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#1 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My little guy is 6 months old. At every physical our pediatrician GENTLY pulls on his foreskin to see if it is starting to un-adhere. Before he did it the first time he explained to me that he would not forcefully retract him, but every once in a while its important to check and see if it is retracting so that when it does retract i will know and be able to clean it correctly. So, i felt OK with that.

Anyway, i didnt expect him to be retractable until much older. But, at his 6 month check his pedi was able to move his foreskin pretty far up. It didnt hurt DS at all, there was no blood, and DS didnt even seem to notice it was done. This makes me think that it really was ready to be retracted.

So since then when i have given him baths I've tried to pull it back slightly and nothing happens. Maybe its because he is all slippery from the soap/water? Should i really try and retract it every time now? I really didnt notice how the pediatrician was doing it - whats the "technique?" Maybe I'm just not pulling it back correctly. When the pedi did it your could def see a lot of his meatus and i just havent been able to do it when i've gently tired.
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#2 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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The only one who should retract your son is your son. No one else should touch it! That "Dr." knows NOTHING of the care of the intact penis. Most aren't retractable til the teen years.

I don't have the link right now to the care of an infant's intact penis right now, or I'd share it.

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#3 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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DON'T! retract him. My son is almost 6 and not retracted. Totally normal and it will happen gradually. You will actually cause infection by cleaning up under there...that is the reason it is there! Just wipe the outside like you would a finger. That is all that's necessary.

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#4 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know its normal to not be retracted at 6 months - but if the foreskin isnt adhered anymore cant bacteria get in there if I'm not retracting him and cleaning during baths?
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#5 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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I know its normal to not be retracted at 6 months - but if the foreskin isnt adhered anymore cant bacteria get in there if I'm not retracting him and cleaning during baths?
Letting it soak in the bath should be fine.

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#6 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I've never heard of a foreskin naturally retracting for an infant. It sounds like the doctor has gradually caused manual retraction. Bathing should be fine.

I have 6 younger brothers and only one started to retract early around his 4th birthday. It was simple to teach him to clean himself.

We women all have our hoods and we don't retract our little girls right?

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#7 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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Just think of it like a girl. You wouldn't be douching an infant girl, right? There is no reason to mess with it at all, jsut leave it alone.

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#8 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The pedi really didnt do it forcefully, and has only dont it 3 times - newborn, 2 months, 4 months (where it didnt move at all), and now at 6 months it move a good deal.
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#9 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Then what is the difference between an adult who can get bacteria under his foreskin and an infant that can? If his foreskin isnt adhered and he is in diapers i would think he would be at an increased risk for infections.
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#10 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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Here is a link on how to care for an intact penis:

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...iansguide.html

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#11 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Then what is the difference between an adult who can get bacteria under his foreskin and an infant that can? If his foreskin isnt adhered and he is in diapers i would think he would be at an increased risk for infections.
Do you retract your hood everytime you bathe?

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#12 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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The foreskin of a young child is designed to keep the ooky stuff OUT. The double muscle layer in the tissue makes the foreskin fits very snugly so nothing is going to seep in, unless the foreskin were smooshed open in the diaper. Also the muscle around the opening is in a circular formation which makes it act like a sphincter, which closes the outlet up tightly after each void. In fact, every time he pees, he's flushing the opening outward with sterile urine, which also helps keep itself clean. You should also realize that the area underneath the foreskin has cells and substances in it which are part of the immune system, and actually help fight off infection. In short, the foreskin is very well designed to take care of itself, and it is always going to do its protective job best when left undisturbed.

The advice to try to retract infants is based on old misconceptions, first about the age at which the foreskin should normally be retractable (its now know that the average age at full retractability is about age 10), and second, that if you don't clean under the foreskin regularly, "he'll have terrible infections." The latter probably comes in part from the Victorian period when anything to do with the sex organs was considered filthy, and also through a lack of understanding of normal variations that may occur with the foreskin, like redness from diaper rash, or transitory swelling that relates to separation of the foreskin, rather than from a true bacterial infection. While some doctors still recommend retracting as early as possible, many others (including the AAP), recommend leaving the foreskin alone until the boy is able to manage retracting and rinsing for himself. Most sources say that when they're little, all that's needed is washing off the outside, and that when the boy is 4-5 he can learn to retract, rinse, and replace the foreskin himself (if he's retractable of course). That way the natural protective capacities of the foreskin are left undisturbed, and there is no risk that someone will try to retract the boy too forcefully, causing pain or trauma. In any case, most sources say that only an occasional (say weekly) rinse underneath is all that's needed in childhood (if retractable and the boy does it himself). One Canadian pediatric urologist has even been quoted as saying that "there's no evidence that there's any need to clean under the foreskin before puberty"!

Gillian
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#13 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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You don't. And you don't allow the ped to do it again either.

He himself should be the first one to retract his foreskin. The only thing that retracting it at this age will do is to bring pathogens into the area.

Doc needs to be educated. You should contact these guys for help. http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/

Single mom to the Crunchy Froglets, Keith and Carlin, twin boys born 1/30/09. Frozen for 10 years, now unleashed on the world.
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#14 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you guys!!! ESPECIALLY Gillian!
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#15 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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Have you read the sticky The Definition & Why it is BAD. It is in resources and tells why the Dr. should never even touch the foreskin let alone push around on it.

Bottom line the most important rule of taking care of the intact penis is never retract and never let anyone else do so. Only the owner of the penis is allowed to mess with it.

The intact penis is like the vagina it is self cleaning and a simple swish in the bath will remove anything that needs removing.

 
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#16 of 38 Old 01-14-2010, 05:33 PM
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Don't retract!!! The doctor has no business doing so. Neither do you! The doctor is supposed to check to see if the baby's testicles are descended, no other exam in the genital area is necessary or even advised.

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#17 of 38 Old 01-15-2010, 05:30 AM
 
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Yes to all of the PP. The doctor had NO business doing he was doing. Trying to retract a baby boy (and that was exactly what he was doing) could lead to the foreskin getting trapped behind the glans (paraphimosis).

Only external cleaning is needed at this age. If the boy can't do the cleaning himself, it is not needed.
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#18 of 38 Old 01-15-2010, 08:23 AM
 
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I know its normal to not be retracted at 6 months - but if the foreskin isnt adhered anymore cant bacteria get in there if I'm not retracting him and cleaning during baths?
It's not really a problem. Technically grown men only need to retract for cosmetic reasons. It takes care of itself. DOn't sweat it. Let him soak in the tub if you're worried. It will gradually loosen on it's own long before he needs to use it. If it doesn't move easily, it shouldn't be moving. Your doc probably squeezed the glans to pull back the foreskin. It probably didn't do any damage, but you're better off just leaving it alone.

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#19 of 38 Old 01-15-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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I know its normal to not be retracted at 6 months - but if the foreskin isnt adhered anymore cant bacteria get in there if I'm not retracting him and cleaning during baths?
The simple answer is NO. The opening is a sphincter and only relaxes to let urine out, unless you are manipulating him yourself. Manipulating his foreskin in the bath is a primary cause of UTI. You need to leave him alone, the foreskin is self-cleaning. Please ask your Dr to STOP doing that. There is no reason to view the amount of retraction. Retraction is a sexual function. Trying to hurry it along is akin to trying to break the hymen of a baby girl. Only clean what is seen and avoid using soaps on the genitals at they can cause an imbalance of the natural flora.

Please read this and all the links:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1176109

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#20 of 38 Old 01-15-2010, 12:58 PM
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your doctor is plain wrong. it's so sad that most medical professionals in the US are so uneducated about the issue.
if i were you, I'd make sure to tell the doctor very clear that he is not to touch your son's penis ever again.
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#21 of 38 Old 01-15-2010, 07:41 PM
 
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your doctor is plain wrong. it's so sad that most medical professionals in the US are so uneducated about the issue.
if i were you, I'd make sure to tell the doctor very clear that he is not to touch your son's penis ever again.
I'd find a new doctor and find an attorney for your former doctor.
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#22 of 38 Old 01-16-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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I'd find a new doctor and find an attorney for your former doctor.
For sure!

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#23 of 38 Old 01-16-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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I'm not sure I'd use soap on his genitals either. Well, especially not a child's genitals and I generally only use soap or shampoo on the hair, and not very often for that. It's very drying to the skin and irritating to membranes, and they clean up fine with water.
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#24 of 38 Old 01-17-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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Then what is the difference between an adult who can get bacteria under his foreskin and an infant that can? If his foreskin isnt adhered and he is in diapers i would think he would be at an increased risk for infections.
There is no difference between an adult or a baby as far as need to clean under the foreskin. Even a retractable adult has NO need to wash under the foreskin for any health reason whatsoever. It is self-cleaning just like a vagina. The only reason a grown man may want to retract and rinse (for heaven's sake, no soap please!) would be to wash away smegma and oils that can cause odor because in our culture, body odors are taboo. A man doesn't really need to wash under his foreskin any more than a woman needs to douche. This mistaken idea that intact men need to be extra-vigilant about washing or risk infection is one of the main reasons circumcision persists in our culture.
Now, as for a baby who poops in a diaper, the sphincter should keep stuff out and if any poop should get on the "lips" of the foreskin, just soaking in water or using a squeeze bottle to wash away the outside is all you need. (I used my peri wash bottle when changing diapers for both my girl and boy.) Pulling back on the foreskin will only make things worse. "Gentle" as your ped may have been, what he did was inappropriate, bad medical care and could lead to problems.
Hope it all works out for you!
Jen
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#25 of 38 Old 01-19-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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Then what is the difference between an adult who can get bacteria under his foreskin and an infant that can? If his foreskin isnt adhered and he is in diapers i would think he would be at an increased risk for infections.
Well, a baby doesn't have sex.

I will disagree with some of the others -- I think the evidence is that washing under the foreskin as an adult does provide medical benefit, in that washing after intercourse reduces the rate of transmission of STDs. I do agree, however, that "too thorough" washing is more likely to cause health problems than simply leaving it alone, in the same way that using soap or douches or "feminine hygiene sprays" is generally problematic for a woman.

In an infant, though, there isn't any benefit to retracting it regularly. I agree with the "leave it alone until the boy is old enough to do it himself" advice.
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#26 of 38 Old 01-19-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Hi-
This is a little OT for a thread about infant intact care, but I figure this little tidbit might be of interest to someone. I'm an intact 25YO. I was retractable from an early age, and had been cleaning under there with soap for pretty much as long as I could remember. Thanks to reading about this issue I have stopped using soap to clean that area and am instead using just a wet washcloth. I have noticed a significant reduction in the strength of the odor coming from down there, especially when I go a few days without a shower. I've never minded the smell too much myself, but certainly was very concious of it. I used to shower religiously everyday just because skipping a day resulted in being able to strongly smell myself when naked. Now, I can never smell myself without getting in there and giving my fingers a sniff (ew sorry tmi).

Basically, my point is, in my personal experience, using soap and doing what I thought was the proper care to keep myself clean and my personal odors under control, seemed to actually be working against me this whole time. Granted, this is the personal expereince of one adult, but if my intact adult penis can acually benefit from nothing more than very minimal cleaning, I doubt that any cleaning is necessary for the intact penis of an infant, beyond the most basic needs of keeping body waste away.
-Sam
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#27 of 38 Old 01-20-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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I'm not male, but I sure as heck don't use soap down there. I couldn't imagine accidentally getting soap in my urethra, OWWWWW....that and the tissues are so sensitive there, I can't see it being a good thing to wash away all the natural oils and such. So I wash away whats visible, with water only.

Anywho, my 9 year old ds isn't retractable yet. He's never had his foreskin messed with, not even when he was a newborn and in the NICU. And the only time he EVER has a problem is when he uses soap-usually either via bubble bath and just simply washing the rest of his body as soon as he gets in and having soap in the water as a result. Although he is getting older so I don't know that he isn't doing *other* stuff with his junk in the tub Anyway, I just have to remind him every so often to hold off on the soap until right before he gets out, as it'll get red and sore. But it always goes away on its own, he's literally never had an infection worthy of a doctors visit

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#28 of 38 Old 01-21-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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I'm not male, but I sure as heck don't use soap down there. I couldn't imagine accidentally getting soap in my urethra, OWWWWW....that and the tissues are so sensitive there, I can't see it being a good thing to wash away all the natural oils and such. So I wash away whats visible, with water only.

Anywho, my 9 year old ds isn't retractable yet. He's never had his foreskin messed with, not even when he was a newborn and in the NICU. And the only time he EVER has a problem is when he uses soap-usually either via bubble bath and just simply washing the rest of his body as soon as he gets in and having soap in the water as a result. Although he is getting older so I don't know that he isn't doing *other* stuff with his junk in the tub Anyway, I just have to remind him every so often to hold off on the soap until right before he gets out, as it'll get red and sore. But it always goes away on its own, he's literally never had an infection worthy of a doctors visit
Anytime I accidentally get soap on my inner labia I get a rash.

I wash my son then I rinse him and refill the tub with clear water for him to play in. I never apply soap to his genitals, of course.

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#29 of 38 Old 01-25-2010, 01:59 AM
 
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Hey there mama, I thought I would share this,

My Ds and DH are intact. When DH was a baby his mother was told to retract and "clean" from infancy (I believe this caused some possible mild scaring), in childhood he was told to wash with soap. He has told me that as a child washing with soap "burned" - but he also mentioned he is glad he never told his mother, for fear she may have taken him to a pedi who might have made even more detrimental recommendations. If it hasnt already been mentioned, you should consider giving your pedi some current information on intact care.

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#30 of 38 Old 01-25-2010, 02:34 AM
 
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Hi-
This is a little OT for a thread about infant intact care, but I figure this little tidbit might be of interest to someone. I'm an intact 25YO. I was retractable from an early age, and had been cleaning under there with soap for pretty much as long as I could remember. Thanks to reading about this issue I have stopped using soap to clean that area and am instead using just a wet washcloth. I have noticed a significant reduction in the strength of the odor coming from down there, especially when I go a few days without a shower. I've never minded the smell too much myself, but certainly was very concious of it. I used to shower religiously everyday just because skipping a day resulted in being able to strongly smell myself when naked. Now, I can never smell myself without getting in there and giving my fingers a sniff (ew sorry tmi).

Basically, my point is, in my personal experience, using soap and doing what I thought was the proper care to keep myself clean and my personal odors under control, seemed to actually be working against me this whole time. Granted, this is the personal expereince of one adult, but if my intact adult penis can acually benefit from nothing more than very minimal cleaning, I doubt that any cleaning is necessary for the intact penis of an infant, beyond the most basic needs of keeping body waste away.
-Sam
I appreciate you being willing to share your experience It's not often we get to hear directly from a grown, intact man about his own experience caring for his penis. We can read all the links on the net and probably never hear 1st hand experience.
Thanks again!

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