Hi, I have a 10 months old baby-boy. He is my first son, and I don’t know how should I bath him. Should I retract his foreskin? If yes, when do I start?
Hi, if your son is just baby, you shouldn’t forcibly retract his foreskin. Usually the foreskin can’t be retracted completely in the first couple of years of life. However, sometimes it separates by itself in only couple of months, but it isn’t common. If you try to force his foreskin to retract, you could hurt him, especially if he’s still a baby. It will separate by itself when the time is right. You should wash it with warm water and soap. When he’s old enough to learn those things, you can teach him to clean his foreskin on his own. If you notice that your son has discomfort while urinating, or that his stream of urine is never heavier than a trickle, you should talk to the pediatrician.
If this doesn't go well by about age 5 - 10, it may be time to start worrying, but not before that.
Here is a related story. I pulled this message from another forum:
Re: Asian Foreskin Story
I guess they don't see (circumcision) as necessary. For
them it is normal that the glans will be uncovered
after puberty, so what's the fuss? And if it's not,
that's when they think about circumcision.
A close acquaintance of mine is south-east asian
by origin and he told me that he retracted his
foreskin just once - about age 12 - and that's where
it stayed ever since. To him that's just the natural
thing to do. Is it paraphimosis? I don't know and
never will - we're both married family men.
Note: My brother, cousin and I, and others we have met
or heard about later on, did the same thing. But some
of us think it would be better to start earlier, just
as soon as the foreskin is readily retractable.
Mothers, if for whatever reason you are going to delay
or avoid circumcision for your son, consider this cost-
less, painless and totally reversable alternative which
provides all of the same benefits.
Do him an important favor and help him get his foreskin
pulled back off the penis head at the earliest possible
Leave it alone! Leave it alone! leave it alone! DO NOT TRY TO RETRACT THE FORESKIN AND NEVER PULL HARD ON THE FORESKIN TO SEPARATE IT! This will be very painful for the child and will cause infection. Further, it can caus-t[iuyuy;te life long damage. It is to be considered unjustified pain imposed on a boy’s genitals by his guardians and caregivers. The fore skin will retract on its own. The mean age for natural foreskin retraction without pain or trauma is 10.4 years.1 Some men never see their glans until they are in the 20’s. Any time is normal, there is no need to see the glans early, and rushing the timetable for retraction is not necessary or desirable as no special hygiene is needed. It will retract when it is ready. There is no "right" age for retraction to occur. LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN, if they are crying or do not want you to fuss with it, it is for a reason, it hurts! If a doctor forcibly retracted forskin it is considered malpractice and is inexcusable! Forcible retraction in infancy tears the tissues of the tip of the foreskin causing scarring, and is the commonest cause of genuine phimosis later in life
I am sorry to say but stella106 Posted: 02/19/09 - 12:20 was the cause of the infection.
“ONLY CLEAN WHAT IS SEEN”
…by which this sensible pediatrician means the boy (or girl) needs only warm water gently applied to the outer, visible portions of his or her genitalia, and only the very mildest soap if any. No intrusive or interior cleaning of the genitalia of either gender is ever needed or desirable, and aggressive hygiene is destructive of developing tissue and natural flora, and is harmful as well as painful.
Indeed, pre-adolescent boys need no internal cleaning whatsoever, and to suggest toddlers need to be retracted at each bath, or should be taught to do so themselves, demonstrates stunning ignorance and cruelty.
FYI - The white build-up under the foreskin is a natural and "good".. As the foreskin starts to separate from the head of the penis, sometimes a white material builds up under the foreskin. This can look like white pearls under the foreskin. The material is called "smegma," which is made up of the skin cells that slough off during the separation process, and is completely normal. this white substance has "self-cleaning" properties (anti-fungal and antibiotics).
WHAT WILL/COULD HAPPEN IF FORESKIN IS FORCED:
1) Premature forcible foreskin retraction is uniquely painful as this is the most densely nerve supplied structure on the male body. Research shows that pain alone holds psychological consequences.
2) Likely the child now has an ‘iatrogenic’ (physician-induced) infection, caused by unnecessary tampering. Invariably forcible retractions are performed without surgical gloves, betadine, or other antisepsis, and the open wound becomes an immediate and lingering portal for pathogens.
3) The infection may worsen to urethral ulcer and stenosis, interfering with urination. Indeed, septic genital tampering is the likely cause of many avoidable UTI’s, (urinary tract infections) themselves used to justify circumcision.
4) The raw, bleeding surfaces, formerly separated by a natural membrane, might now fuse, causing unnatural adhesions which may eventually dissolve ––but may not.
5) The infection may leave scar tissue which renders the foreskin inelastic, making adult hygiene and normal sexual function difficult.
6) The inelasticity may create phimosis, an unnatural tightness of the foreskin to the glans which will not fade with time and may require medical intervention.
7) The child with an inelastic foreskin may suffer periodic paraphimosis emergencies, or trapping of the foreskin behind the glans corona when retracted, as the glans may become strangled and ischemic (deprived of oxygenated blood) unless iced down to shrink the swelling.
8) The child may now endure disturbing nocturnal erections (4 or 5 usually pleasant occasions each night, lifetime, is normal at all ages for both genders) which interfere with necessary REM sleep and might even create sexual dysfunction at adulthood.
9) The child may develop painful skin bridges which may never resolve.
10) Commonly the child will become understandably reluctant to have any adult touch his genitals or bathe him. He can hardly be blamed for that.
The doctor told my mother to retract mine fully to clean under it at every bath. I can't say it was the day she took me home from the hospital but I do remember her always doing just that at every bath. Bathing the baby was a family ritual whenever any relatives visited, so my foreskin got retracted by quite a few people besides my mother. I have my father's home movies showing aunts and girl cousins doing just that. For some reason none of the male relatives joined in.
She turned the job over to me when I was 5 or 6 with very explicit instructions and she followed up by checking in on my baths once in a while to make me do it while she watched.
As a result of her excellent care, I have always had a foreskin that would roll back comfortably for my own pleasure and my girl friends.
I never experienced any of the dire consequences you describe.
At my high school about 85% of the boys in my gym class had their foreskins "uniquely and painfully" removed by a qualified physician who did it when they were too young to remember that unique pain. I wonder what the psychological consequences of their Male Genital Mutilation experience have been. Are they reluctant to have any doctor touch them now?
I would like to thank my mother and her doctor for providing me a lifetime with a fully functional foreskin. The only thing she didn't do was to pull it back far enough to destroy that pesky frenulum. I had to do that myself and experience that pain for the future sexual pleasure of my wife and myself. Having a foreskin that retracts all the way with no restrictions and no pain is a joy for life.
I read of so many young men here who have never seen their glans and don't know their foreskin can be retracted. They come here because they are very stressed about the pain they now have if they attempt to retract it.
Thanks Mom for taking such good care of my penis and giving my wife a man with a fully functional foreskin.
Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
I would say, find a different doctor.
My argument would be: If they can free it up to cut it off :-|, they can free it so it will retract 8-| --- and leave it on :-).
Find a doctor who will do that. He's your son, it's your choice, not the doctors.
Do you know why it won't retract? Is it the frenulum or are there adhesions?
If it's is the frenulum, make sure whoever cuts it gets it completely out of the way.
My foreskin was fully retractable for cleaning since as far back as I can remember. My mother said her doctor told her she had to do that when she brought me home from the hospital. She turned the cleaning over to me when I was about your son's age but she had been retracting it to expose the whole glans and washing it all my life up to that time.
However the frenulum restricted how far back it would go. After I got married it tore several times until it was completely gone. I can attest to the pleasure of having a foreskin that is able to retract all the way to the base of the shaft with no pain. My wife loved the way it worked and so did I. It was very pleasureful for her due to the head sliding in and out of the foreskin instead of scraping against the walls of her vagina. I tried holding it back during intercourse simulating a circumcised penis, several times. She didn't like that at all. The stretching of the foreskin when it was pulled all the way back on the in stroke was a fantastic feeling for me.
So I highly recommend keeping it.
Dr. Paula Kins