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From the Physicians' Lounge #1

May 21, 2017

From the Physicians' Lounge

It is often said that a large part of a Urology practice is the surgical correction adult male complications from their prior neonatal circumcision procedure. We hear about the horrors of infant circumcision from intactivists groups such as loss of sexual pleasure, painful erections, unsightly or tight scars and “skin bridges,” plus any number of other ghastly mutilated penile phenomenon. The truth is, as a physician, it’s very hard to see where activists are getting this distorted view of foreskin free male genitalia. Over the years, I’ve discussed this with a number of adult Urology docs and they all say the same thing: “many more men come in wishing they were circumcised than men who show up with problems related to circumcision as an infant.” No one is telling the truth if they say a surgical procedure is 100% free of complications (generally, no one is telling the truth if they say there is any 100% guarantee with anything in medicine), but we know from pretty good data that complications with circumcision happen in about 1 out of 200 and most of those problems are minor. So is it true that your son will curse you for having him circumcised as an infant? It might be true if the propaganda machine of the anti-circumcision fanatics goes unchecked! Scientifically, however, it is a pretty low chance your son’s ire would be due to a medically significant circumcision-related problem. It makes me think of a personal story of an intactivist guru shared on satellite radio. He claimed the main circumcision crisis that drove him to shun his parents for 20 years was his epic realization that “my sex was just weird.” It makes one wonder how many male sexual insecurities and neuroses play a part in the fanaticism of the intactivist world. Urologists for the most part aren’t confirming the perceived epidemic of crippled penises. -DD


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