This site discusses phimosis in its specific forms of phimotic ring, frenulum breve, adhesions or skinbridges. During erection these conditions inhibit the relationship between foreskin and glans. This functionally restricts the erection, and thus has an effect on the sexuality. With our culture's attitudes on health care, it would be appropriate to monitor boys before puberty and encourage early prevention.

2012 : note from author: My previous idea of monitoring boys before puberty is impractical, unecessary and now only of historical interest. please see Postscript.

PINHOLE PHIMOSIS and URINARY PROBLEMS

I was circumcised at age 14. After reading your essays I now know that the operation corrected a pin hole phimosis. The pin-hole was tiny and urination was accompanied by ballooning.

I had recurring incidences of Urinary Tract Infections for as far back as I can remember. During these incidences the UTI were accompanied by kidney pain and caused excruciating stinging when urinating. When cured of the UTI by large quantities of Penicillin I still needed to urinate often. I remember wetting my pants in Grade 4 - the teacher had refused to let me go to the bathroom during class - I tried to hold on but I couldn't. I was a frequent bed-wetter until about age 9.

Up until age 14 my family doctor was aware of the Phimosis. I guess that he must have favored a wait and see approach. My urologist did extensive tests and even opened the hole surgically to about 3mm, but as far as I am aware did not suggest circumcision. Finally at last a new family doctor over ruled the specialist and recommended circumcision. This was carried out under total anesthetic by the new family doctor himself. All UTI problems stopped after the circumcision.

The Phimosis and its consequences have had a profound affect on who I am. The health issues are minor compared with the psychological impact of this condition. These issues range from the shame of wetting my pants in class, to being a spectacle at the urinal, to the embarrassment of the circumcision itself. This lead to shyness and reinforced my introversion and made me a loner. My shyness lead to questions being asked about my sexuality, which undermined my confidence still further. The up-side is that I focused on work issues which provided plenty of positive reinforcement.

Who knows who I would have been if I had been circumcised soon after birth ? I suspect a very different person to the one typing this e-mail. The most important question, "Would that other me be a happier person?". Who knows ?

My wife and I are about to have a son - our first. We already have 3 wonderful daughters! This happy news led me to the web to research circumcision. During this research I came across your site and the answers to so many questions. It is so freeing to have facts.

You will understand that I am prejudiced strongly in favor of circumcision for my son. But I do fear my prejudices. This is a big issue and I don't want to make this call lightly.

Robin, I would be grateful if you could answer two questions:

1. Is phimosis a hereditary condition, and so is it more likely that my son will have this condition ?

2. I was a late bloomer. My first signs of the onset of puberty occurred just a few days before my 15th birthday, about 9 months after the circumcision. Is the late onset of puberty associated with phimosis, or is this an unrelated issue?

Many thanks,

____________________________

RS. I can understand that men like you are easy converts for the pro circ cause .... I believe you still retain an amount of clear rational thinking on the subject so I will attempt to win you for an unbiased attitude to circumcision and the priority of primary health-care.

Phimosis can be checked for, and the possibility of secondary phimosis (during puberty) can be educated about

>1. Is phimosis a hereditary condition, and so is it more likely that my son will have this condition ?

If phimosis is hereditary then it is through the female, there are occasional reports from men where the whole male side of the family seems to have it, but it would be far more widely reported if there was any non-chance connection, - I`d have heard more about it

>2. I was a late bloomer. My first signs of the onset of puberty occurred just a few days before my 15th birthday, about 9 months after the circumcision. Is the late onset of puberty associated with phimosis, or is this an unrelated issue?

very interesting: - many doctors (French and Russian ) have maintained this ... it certainly doesn`t speed the onset of puberty ...

I would suggest with your experience and worry/concern about your son that IF THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG that you get him circumcised (consider a partial circumcision) ... but if there is nothing wrong with him, then it is inappropiate to operate, -- during childhood you can check during his baths, so its easy to keep an eye on him, the only worry then is that in his pre-puberty years when his privacy is probably important that he gets some sort of education on the possibility of secondary phimosis and is not then too embarrassed to complain should this 1% chance occurr.

greetings
Robin