Q & A: Caring for my son’s intact penis

    Question from a mother:

Obviously our little guy is not getting circumcised (unless he decides he wants to when he’s older and can make that decision independently) but I was wondering how to go about cleaning him, moreso when he is a bit bigger, but like I have heard you are not supposed to pull the foreskin back, but surely at some point that will need to happen to clean in there right? I don’t want to hurt/harm him, but i want to make sure that area doesn’t get full of bacteria. What is your advice on this?

    Answer from Gloria:

Oh, so glad you asked, Karin. Right now, and until he is about 4 years old, his foreskin is actually attached to the glans just as the fingernails are attached to the nail beds. You only clean what is seen. Never retract the foreskin or you could damage that natural attachment and don’t let any medical professionals do it either.

When he’s about 4, he’ll reach into his pants and find his “toy” and then he will start playing with it. (They continue that till about age 80). That is the only way that the foreskin should come back—the boy doing it himself. Most boys/men simply retract their own foreskin in the shower and rinse with plain water and replace the foreskin. That is all the cleaning that is needed. It’s very easy.
ColoradoNocirc.org is a good resource place for medical reassurance on the care of boys’ genitals. https://www.coloradonocirc.org Congratulations on your new little son. Love, Gloria


Additional comment, June 12,2015 Bodies are designed for pleasure. Only a big meanie would deprive anyone of having fun with their own body. Part of my education on boys having fun with their toy came from my brothers. When we were little, my mom would plunk all 5 of us kids (we were 18 months apart in age) in the bathtub. My brothers would do very impressive tricks with their toys,– popping out the shiny purple surprise from inside the foreskin. There was no need for my mom to clean anything, All that bathtub play took care of things. Gloria

Professor of Pediatrics cautions about the dangers of male genital mutilation

Letter to the ed Globe and Mail, April 26, 2014

Circumcision carries risks

Re Circumcision, HIV (letters, April 25):

While circumcision may have value in combatting HIV transmission in Africa, where rates are high, it’s unwise to adopt that strategy in developed countries with low rates, as there is a mortality risk associated with this procedure.
In Canada, there were at least two deaths in normal newborns from complications related to circumcision in the past 10 years. More are reported in other countries. The most important risk for acquiring HIV rests with behaviour, not the presence or absence of the foreskin.

Paul Thiessen, MD, Vancouver, BC Canada
Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/letters/talking-point/article18231799/ this letter is at the very bottom of the page.

Dr. Paul Thiessen is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. He graduated of the University of Alberta in 1974, and completed his residency training at the University of BC as well as the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He is the Medical Director of Intermediate Nursery, BC Women’s Hospital since 1996, and the Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital since 1994. He has a longstanding interest in medical education, and was chair of the Annual Meetings Committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society from 2003 to 2009. He is a general pediatric consultant in a group practice of 6 pediatricians involved extensively in neonatal medicine. He has a longstanding interest in international health, and over the past 20 years has been involved in health care projects in Ukraine, India and Uganda.
Source: http://thischangedmypractice.com/bios/ the bios are in alphabetical order.

Art by Amy Haderer of Mandala Journey

Art by Amy Haderer of Mandala Journey

Comment from Gloria Lemay: The South African Medical Assoc has rejected amputation of the foreskin as a method of reducing the transmission of HIV/AIDS. This is an article explaining why http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/viewFile/5384/3636