sore penis and discharge - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 01-23-2004, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I hope this is the right place to post this!
My son is 20 months and uncircumcised (we're in the uk so it's never been an issue). Today he's been grabbing the front of his nappy and pulling at it. After his bath tonight I noticed that a whiteish discharge is coming out of the tip.

He doesn't seem to be in pain , just uncomfortable. And it doesn't look too red.

Should I do anything? Is there anything you'd recommend to put on it?

Many thanks in advance,
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#2 of 7 Old 01-23-2004, 07:42 PM
 
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You don't need to do a thing. Everything is exactly as it should be.

The white discharge is smegma and that is something as natural and normal as anything can be. Men and women produce it their entire lives. Smegma is the Greek word for "Soap" and that should be a hint for you.

Most likely, what is happening is your son's foreskin is separating from his glans. When this starts happening, there can be pulling between the two parts as the separation process is not even and that can make for an itching feeling. His pulling at his nappy is him trying to scratch that itch. It will go away in a day or two and will probably happen one or more times before he is completely separated in a couple of years. Nothing needs to be done but realize that he will be paying intense attention to his parts during these times.





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#3 of 7 Old 01-23-2004, 08:39 PM
 
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Maisie- It sounds to me like he is having an episode of balanitis (which does not mean anything specific except that there is an inflamation at the end of his penis) a culture would have to identify what is exactly causing this. I think that you probably know the difference between smegma and some other sort of discharge... I have never seen smegma (or discharge for that matter) coming from a foreskin opening, and I really don't think it sounds normal.

I will warn you that a foreskin is capable of a lot of swelling (like a fat lip) so just be warned- if it really gets puffy- it is not going to fall off or anything... the swelling can subside just as fast as it comes on... being a tip of an appendage it is really prone to puffing up if there is some inflamation.

If it does not look better by tomorrow- I'd go to a Dr. and get a culture done to see if he needs a medication, but a lot of times this will resolve all on it's own in a day. Few children will ever get balanitis and those who do usually only have it happen once- you don't need to worry about surgery or anything.

I would just give him a warm bath of clear water and that's it for tonight- no medication. Don't retract or anything and keep an eye on his urine output.

This article has a photo of what balanitis might look like.
http://www.cirp.org/library/hygiene/camille1/
Hope that helps-

Love Sarah
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#4 of 7 Old 01-24-2004, 07:08 PM
 
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Sarah:

Thanks for posting that information. I had a few problems with it which affects the believability of the entire report.

They said “Three patients did not respond to therapy. The mean age of patients with fully retractable foreskins following therapy was 6.7 years, compared with a mean of 3.8 years for those with partially retractable foreskins.”

“Mean” means that half were and half weren’t. This directly conflicts with their statement that almost all of the boys were retractable by 5 years. Which is it? It is clear that they were trying to facilitate retraction before it’s time and using unnecessary intervention to make it happen instead of letting it happen in it’s own time. What’s the rush? It happens when it happens.

They also mentioned that UTIs are more common in intact boys when there is no reliable research. The only research that shows a significant difference is the Wiswell study that used infection prone premies for their intact group and full term boys for their circumcised group. The mere fact that Wiswell showed a 350% higher rate than any other research should be a heads up for anyone even ignoring the issue of premies being used for the intact group. All other research shows 1% or less infection rate with insignificant differences between the intact group and the circumcised group. The difference could easily be due to genetic differences or the neighborhood the boys lived in or any other of numerous confounders.

While this report may have some utility, the errors are so glaring that I have little faith in any of it.




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#5 of 7 Old 01-24-2004, 10:07 PM
 
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I agree with your criticisms of the report- there are many resources that I sometimes cite that have conflicting information (notably the Gracely Adhesions article from the "nurse practioner".... starts with a great explanation of the hows and whys of why circumcision makes adhesions problematic... but then finished with a rather brutal recomendation to tear them apart= YIKES!) The reason why I chose this article for this mom was only for the photo so that she could get an idea of what balanitis might look like. (if that is indeed what she is seeing)

Thanks for clarifying!

Sarah
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#6 of 7 Old 01-25-2004, 12:46 PM
 
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Sarah:

I’ve often wondered why the Wiswell report gets so much attention and is so widely believed and I think I have come to a conclusion.

Wiswell is very active in promoting universal routine infant circumcision and he is backed up by the likes of also very vocal Schoen and Morris. Think about it. Wiswell, Schoen and Morris are the only ones who have personal websites pushing this kind of information and all of the others who have websites are just echoing their false information. It’s easy to see when you read web pages of other doctors since they will verbatim repeat the assertions of the three musketeers of infant genital mutilation. Since Wiswell and Schoen were on the AAP’s Taskforce on Circumcision, they are given credibility they don’t deserve and their words are taken without challenge. It’s like the old saying that if you tell a lie often and loud enough, it becomes the truth. These doctors are just like parents that have been told that the foreskin is a problematic structure. They have been told these lies by professionals that have positions of respect and just believe them without question. They have no reason to go the extra step and see what other researchers have to say. The other researchers also don’t have the cheerleading squad to get their research the attention it deserves and to out shout the three perverts.

Thankfully, this is changing. As parents become more educated and more doctors are forced to deal with intact boys with educated parents, the medical profession is having to question some of the accepted maxims of this issue and realize that the accepted wisdom is actually idiocy. The more noise we make, the less the likes of Wiswell are heard.





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#7 of 7 Old 02-03-2004, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to say thank you for your help. Whatever it was cleared up after about 24 hours.

Thanks.
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