I am starting this out of extreme curiosity. I am not putting it in The Case Against Circ, because it's more a question about intact boys than a post on Intactivism.
In many of the threads I have read over the past several years since I've had DS, I have seen people posting that their intact sons "only had a little" redness/irritation/discharge etc. I am wondering if this is the norm. Reason I ask is, why? Is it because of rough manipulation or forcible retraction or is this really a common thing among intact kids? My son has never had any redness or swelling or irritation ever. I guess I am curious because I don't understand why a normal part of the body would so frequently cause discomfort in a child.
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My DS has had a little irritation on the very few occasions he's had a diaper rash. In those situations, the foreskin was just doing it's job. The foreskin was irritated instead of the penis itself. My roommate's toddler has frequent diaper rashes and he gets a lot of redness and irritation, except he's circumcised, so his poor penis is the part that's raw and hurting. DS has also made a few little scratches with his nails when playing with his genitals, and that caused a good bit of irritation, but again, that would have happened anyways if he'd been circumcised, only the scratches would have been on his penis instead of his foreskin. And then there are those days when he just generally abuses it mercilessly. That sort of thing hasn't been a problem for roomie's son, but that seems probably has more to do with the fact that I allow DS a lot of naked time and free access to his full anatomy whereas roomie does not allow the same for his son. Other than that, we've never had a problem. We aren't to that point yet, but I've heard that the foreskin can become irritated during the separation process, which wouldn't happen with a circumcised child, but I imagine that typically the discomfort experienced during this would pale in comparison to the pain experienced during a circumcision and during the recovery.
We've never had anything other than the occasional super acidic teething poop which makes bum and foreskin a bit red. Or a cloth diaper that needs stripping. Nothing a little diaper cream doesn't take care of.
Alison: BFing, BWing, ERFing mama to KidA (12/25/07) and KidO (6/26/10)
We've never had anything more than a little redness here and there, like PPs have said. I never really thought about it, but yeah, that would have been his penis that was irritated instead of the foreskin. Seems like that would make it more uncomfortable.
We've never seen any problem in either boy (5 and 3). We EC'd from birth, and never had any diaper rash either.
Distraction is not the same thing as play.
Be part of the diaper free revolution.
DS1, 8 years. DS2, 6 years. DS3, 2 years. DD1, due April 2015
I never noticed any irritation or discharge in my intact boys when they were small. Now my boys are 11 & 12 and I haven't seen their penises for a long long time, but they haven't mention any discomfort or problems.
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Let me know if you find out, because my uterus is a normal body part but it hurts like heck every 28 days!
No, but seriously, I think it's common to have discomfort or pain in body parts for all sorts of reasons (e.g. diaper rash, puberty, etc etc), especially if your health isn't 100% perfect, it's just that foreskins get extra attention because...
1) Foreskins have a reputation for being ticking time-bombs of infection, disease, cancer, and insanity. Depending on your family and available doctors, you might be reminded of these rumors constantly. So some moms become terribly paranoid even without their son having any penis problems. And when the son does have any trouble with this particular body part--off to the internet!!!
2) If there's a problem with another body part, parents can get answers from their personal experience, from their parents, or from a doctor. But if the family tradition is circ and they can't trust their doctor... they're left posting on an intactivism board.
We've never had any trouble other than this either. Of course I live in a non-circ culture and so if there was a problem we'd just ask the doctor.
DS1 (4 yo) never had any redness or anything until yesterday, when the tip was red and he complained of pain when peeing. I put some antibiotic ointment on it and it went away.
DS2 (20 mos) has had two bouts of balanitis (foreskin infection). His skin is more sensitive to environmental triggers, so I think that's probably why he's more prone to problems. The ped told us to just put a little antibiotic ointment on it when it starts to look red and we can head off infections that way. So far it's working.