"well child" checks in prepubescent boys - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-26-2006, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another thread made me wonder about something--the one where the 12 year old was circ'd. This line:

New hubby took the boy to get his checkup and the ped said he had a very tight foreskin and that he should be circumcised.

Is it normal for a doctor to "test" a foreskin in a male child???? I mean, if there are problems with it, I can understand if the parent or the child asks the doctor to take a look...but is it wrong of me to think that if a doctor retracted my healthy, non-foreskin-problem-having 12 year old, my gut reaction would be to deck him??
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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but is it wrong of me to think that if a doctor retracted my healthy, non-foreskin-problem-having 12 year old, my gut reaction would be to deck him??
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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Is it normal for a doctor to "test" a foreskin in a male child????
I wouldnt be surprised if some dr do this since they seem to find the intact penis so facanating : As for normal no it shouldnt be.


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I mean, if there are problems with it, I can understand if the parent or the child asks the doctor to take a look...but is it wrong of me to think that if a doctor retracted my healthy, non-foreskin-problem-having 12 year old, my gut reaction would be to deck him??
Yep if there was a problem and they asked that would be reasonable. My reaction as well would be the same as yours. There is just no need to have it checked as part of the routine. This has actually been a worry of mine about taking ds in for physicals as he gets older.



It peeves me off no end that the words "please dont touch my son's foreskin" even have to come out of my mouth. : No one would ever dream of having to tell a dr. "please dont dont force my daughters vagina open"

 
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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I'm w/ you on that one. ALthough I have to admit, our ped does take a peek at the "boys" (that's actually his wording: "I just need to take a quick peek at the boys down here." ) THe difference is that our ped does NOT try to retract. He checks to make sure the testes are dropped and he does look at the tip of the penis, but he does not retract. I consider retracting a boy's penis to be very similar to spreading a little girls' vulva open "to take a look." NOT APPROPRIATE if there isn't something wrong down there!
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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Okay, perspective from Hong Kong (that's where DH was born & raised)


When he had his annual check-up at 10 or 11 (I can't remember which) the doctor asked him if he'd been washing under his foreskin. DH had no idea what he was talking about. He didn't know that it would become retractable! The doctor told him to wash underneath when he got home if it pulled back, and if it didn't pull back just wash the outside until it became easy to pull it back.


The doctor didn't try to retract, just gave him instructions - that was it. DH didn't have a father around growing up and I am assuming that since his grandmother & aunt raised him, they simply washed off the outside and didn't give him any more instructions than that.

On the flip side, his younger cousin was diagnosed by a different doctor for Phimosis as a young child : : : The doctor ordered a circumcision. DH remembers helping to carry his cousin home from the surgery in his arms and there was blood seeping through his clothing. He said he cannot get that image out of his head. :




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Old 09-26-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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I went to many well-child checks when I was a kid and I don't think they ever checked my genitals. I'm sure if I had a problem, they would have checked. But until my first gyno exam at 16, not one doctor even saw me without my underwear.

Is there something they are supposed to check on boys that I'm unaware of? I imagine when idiot doctors see a foreskin, they flip out, but why does the underwear have to come off in the first place?
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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The main thing the dr's check for is decended testicles up till a year or 2 and hernias then and later. A hernia can turn into a very dangerous thing and in young kids they really cant tell you if something is off and some older boys dont realize that they have something there out of the ordinary. I was tempted to tell the dr not to even look under his diaper/underware since he has no problem but I am afraid that he might get a hernia and then it would cause major issues before I knew there was a problem.

I am still torn about having him checked because of the retraction risk but I dont wanna risk missing a hernia either.

 
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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Dan has always had a checkup every January since he was born. They have always did the standard physical genital checks for him, feel his testicles, and have him cough. His pediatrician from when he was 2 until 12 every year recomended that he be circumcised, but never tried to forcibly retract him. He would look at the opening and tell us that the foreskin was still fused to his glans, and when it did detatch when he was 11, he finally took aways his circ recomendation.

We havnt ever had a DR thats forcibly retracted Dan. Now that Dan is retractable, his dr does however retract him. She says .... "I'm going to retract your foreskin now, is that OK with you? ... Good, now if it hurts or feels weird say so right away."

I've always considered that normal.
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:50 PM
 
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Now that Dan is retractable, his dr does however retract him. She says .... "I'm going to retract your foreskin now, is that OK with you? ... Good, now if it hurts or feels weird say so right away."

But there is no medical reason for her to retract him. There is no more point in retracting even if retractable than there is having a 11-12 yo girl have a spetulum exam. If he is ok with it that is fine but still she is just looking for a reason to start up the circ talk again IMO.


As far as I know there is nothing in there to be seen. If a infection is present it will make itself known within 12-24 hours without ever seeing under the foreskin.

 
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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Is there something they are supposed to check on boys that I'm unaware of? I imagine when idiot doctors see a foreskin, they flip out, but why does the underwear have to come off in the first place?
According to my pediatrician they check to make sure the testes don't retreat up into the groin. I'm not sure when they out grow needing that checked though, I thought it was a baby thing.

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Old 09-26-2006, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm w/ you on that one. ALthough I have to admit, our ped does take a peek at the "boys" (that's actually his wording: "I just need to take a quick peek at the boys down here." ) THe difference is that our ped does NOT try to retract. He checks to make sure the testes are dropped and he does look at the tip of the penis, but he does not retract. I consider retracting a boy's penis to be very similar to spreading a little girls' vulva open "to take a look." NOT APPROPRIATE if there isn't something wrong down there!
I absolutely 100% agree, that's how I feel about it exactly.
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:56 PM
 
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In other countries from what I have read all this foreskin manipulation is unheard of by healthcare workers.

 
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:12 PM
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So, when will the Dr reccomend doing routine paps on prepubescent girls??

Same thing...

It's disgusting.

Yeah I'm gonna do a pap exam on your 6yr old DD now...

Umm SCREW YOU!!!

That's what most sane parents would say, but allowing their boys genitals to be fiddled with??? Not a single peep. it's so disturbing on so many levels..
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:50 PM
 
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: Pandora.

I went for well checks and I never had to take my undies off. Actually I have only ever taken them off for the gyno. So why would a boy have to drop trow? Don't say hernias, cause they checked me for those threw my clothing
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:52 PM
 
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If the hernia is in the scrotum the only way to check for those is by palpation. I dont see how they could do that thru clothing on a boy honestly.

 
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:57 PM
 
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That does seem really wierd to me. None of my kids have their genetalia looked at after a year, unless there is a specific reason. My ds hadnt had anyone look "down there" since he was maybe 6 months old, until a few months ago when he crushed his foreskin on a cart (ouchies!). In fact, now that I think about it, my kids dont even get undressed for their well child visits! Only the baby does to get an accurate weight-the older two NEVER get undressed, again, unless there is a specific reason. Definately not at well child visits. Honestly, that would kind of creep me out....esp with a male doctor (I know, thats totally sexist, but thats just the way I feel).

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Old 09-26-2006, 08:09 PM
 
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I see no reason for a doctor to retract the foreskin, especially if there is no sign of infection. I don't believe my sons ever went through this at their check-ups.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:39 PM
 
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On the flip side, his younger cousin was diagnosed by a different doctor for Phimosis as a young child : : : The doctor ordered a circumcision. DH remembers helping to carry his cousin home from the surgery in his arms and there was blood seeping through his clothing. He said he cannot get that image out of his head. :




- Kira[/QUOTE]

OMG Kira- I am so sorry your dh had to go through that. I had no idea- that is horrifying.

As far as a doc opening a girls labia and checking a boys foreskin I don't know why they are doing this! I would tell them to back off. As a baby, fine- the kids don't remember it, but as an older child? I NEVER remember my ped doing that to me. EVER. I remember when I got to be like 16 he recommended my mom take me to her OB/GYN.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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If the hernia is in the scrotum the only way to check for those is by palpation. I dont see how they could do that thru clothing on a boy honestly.
One of my ds had double inguinal hernias with one side filling up the whole scrotum. There is no way you could *not* notice it if you are changing his diapers -- his scrotum was about 2-3X normal size and the skin was stretched tight.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:52 PM
 
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As far as a doc opening a girls labia and checking a boys foreskin I don't know why they are doing this! I would tell them to back off. As a baby, fine- the kids don't remember it, but as an older child? I NEVER remember my ped doing that to me. EVER. I remember when I got to be like 16 he recommended my mom take me to her OB/GYN.
When I was 5 or 6, I remember my mom taking me to the doctors. She told me it was a checkup I needed for school -- but she had the doctor make me pull down my pants and underwear and lay back on my knees(even though I was fussing and saying "no")and spread open my vulva. The doc just looked is all(besides the cold fingers clasping my inner labia!!)...but you know, I still feel violated and lied to. I even remember the name of the doc and the whole thing very vividly. I don't know *what* my mother was doing...but even if she had a "good reason" to take me there and get me "checked out" -- how dare she lie to me! I've tried to confront her about it -- but she won't admit anything.

LOL sorry for rambling...bottom line is people need to keep their creepy hands away from children's genitals unless there is truly an issue!!
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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Maybe the reason doctors check boys is because of the high incidence of complications from circumcision. Adhesions, skin bridges, meatal stenosis, buried penis, etc. Maybe doctors actually find problems more often than not with circ'd boys. And probably often find 'problems' with intact boys, ie. phony phimosis. I'm trying to believe doctors are well-intentioned, but misinformed (about intact boys).

This issue is hard for me to decide about. Inguinal (scrotal) hernias are pretty common in boys, and I'm not sure if I would notice if anything was wrong. But at DS's recent checkup, the genital exam made me uncomfortable. If for the only reason that I want him to learn about modesty and inappropriate touching, for his own safety, you know? The doctor didn't retract his foreskin, because I asked him not to. He probably would have if I didn't say anything, because he told me that I should retract DS to clean him in the bath. Which I don't, and told him so. I said I will teach DS to clean himself when he is old enough to do it himself. And the dr was ok with that, saying that he was clearly healthy down there anyway, so that would be fine.

So I don't know if I will consent to genital checks on DS in the future anymore. I'm leaning more towards not.

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Old 09-26-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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Yes some would be very obvious like your ds but there is cases were it is really small and wouldnt be visible.

I was just telling dh that I am on the fence about how needed hernia checks are. On one hand a hernia could fast become a huge deal if not caught but on the other it is weird to me to think about the dr being so hands on with private body parts. I just keep thinking about how if they wanted to do pelvic exams on little girls I would run the other way.

 
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:16 PM
 
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Yes some would be very obvious like your ds but there is cases were it is really small and wouldnt be visible
It just makes me wonder whether a really small hernia not causing any pain would even be a major problem. With my ds, they said the main issue was fear of incarceration which could damage fertility...not something I would personally worry about(in a child with no noticeable hernia, no pain etc)....also, the reason why my son had hernias was from being a micropreemie.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:23 PM
 
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If for the only reason that I want him to learn about modesty and inappropriate touching, for his own safety, you know? The doctor didn't retract his foreskin, because I asked him not to. He probably would have if I didn't say anything, because he told me that I should retract DS to clean him in the bath.

---


So I don't know if I will consent to genital checks on DS in the future anymore. I'm leaning more towards not.
Personally I feel that we should _NOT_ be teaching our children that its bad to have a doctor look at your genitals. There's a difference between inappropriate touching and having a doctor look over everything.

Our 13yo has to shower in school, and if he was super modest because of his parents teaching him to be, it would be a large shock to him to enter 6th grade an then have to strip infront of his class mates. Thankfully we take the approach that you should be how you feel comfortable.

Sorry, I know thats OT.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:30 PM
 
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I dont want my kids to see nudity as dirty but I want them to understand that their body is there own and if they are not comfy with someone seeing them that is ok. Even if it is a Dr.

As far as having to shower in school in a group. Here that dosnt happen they do change clothing for gym but they have private screens to go behind to do so. The whole showering together in the locker room thing disturbs me but I cant put it into words why. If they did it here I would find a way to get my kids out of gym honestly.

 
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:30 PM
 
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Personally I feel that we should _NOT_ be teaching our children that its bad to have a doctor look at your genitals. There's a difference between inappropriate touching and having a doctor look over everything.

Our 13yo has to shower in school, and if he was super modest because of his parents teaching him to be, it would be a large shock to him to enter 6th grade an then have to strip infront of his class mates. Thankfully we take the approach that you should be how you feel comfortable.

Sorry, I know thats OT.
I get your point, but in this sick cut-happy world of allopathic docs, it is NOT necesarily a good thing to teach our children to trust doctors. Did you see this thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=525446

I don't need some money hungry doctor sizing up my dc's penii. Where's the puking smiley?
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:31 PM
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Personally I feel that we should _NOT_ be teaching our children that its bad to have a doctor look at your genitals. There's a difference between inappropriate touching and having a doctor look over everything.

Our 13yo has to shower in school, and if he was super modest because of his parents teaching him to be, it would be a large shock to him to enter 6th grade an then have to strip infront of his class mates. Thankfully we take the approach that you should be how you feel comfortable.

Sorry, I know thats OT.
Umm I hate to break it to you, but more often than not Dr's DO touch inapropriately. They are in a unique positon of power and there are Dr's that can and will take advantage of said power.

If the child feels uncomfortable, he/she should have the right to say NO, I'm NOT gonna let you do this. To ANYONE, Dr's included.

Seriously, how many news reports do you see about Dr's molesting patients? How many of these acctual assults go UNREPORTED because "oh well jeez he's a Dr!"

It's can be as innocuous as not putting on gloves...to outright sedation/rape.

Dr's are as Human as you and I. They do have a code of ethics yes, but they are STILL HUMAN BEINGS with the same drive and fallabilities as ALL Human beings have.

Children Should have EVERY RIGHT To say "No I dont like that" to ANYONE. And I mean anyone...Dr's, nurses..you name it. Just because someone is in a white coat does NOT Mean they are allowed to do as they want to your body.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:33 PM
 
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Children Should have EVERY RIGHT To say "No I dont like that" to ANYONE. And I mean anyone...Dr's, nurses..you name it. Just because someone is in a white coat does NOT Mean they are allowed to do as they want to your body.
thank-you!
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by twins10705 View Post
When I was 5 or 6, I remember my mom taking me to the doctors. She told me it was a checkup I needed for school -- but she had the doctor make me pull down my pants and underwear and lay back on my knees(even though I was fussing and saying "no")and spread open my vulva. The doc just looked is all(besides the cold fingers clasping my inner labia!!)...but you know, I still feel violated and lied to. I even remember the name of the doc and the whole thing very vividly. I don't know *what* my mother was doing...but even if she had a "good reason" to take me there and get me "checked out" -- how dare she lie to me! I've tried to confront her about it -- but she won't admit anything.

LOL sorry for rambling...bottom line is people need to keep their creepy hands away from children's genitals unless there is truly an issue!!
Wow! THat's awful! Do you think your mom might have been worried about sexual abuse?
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:34 PM
 
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I never had to shower in public in school
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