and said 'You can circ. him here or you can make an appointment to have him done in my office.' I told her we chose not to, and her reply was 'Oh well I will still treat him'. Like I should think that she would not. And I thought at the time this is kind of ironic since she had just helped save his live while being born, now she wants to cut off his foreskin. It about broke my heart when my son wanted me to kiss his finger that had a bandaid on it from his blood test and when I did he pointed and his crotch and wanted my to kiss that because the Dr. hurt that too. And when my husband asked about his Dr.s appointment he did the samething. Well thanks again and sorry this got so long, I guess I just needed to get it off my chest." --Ronda (I never thought that I would have to give a doctor information) (1/20/2000)