musings of the domesticated godess

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

care of the intact penis .

So you left your son intact ? CONGRATULATIONS !!

But now what ? how do I clean his penis ? is it difficult ? 

These are questions many new parents do not know the answer to and for many they are given horrendously shocking advice by medical practitioners to do things like retract the foreskin of their baby , but STOP !

There is a golden rule of thumb that ALL parents of intact boys should know : 
When intact don't retract , Only clean what is seen .

  • Leave the foreskin alone; wash only what is external and readily visible.
  • Never forcibly retract your son's foreskin and don't permit anyone else to do so.
  • Make certain your son's medical attendants understand his foreskin is not to be retracted or tampered with.
  • Always stay with your son during his doctor visits and exams.
  • When teaching the child to bathe and care for himself, let the child retract his own foreskin if he wants to. He will not retract it beyond the point of discomfort.
  • A child's foreskin does not need to be retracted regularly for cleaning until the end of puberty. It should not be retracted during early childhood. [1]

But why ? you ask , here is the lowdown on WHY you never retract .

The Forcible retraction of the foreskin , sometimes called premature retraction, in infants or young adults can damage the glans and mucous inner tissue of the foreskin. Doctors or parents who may be unfamiliar with the intact penis can often do this not knowing that it can be damaging. At birth, the foreskin is fused to the glans. Over time, separation occurs naturally the average age being 10 years old .

Forcible retraction may lead to bleeding , scarring, pathological phimosis  or paraphimosis , and often pain. Adhesions after forcible retraction, especially in infants, can fuse the foreskin with itself or the glans, leading to skin bridges .

The  AAP caution parents not to retract their son's foreskin, but suggest that once he reaches puberty, he should retract and gently wash with soap and water. The Royal Australasian college of physicians  as well as the Canadian Pediatric society  emphasize that the infant foreskin should be left alone and requires no special care.