Monday, June 29, 2009

How to Care for Your Intact Son



The number one reason for problems of the penis is unnecessary infant circumcision (and the consequences of this surgical removal of the prepuce organ). The second reason for penile problems and complications is well-meaning adults who retract, over-clean, and 'mess with' intact boys' foreskins before they retract naturally and completely on their own. Sometimes this natural, gentle retraction does not occur until the pre-teen years. This is 100% normal. In fact, a recent Dutch study shows that the average age for retraction among boys is 10.6 years of age. Some retract (on their own) before this time, some later.

Among both boys and girls, before natural retraction, the prepuce (foreskin/hood) is tightly adhered to the glans (head) of the penis/clitoris, in the same way your fingernail is tightly adhered to your finger. If you stick things under your fingernail, try to pull it back, or otherwise 'mess' with it, you are bound to not only be in pain, but also fester irritation and/or infection. The same is true with the prepuce organ (the clitoral hood in girls and the foreskin in boys).

In addition, the prepuce serves the function of protection over the glans in much the same way your eye lids protect your eye balls. The temperature, moisture, pH balance, enzyme level, antivirals, and more are all regulated because the glans is meant to be an internal organ - just as our eyeballs are also internal organs. We'd never scrub under our eyelids and not expect some severe and painful (possibly infectious) consequences.

Remember: INTACT=DON'T RETRACT! ONLY CLEAN WHAT IS SEEN!

One friend, a pediatrician, tells parents, "The ONLY thing you need to care for your intact son's penis is a ruler -- to slap the hand of anyone who attempts to touch his foreskin."

Below are additional resources for parents of intact boys. Know the myths, and be informed enough to protect your son and his genital integrity.


[Retraction]

Should My Baby's Foreskin Be Retracted? Dr. Antier Responds
http://www.drmomma.org/2012/08/should-babys-foreskin-be-retracted.html

Hands Off My Foreskin! Dr. Martin Winckler on the Care of Baby Boys
http://www.drmomma.org/2013/02/hands-off-my-foreskin-dr-martin.html

Forced Retraction: Don't Let it Happen to Your Son
http://www.drmomma.org/2010/11/forced-retraction-dont-let-it-happen-to.html

Forced Retraction: Now What?
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/forced-retraction-what-now.html

Using a Catheter Without Retraction: My Nurse Did It and So Can Yours!
http://www.savingsons.org/2013/01/using-catheter-without-retraction-my.html

Only Clean What is Seen: Reversing the Epidemic of Forced Retraction:
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/only-clean-what-is-seen-reversing.html

Medical Testing: Do Not Retract:
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/uti-testing-on-boys-do-not-retract.html

Doctors Opposing Circumcision Statement for Physicians and Nurses on
Forced Retraction:
http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/info-forcedretraction.html

Forced Retraction: Ask the Experts
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/ask-experts-forced-foreskin-retraction.html

The Forced Retraction of My Son [One Parent's Story]
http://www.drmomma.org/2011/07/forced-retraction-of-my-son.html


[Intact Care]

How to Care for Your Intact Son (Home Page)
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/06/how-to-care-for-intact-penis-protect.html

Basic Care of the Intact Child:
http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/basic-care-of-intact-child.html

Protect Your Intact Son: Medical Advice for Parents When Your Doctor Says to Circumcise:
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/08/protect-your-uncircumcised-son-expert.html

The Functions of the Foreskin:
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html

Natural Foreskin Retraction in Intact Children and Teens
http://www.drmomma.org/2008/04/natural-foreskin-retraction-in-intact.html

Phony Phimosis Diagnosis:
http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/phony-phimosis-diagnosis.html

Urine Sampling and Catheter Insertion for the Intact Boy
http://www.drmomma.org/2011/12/urine-samples-and-catheter-insertion.html

Yeast, Rash and Redness: Breastmilk Spurs Yeast Overgrowth, Neosporin Alters Microflora; What to Do Instead:
http://www.drmomma.org/2014/04/yeast-rash-and-redness-breastmilk-spurs.html

Intact Care (and No Retraction) Agreement (Parents to Clinicians): http://www.drmomma.org/2014/10/intact-care-and-no-retraction-agreement.html

Raising Intact Sons:
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/11/raising-intact-sons.html

Foreskin: It's Not 'Icky':
http://www.drmomma.org/2010/12/foreskin-its-not-icky.html

How the Foreskin Protects Against UTI:
http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/how-foreskin-protects-against-uti.html

Painful Urination During Prepuce Separation
http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/painful-urination-during-prepuce.html

Ballooning in the Intact Child:

Questions Regarding Normal Separation of the Prepuce:
http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/common-questions-regarding-normal.html

Hypospadias: Surgery and Circumcision:
http://www.drmomma.org/2010/04/hypospadias-surgery-and-circumcision.html

National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers publication on care of the intact penis:
http://www.nocirc.org/publish/4pam.pdf

Penile Hygiene for Intact Males (Circumcision Information Resource Pages):
http://www.cirp.org/library/hygiene/

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Care of the Intact Child
http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/bathing-skin-care/pages/Care-for-an-Uncircumcised-Penis.aspx



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21 comments:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I was about to actually try and msg you asking if you knew of a good guide for intact penises! I circed my first son (no reason, just did it bc I thought it's what you were supposed to do- oh the ignorance of my youth). Pregnant with son #2 and we're not circing him this time! :) So thank you for posting this so so much! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love how fat and happy that baby looks. Look at him. He looks like a cute chubby little buddha baby. A poster child for just being a really cute happy baby.

    ReplyDelete
  3. my (intact) son is easier to care for than my girls were

    ReplyDelete
  4. My MIL was told if she didn't retract (my now husband's) foreskin it would permanately stay there. I caught her trying to force my infant son to retract while changing his diaper and immediately had to inform her she was causing injury and to never do it again!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's funny that because the social norm is to circumcise, we're all worried about how to care for our whole sons... but the only thing you have to do is nothing!
    After 2 daughters, DS is much easier to clean-- we just wipe it off like a finger if he's poopy. In nearly 2 years we've never had a problem, except for a pediatrician that attempted to retract him at 6 months against my orders. Needless to say, she lost us as patients, and got a big stack of literature about penis care which I handed her boss at my formal complaint. I don't know where the misinformation came from about having to retract to "clean", but it's ridiculous that so many doctors are still misinformed!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I left a breastfeeding and intact-dumb pediatric practice and went to a Family Practitioner who also tried to retract my son, claiming that I "had to start pushing it back or it would NEVER retract." It can be so frustrating finding a doctor. And you really do have to be vigilant, because even though you tell the doc he's intact, don't retract him, the doc says "oh I'm not I'm just going to push it back a little." ARGH! I like the ruler part. It's so true, at least in my community.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow didnt know my sone and l were so lucky .... We have never retracted ... sometimes it is lucky to be ignorant ! We just defluff when needed and he thinks it is hysterical ... and l do love that" Ruler Rule " just let any doctor come near us now !LOL

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  8. Why is it that doctors still think you need to retract baby boys? My son went to a Pedatric Urologist today and he almost pulled his back before I stopped him. Then he told me by 18 months I need to start retracting it? I would think of all doctors he would know - he's dealing with that part of the anatomy daily. Am I missing something or is it not fact that you should not retract an intact little baby?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You absolutely should not retract it. Trust me, I'm British, where chopping bits off our kids is NOT the norm, and we've had decades of NOT circumcising (other than in Jewish and Muslim communities). It doesn't usually retract until the age of around 10 (but can be as late as puberty), and should NOT be retracted before then. Even the American Academy of so-called Pediatrics (AAP - a pro-circumcision-for-money organisation) admits this - 'Until the foreskin fully separates, do not try to pull it back. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready can cause severe pain, bleeding, and tears in the skin' (http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/bathing-skin-care/Pages/Care-for-an-Uncircumcised-Penis.aspx)

      Delete
  9. my son (almost 4) retracted it on his own naturally, just last week. what do I do now?

    ReplyDelete
  10. My son is 4 and is intact, but like the above comment, he retracts his own back. I suppose if he is doing it himself and it doesn't cause him pain or discomfort it's okay??????

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  11. Excellent advice since there has been so much lack of understanding about a matter so simple. Here is the link to my own article on the subject: http://peacefulbeginningsrosemary.wordpress.com/infant-care/caring-for/

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  12. My son is 4, and his doesn't retract. I know this can be normal. However, his doctor is trying to force me to do it. SHe said that I must do it or it will be glued shut. Is there truth to this or is she being, well, dumb?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right--she's totally uneducated on the topic. Forcing it will just create problems! It introduces germs and can cause scar tissue, or adhesions (which would basically be like being glued shut!). Leave it alone and it'll do what it's supposed to just fine.

      Delete
    2. You do not need to retract him. It can happen naturally up until teenage years. It will not be glued shut. Right now the foreskin is adhered, like it should be, and will eventually loosen and separate. If he can pee out of it, then he is fine :) I can find you more info/webistes aswell. Definitely look around on this site, lots of info

      Delete
    3. Oh no please find another doctor. Your doctor is wrong. The average age of retraction is 10. Retraction is a function of sexuality and is not necessary until puberty or beyond.

      You can email savingsons@gmail.org
      With the doctors name and address and they will send a proper intact care packet her way.

      Delete
    4. Desiree, there is no truth in what your doctor is telling you. The natural bond that holds the foreskin to the glans will dissolve on it's own when your son starts making his own sex hormones. The average age is ten, but any age from 1 to 18 is considered normal. Your son will not get phimosis (foreskin will not retract) if you don't forcibly retract him. Forced retraction does only harm and no good. You are right to stand your ground, momma. Don't let her or anyone else retract your son. He should be the first and only one to do so.

      Delete
  13. Can you tell if a doctor did forcibly retract? My intact son is 3 months old, and at birth I hemorrhaged so was not able to supervise the first pediatrician's exam. I wonder if he was retracted - should I be able to tell now?

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  14. the PA my son saw for his 2 month visit tried to retract his foreskin and i told her no and pulled him away she pulled him back and continued to preach to me that he would soon die of infection if i didn't allow it. i told her no and explained the truth she then slammed the door and tried to report me for child abuse and endangering my son. he seemed just fine before... peeing well no redness or sign of irritation. (i had done my research before he was born and knew the facts) afterwards the tip was very swolen and red for about a week or two. now he is 3 months and seems fine again but i am still very worried that she hurt him. what do i do and how can i tell if she did any lasting damage?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like he is okay - the body has a remarkable way of healing itself, provided this does not occur regularly. You may benefit from seeing some things in this article:

      Forced Retraction: Now What?
      http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/forced-retraction-what-now.html

      I would certainly have Saving Our Sons send this PA information for review on current care.

      Delete
    2. The greedy cow needs to be reported for child abuse herself. She's clearly trying to cause an excuse for a circumcision so she can increase her wages.

      Delete

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