BOYS AND UNCIRCUMSISION

I was posted to Bauchi state for my youth service after studying in the university, So I  went to stay for my primary assignment with the principal of the secondary school I was to teach. So I noticed that the principal’s son was playing without any shorts on to cover his penis and that was when  I noticed he had his penis uncircumcised. Circumcisions is a common practice in Africa for religious and cultural reasons, in fact in some parts of Africa its an initiation ritual and rite of passage into  manhood and its done  days after the baby boy is born

WHAT IS CIRCUMCISION- Is the removal of the foreskin from the head of the penis  and its carried out by a trained medical personnel. In some parts of Europe there has been clamors that circumcision  is another form of genital mutilations without the consent of the boy, Although for decades its been seen as a necessary medical procedure with lots of health benefits such as;

Improves hygiene
Lowers risks of inflammation of the glans and foreskin also called penile disorder.
It can prevent paraphimosis and phimosis ,that’s when the foreskin gets stuck out of place.
Female sex partners of circumcised men are less likely to get cervical cancer.
Men who had circumcision are less likely to get cancer of the penis,
Men who went through  circumcision have a lower risk of certain STIs
Men who have been circumcised have less urinary tract infection.

So the decision to circumcised or not is a personal decision and for decades we have glamourized  circumcision and made it look like  Boys and  men who are uncircumcised have something not quite right with them and they seem to be marginalized and discriminated against for being different.

Is there anything wrong with uncircumcision?

According to The American Academy Of Pediatrics released a policy statement in 2012 that reviews the medical evidence about circumcision. It states the following:

From a preventive health perspective, the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risk of the procedure,
But the health benefits aren’t strong enough to recommend circumcisions for all new male  newborn.
Parents should be the ones to decide if circumcision is the right choice for their child only.

CIRCUMSISION RISKS

The rates of  complication is low but it isn’t a completely free risk procedure. There is a risk of:

Bleeding
Pain
Infection Injury to the penis [a rare complication at around 4 in 10,000 men.

The bottom-line is there are no rules or laws that states boys must be circumcised, its within the prerogative of the parent to decide after looking at the medical, cultural and religious perspective to circumcise their child and that child should not be felt to look like something is wrong with him because he is uncircumcised.

CARE OF THE UNCIRCUMCISED PENIS

The penis a reproductive organ made up of the the shaft and the head called the glans. Every boy is born with a foreskin , which is the layer of skin that covers the shaft glans, boys who are circumcised have the foreskin removed while those who aren’t circumcised have the foreskin covering the tip of the penis.

Its important to understand this fact that for the uncircumcised boy his foreskin will gradually begin to separate  from the glans of the penis, when this occurs you may notice a white cheesy material between the layers of skin or a you may notice a white ” pearls” developed under the fused layers of the foreskin and the glands so no need to panic as this are not the signs of infection, just plain normal.

When the foreskin separates from the glans it can pull back on its own during peeing or when its erect, foreskin retraction can happen at birth or as early as 5 years or later as a teenager. Retraction of the foreskin should not be forced as this may cause bleeding and pain and scarring of the skin.

TIPS ON HOW YOUR SON CAN CARE FOR HIS PENIS IF HE IS UNCIRCUMCISED

1-As you are potty training your son teach him how to retract his penis so it can prevent urine building  up beneath the skin which can cause infection.
2-Show your son how to use water to wash to clean the exposed area after retraction, without soap because soap could cause irritation.
3-After cleaning he can gently pull the foreskin back over the glan of the penis.
4-Washing the penis with soap and water is cool especially with mild soap.
5-Always ensure your son learns how to completely pee so drops of urine isn’t on his pant or boxer.
6-Teach him hoe to clean underneath the foreskin as part of his daily was routine.
7-If he has trouble retracting or the penis is red and inflamed, or its swollen and he is in pain or the hole where he pees from is narrowing please see the doctor immediately.
8-Let your son know the difference between a circumcised and an uncircumcised penis and to like himself just the way he is.
9-Teach your son to handle criticism from other boys over his penis by teaching other boys its clearly normal not to circumcise.
10-Accept himself and that there is nothing really wrong if he wants to circumcise in future.

closeup of a banana with the skin of its tip removed depicting a circumcised male member