Dr. Mehmet Oz is back for the finale episode of Ask Oprah's All Stars as he answers your most burning questions in his embarrassment-free zone. Read the complete set of questions and answers from the final episode of All Stars right here!
We're just wondering, should we circumcise our son or not? -Carrie and Dianne from Toronto, Canada
DR. OZ: First up, let me congratulate you both, that's fantastic news, but also let me welcome you to parenthood. 'Cause when you're a parent, you know, it's all about making difficult decisions. The easy ones don't ask you about.
I'm gonna give you a little bit of the anatomy of what's goin' on here. All right. So, we, we got a sock here, it's a high-tech, uh, example of what the, the penis is gonna look like when that little boy comes down the chute. Here's the tip right here and you've got this little foreskin area right there. And this - when normally the penis is erect will show the tip of the penis, with the, the opening here of the urethra. But when you roll over the foreskin, it closes it over completely. Do you see that? Now when you close it over you open up a space here, which normally when it's erect is open, but they could close again.
So, you need to clean this area out while the penis is relaxed. Pull the skin over it and then clean this area, and then pull it back... and clean in here as well. Now that's a little bit a hygiene issue. When you circumcise the penis you take that out. That's a big deal, because if that area is able to hold on to fluids, for example, a virus, it could pass that virus on to other people. So, it's linked to sexually transmitted diseases if you have a foreskin. It's also linked to the HIV virus.
SUZE ORMAN: Does it hurt?
DR. OZ: The child does feel pain, but they don't remember that they feel pain. Little babies will feel pain. But I can tell ya, a hundred percent of little babies are opposed to circumcision, okay? 'Cause who wants to go through that if you don't have to. So the big question you gotta deal with is now once you're circumcised, the tip of the penis is always exposed. And when the tip of the penis is exposed, it's the richest place for nerve fibers, they're continually rubbing things around them; they're not protected by the foreskin anymore. And when that happens....you actually lose some of that sensation. So, on the pro side of having a circumcision, you got the benefit of avoiding sexually transmitted illnesses, and you have the benefit that it could look like the dad, which in your case doesn't matter. But culturally there are reasons why we circumcise as well: you don't want the child to look different. I think in, in America, less and less people are doing circumcisions. So I don't let that influence my decisions when I give advice. On the other side of the cons, you lose some of the sensitivity and it's a little disfiguring. So, let me give you some advice that's pretty concrete on this. The most important decision for you to make is to make one before the baby is born. Because when that child comes down the chute at you, there's this emotional craziness, this jagged array of feelings you're gonna have. You don't wanna have to decide a baby's name - 'cause you make mistaken (chuckles) then. You don't wanna have to decide if you're gonna circumcise, 'cause it's gonna change that child's life for the rest of the year...there is no clear medical consensus. Even the major medical societies aren't weighing in on this. br />
I personally feel that if you're born with something, it's probably there for a reason. So, I would lean against doing much about it, but let me be clear about something. The data is coming in about sexually transmitted diseases, that HIV, much of it from Africa, if that continues to be as strong as it is, and what we really wanna do is focus on how to clean the foreskin, that's why I showed you that. 'Cause I want the guys out there who are not circumcised, to realize, you have an obligation to make sure that space is clean, especially if you're sexually active. 'Cause you can pass that on to women, and that's linked to cervical cancer and lots of other ailments you don't wanna be responsible for. I just wanna hear your thought, 'cause, listen, this is a very precious moment in your life.
How can I go into a store, if I'm going for one item, and just get that one item? And not a whole wardrobe?-Elizabeth from theAsk Oprah's All Starsstudio audience
DR. OZ: What you have is a socially acceptable addiction. And we have a lot of 'em.
DR. PHIL: Why is it socially acceptable? Are you kidding me?
DR. OZ: She can get away with it and people don't call her on it.
DR. PHIL: I do!
DR. OZ: If you - yeah, you just did, but most people don't. And you're not most people.
DR. OZ: Yeah, but if she was doin' crack cocaine, which by the way, when you do that shopping stuff you're doing, it hits your brain in the same place as crack cocaine does. And it feels just the same way, and it wears out that part of your brain which is why you get the rebound.
So, I think it's fundamentally important to recognize that if I made a pill - if a pill existed for the approach you take to shopping, you'd overbuy it, you'd take it. And we do that in America, right? You get the smallest little issue and we start to medicate it. And I know medications are pain killers, this is something that's gonna take the personal growth that's your journey in life.
DR. PHIL: You know, listen. Part of maturity is learning to tell yourself no. You know, when you're a kid, "Why don't you eat your broccoli?" "'Cause I don't like it," that's the rationale. When you're adult, you learn that you have to do things you don't always wanna do, and not do things that you wouldn't wanna do. We're not just purely hedonistic. You need to mature enough to say, I need to learn tell myself no. 'Cause that money you're blowin'? The day's gonna come when you wish you had that back. You're gonna wish that you had that back.
DR. OZ: There's something adaptive about what you're doin'. That - and like most of our maladaptive behaviors, right? You're doing this because it's helping something, you gotta figure that out.
Smoking is a monkey on my back. Dr. Oz, how do I stop craving cigarettes once and for all?-Michelle from Michigan
DR. OZ: So, let me ask you, if the - you know, if I could think about it a little differently. 'Cause right now what - you're probably thinking, "I'm not worth it, I'm ashamed, I'm stupid."I'm not gonna put these words in your mouth, but I suspect you and, you know, lots of other smokers out there - in fact, many folks who have addictions, many people who are doing things to hurt themselves - are probably thinking the same thing. I learned long ago with my practice, 'cause I'm a heart surgeon, I still operate, and I still tell people that smoke to stop smoking. But I don't say it that way anymore, 'cause I learned no one listens to that, 'cause they already know that. So I'm gonna say it a little differently. I'm gonna look at you right now and say, I love you. I care about you. This audience cares about you. Phil and Suze do. All we want you to do is to love yourself as much as we do.
All right, let me just show you something. This is what happens when you smoke...You take one deep breath into the lung. The air is filling in and with that the smoke goes into the bronchi, into the small little holes. Now watch what that smoke does, it takes these nice small little sponge-like cells and destroys them! Creating what we know to be the pothole, moth-eaten appearance of emphysema.
Now these little precious things...are what lungs should look like. Now I'm just gonna show it to ya, 'cause I don't want you to be able to hide from the reality what your body right now is going through.
The air that fills these lungs is a magical substance for the lungs. And when I see lungs like this, as someone who's spent his whole life thinking about how beautiful the body is when it's created, and when I see the tar deposition, the pigments there, from the cigarette smoke that you've been gettin' in your lungs. I see the emphysema changes, the - that potholed appearance that you can sometimes see in the top parts of the lungs here.
I want you and everybody here to do a little experiment with me. I want you to take as deep a breath as you can. Fill it all the way up, all the way up, all the way up. You okay? Keep, keep holding it, keep holding it, keep holding it. All right, take a deeper breath. A little bit, a little bit more! You feel that aching in there? Yeah. Let it go now. That's emphysema. Emphysema is when your lungs fill so much the air pockets blow up and they can't get the air out anymore.
A third of all smokers will develop emphysema and it's not dependent upon how much you smoke. Much less than that probably 5 or 10 percent develop lung cancer. There are other cancers you develop???So we know the chance of someone succeeding when they try to go cold turkey's about five percent. If you go on the medications, it's about 50 percent. So there's a big difference. It's something that only you can make a difference on. The other thing you gotta do is figure out why does it matter to you.
Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil, I just caught my husband masturbating. I am shocked. I thought we had a normal sex life, but when I opened the bathroom door unexpectedly, there he was with his pants around his ankles looking at a lingerie catalog. Gross, Why does he need to do that? Is it normal to masturbate even if you have a robust sex life? -Anonymous email fromOprah.com
DR. OZ: Let's just talk about men for a second. We found out that 45 percent of men in this big national survey admitted to masturbating. Now the other 55 percent were just lying. 'Cause I can tell ya... that's what men do. I'm not pointing to Phil, I'm just mentioning, I'm motioning towards Phil. (laughter) Nothing specific. So, here's the deal. Masturbation is actually good for you. It milks the prostate, which has toxins that build up in it. You're supposed to be able to ejaculate - ideally you do it in the midst of a sexual relationship, but once in a while there are very healthy, benign reasons to do it. In terms of the - and I'm still surprised that 50 percent of you thought it ought to be done relatively infrequently. But for me the definition of how much you do is based on how you feel. If you feel energized by your sex life and you masturbate on top of it, and that still makes you feel energized, that's fine. But if you're gettin' back pain from doing it too much, and you feel (laughter) droopy, and sleepy, it's like the Seven Dwarfs, no--
GAYLE KING: Carpal tunnel?
DR. OZ: Carpal tunnel syndrome...you're doin' too much. So that's actually the best way for you to figure out where - But all this guilt stuff that we get into the myths of it, that caused the problem. Now I wanna ask my friend Dr. Phil to help address our writer's question, which is, how she deals with it with her husband.
GAYLE KING: Okay, this, this question also applies to women. How many times a week is it normal...for a woman to masturbate?
DR. OZ: You know, this actually is a big deal for me. Because, uh, there are probably a third of the women, at least in our television audience and maybe in the audience here in the studio, who have trouble having orgasms. And the most important thing I can tell ya is if you don't know how to masturbate, you're gonna have a difficult time having an orgasm. So, you, you better work on that if you really wanna enjoy life to its fullest. I feel the shame that women feel towards their, their reproductive organs...it's essential, and you know, a lotta women and guys, they - you know, they spend a lotta time not talking about this. But we need help. We don't know this stuff. And it is knowable. Listen, there are some things in life that are knowable, other things that are not. This is one of the knowable ones. You can take classes in this. And I don't want you being shy about this. If you don't enjoy intimacy of having orgasms, you are sacrificing years of your life, 'cause there is data there, that how long you live - for men it's linked to how many times you have sex, but for women it's not the amount, it's the quality of that sex.
DR. PHIL: If he's, if he's any kinda doctor, at the end of the show, he'll have a prescription pad, and he'll write out, "Masturbation for you women." He'll sign it you can take it home.