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"I was just going to retract a little"

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but from all the research I've done and everything I've read it is my understanding that my son's foreskin does not need to be touched during an exam. Pulling back the skin at all is wrong, and if there were an infection it would manifest itself on the surface. Right?

My son's last ped. pulled it back and said it was a normal part of the exam as I grabbed his hand and pushed it away from my son's penis. He didn't understand why I was so upset. We switched to the nurse practitioner, who didn't ever mess with his penis, but was pushing food over breastmilk at 9 months (she is also a lactation consultant?!) among other things.

We just switched to another office, praying it would be okay...everything was okay (mainstream, but still okay) until he starting retracting my son's foreskin. I immediately covered his penis with my hand and put on his diaper. He was shocked by my reaction and ensured me that it was a typical, routine procedure to retract to make sure everything is okay. I said that any retraction could do harm and he said he wasn't going to force it back. He apologized and said I'm sorry if I scared you, but it is a normal part of the visit.

What do I do now? DS is fine. He barely touched it before I covered it up. But, am I right? His foreskin doesn't need to be touched at all, does it? I don't want to search for another doctor, but I feel as though we were violated.
post #2 of 15
agreeing with you, does not need to be retracted AT ALL. Really they don't need to look there at all unless you have a particular issue that you are asking about (a diaper rash). Maybe they can just put it in the notes that you request all visits be pants on.

I wouldn't wait for it to happen again. Be proactive. Read up on the forum, get your facts in hand (printed out if it will help) and tell them right away. He's uncirc'd, do not attempt to retract his foreskin. Why is it so interesting for them anyway? Seems like they are just looking to have an issue because you *gasp* didn't mutilate your son's body at birth.
post #3 of 15
You're right there is rarely any reason (if any at all) to retract his foreskin.
post #4 of 15
Perhaps, he was just checking the urethral opening. However, if your son is not experiencing problems, there is absolutely no reason for a routine exam there. Next time, just inform your physician of your concerns. He is obliged to follow through with your wishes to skip any part of a "routine" exam. Your son's foreskin is not brittle. So, gentle manipulation won't do any harm. However, to err on the side of caution, it's best not to fiddle with it unless there is cause for concern, which in this case, there clearly is not.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisdude23 View Post
Your son's foreskin is not brittle. So, gentle manipulation won't do any harm.
How about paraphimosis? Or infection? :
post #6 of 15
Our doc has never ever touched my sons penis' even as infants, so no, it is not a standard part of the exam. If it is a standard part of this docs exam, it needs to become unstandard.

Take care,
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minarai View Post
How about paraphimosis? Or infection? :
In the vast majority of cases, gentle manipulation is harmless, but it should be only done by the child to err on the side of caution. The foreskin is very durable, and paraphismosis and/or infection are very rare. However, I do agree a physician should not touch it without cause and/or ever retract under any circumstances.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minarai View Post
How about paraphimosis? Or infection? :
The foreskin is not some body part that will shatter upon touching it. It is also not a body part that is prone to disease, it is a healthy functioning body part. And seeing as tennisdude actually has a foreskin, I think he knows what he's talking about.

Its true that its best to rest on the side of caution because if a doctor actually fully retracts it, it could lead to health problems due to the tissue torn during the retraction.

But in the end the point here is that fathers and mothers dont need to feel like their sons penis has been broken because the doctor touched it. Situations like this teach us that when a parent goes to see a new doctor, they need to provide information on intact care, they need to be clear whats "routine"/acceptable, and what is not.
post #9 of 15
I know what you are feeling. My family practioner doc did the same thing (just to look at the opening) 2x so far. The first time I ws kinda shocked. I did say something about it, but since he was very new, she said she was looking to make sure the opening was not congenitaly misplaced. Okay, that was a reason.

The second time I stoped her. There is no reason to mess with it. Congenital things don't develop 3 months after birth. She did ask if he pee'ed a stream or if it dribbled. I assured her he could pee a strong stream and she seemed okay with not touching it after that.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrsboyko View Post
She did ask if he pee'ed a stream or if it dribbled. I assured her he could pee a strong stream and she seemed okay with not touching it after that.
She was probably wanting to check for meatal stenosis, but didn't realize that this condition only effects circumcised boys.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
I knew I should have come armed with documentation on how to care for an intact penis, but really...it is ridiculous. I am just pissed that I even have to do that. I just want to go somewhere that I feel comfortable, and where I don't feel like I have to be on guard. Ya know? I guess it def goes far beyond the whole penis thing.

I don't know what to be mad at. Should I be mad at the doctor for not knowing how to care for an intact male, or the system for not teaching him properly? But...there is information out there, so isn't it his fault for not keeping up to date, and making sure he knows? Medicine is ever-changing.

My poor little ds does have a little tear. The tip of his penis is red and there is a mark that was not there before yesterday and there isn't any other explanation for it. I feel it is my fault, but it just happens so stinking fast. I put my hand out as fast as I could. The whole thing just sucks.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by calebsmommy25 View Post
I don't know what to be mad at. Should I be mad at the doctor for not knowing how to care for an intact male, or the system for not teaching him properly? But...there is information out there, so isn't it his fault for not keeping up to date, and making sure he knows? Medicine is ever-changing.
Honestly, I'm more angry at the system. Medicine might be ever-changing, but proper care of an intact penis is not. If I were trained not to retract a foreskin, it would never occur to me to do so - but if I were trained to retract, it probably wouldn't occur to me to revisit that, either, yk?

Take him the proper information, and see if he's receptive.

I'm glad circ rates here are fairly low. I was never told/taught not to retract ds1's foreskin, but nobody ever tried to do it, either. The only thing my doctors have ever done during well-baby visits is to undo one side of the diaper, look to see if there's any rash, and do the diaper back up. That's it. I can see doing that, just to make sure there's no rash developing, as sometimes parents do underestimate the severity and such...but there's no reason to do any more than that.
post #13 of 15
I am sure your son will be just fine. My husband survived what my MIL calls dilation. When DH was born the doc in the hospital gave them a choice between dilation and circumcision. Because they have never been a circumcising family they went with dilation since the doc told them something had to be done. What they did was widen the opening and forcibly rip the foreskin back. When MIL got home with him she was supposed to continue to pull it back and clean under it. But she fortunately had a great mother who had raised several boys that were intact and never fussed with. She choose to just leave him heal himself back to normal and he is now fully intact and has never had a problem. No adhesions, on phimosis, no skin bridges. If DH's foreskin can survive such horrible treatment I am sure your DS will be just fine. Usually to have real damage there has to be a history of repeated retraction.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by calebsmommy25 View Post
My poor little ds does have a little tear. The tip of his penis is red and there is a mark that was not there before yesterday and there isn't any other explanation for it. I feel it is my fault, but it just happens so stinking fast. I put my hand out as fast as I could. The whole thing just sucks.
I would file a complaint with his clinic and the state licensing board! The fact that he retracted causing the "minor" damage stated above is inexcusable and malpractice. Complaints will get the doctors attention and maybe lead to licensing boards offering continuing education credits about the proper care and development of intact little boys in our ignorant circumcising country.
post #15 of 15
You are 100% right. NO manipulation. My son was injured by a doctor that did this. The opening is very narrow and is a sphincter. Even gentle manipulation can cause micro-tears and set a boy up for premature separation (which can be quite painful). Here is a link with some links that can help. Print off some of the pamphlets and give them to that pedi!

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...893&highlight=
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