Need help from my intactivist friends :)

Merry - posted on 06/10/2011 ( 47 moms have responded )

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Hey ladies, this isn't a debate but most of the intactivist moms I know are in this group so I have a question for you all.
Most of you know erics story in more detail, but here's the recap, he was circumcised at birth, it reattached four times over the course of his first two years.
I retracted it forceably each time, the first time because he had a build up of smegma that was getting red and swollen and painful for him because it was trapped in the pocket. And then subsequent reattachments I retracted to prevent it from happening again.

He's just over two years now, and I just noticed it's slightly attached again!
Not enough to form a pocket for smegma I think, but just all around the rim it's attached.
Now intact boys are still attached at this age and it releases itself over time, should I leave it alone and just let it do it's thing?
Or do I have to keep retracting it to prevent the same issue of trapped smegma.
He's FiNALLY stopped crying when I wipe his penis off and he finally doesn't seem to associate penis with pain so I hate to think of putting him through that again. Also he's getting to the age where he could actually remember this,....I do not want I'm having negative thoughts of his penis from so young!

Is it ok if I just leave it alone?
I don't trust drs anymore, so idk if I'd even ask any medical person, but you all have more knowledge anyways so you are the ones I'd trust!

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Mrs. - posted on 06/11/2011

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Maybe Laura, but do you really want to gamble on it without getting some real medical advice? I mean, it could mean life long issues aside from the whole pain association and his penis. Why risk it?

April - posted on 06/11/2011

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if anyone recommends re-circumcision and you're not happy that suggestion, just stand your ground. you're really only looking for his or her opinion/advice at this point. any testing that would be done or any procedure would be because you agreed to it AFTER getting advice from a trusted urologist(s). also, don't beat yourself up for choosing to get Eric circumcised. you couldn't have predicted this would happen. it's not your fault. you just did what you thought was right at the time. i've been there too. i regret having my son circumcised big time. it was not worth it to have him "look like daddy." while he doesn't have Eric's problem, he certainly doesn't have the "average looking circumcised penis" either. only a very little piece of skin was removed when he had his surgery. he doesn't even look circumcised. at first i thought it was a botched circumcision, but now i think maybe the surgeon was secretly an intactivist, lol.

Kate CP - posted on 06/11/2011

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I'd be worried about a permanent adhesion due to scar tissue, Laura. You really should see a specialist.

Mrs. - posted on 06/10/2011

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Laura, you can go to a urologist and discuss the problem without an exam. I have done this countless times. I do not trust just any urologist to my bits. I do a first appointment to make sure I think the doctor is worth their salt and can discuss the issues at hand with authority. You can then decided if you'd like to have an exam another time. You can get a specialist advice, instead of a message board's and spare the pain of exam.

As well, if a doc says something like, "Just trust me.", you can say you'd rather see someone who could back up his assertions with facts and detailed explanations. That is your right. They are just doctors.

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April - posted on 06/14/2011

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thought i might add that in the quest to "look like daddy", zach's penis looks nothing like my husband's!

Minnie - posted on 06/11/2011

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I remember a past friend telling me she had to do this with her son at every diaper change...ripping back the bit of foreskin that remained. I was like, WTF?



April is right, Laura. I know how incredibly hard it can be to not feel guilty and blame ourselves as mothers for past parenting choices (I struggle with this nearly daily). We do the best we can with the information we have at the time. We want what's best for our children, and sometimes it's really difficult making the correct decision when so much misinformation abounds.

April - posted on 06/11/2011

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it's not fair that eric has to go through this. the whole thing makes me even more anti-circumcision. I wish I could go back in time and change our decisions for Zach and Eric to get circumcised!

Merry - posted on 06/11/2011

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April I'm glad zachary doesn't have reattachment issues, erics is also only like halfway cut, our ob said it's not neessary anyways but its more for the look, so she takes justa bit off to prevent loosing too much which can cause the boy to loose sensation later in life!

So I thought it was all the extra skin that's causing it to reattach, but who knows. Lisa, idk what cream the dr gave us when he thought it was infected, but other then that I haven't used anything on it., except Vaseline after I'd rip it off each time....

Minnie - posted on 06/11/2011

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The thing is it might go either way. You might leave it alone and it could very well work its adhesions apart as Eric matures, or like Kate mentioned, it could develop painful scar tissue. A specialist might have some non-invasive suggestions for you. I'm sure they're not all re-circumcision-happy. Did you use any steroid creams?

Merry - posted on 06/11/2011

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So it might not be like a normal penis and retract on it's own? Ok, I don't want to risk anything permanent I'll call around and get some more info.
Thanks ladies.

Merry - posted on 06/11/2011

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It's not attached enough to build up smegma this time, it's just slightly over the 'ridge' of the head. I'll look at it more today, but I have to look quick or he freaks out and I've been trying very hard to help him get over the pain association with his penis. But I'll try to check today some more and see if it's bad enough to need to see a specialist.
If it's not building up smegma wouldn't it be ok to leave it to retract naturally like an intact boy?
Isn't the only issue with reattachment the risk of infection?
It's not red, doesn't hurt him....

Jenni - posted on 06/11/2011

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My son is intact and his doctor told us to retract his penis. LUCKILY, my husband knew better or I probably would have trusted his doctor. So we left it alone. He has never had any issues with it.

I'm not exactly sure how you should proceed in the case of him being cir'd and experiencing reattachment and smegma build up but I would consult a pediatric urologist as others have suggested instead of his pediatrician. I'm not sure why doctors still insist on telling parents they should retract. Every parent of an intact boy I've known that have done that experienced medical problems.

Charlie - posted on 06/11/2011

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In Australia it is scheduled to look at the testes around 6 weeks unless there are any problems they don't generally need to look in their nappy again although both my boys get their hips checked they have never had to take off their nappy to do so .


( sorry I forgot they also check at birth )

Krista - posted on 06/11/2011

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Yep, add another vote to seeing a pediatric urologist. You can mention your concerns, and make sure that he or she seems considerate and sensitive, before you get anywhere near getting your kid to drop trou.

In the meantime, I would say to just keep it clean, change his diapers often, and add Epsom salts to a warm bath for him every evening to sit in.

Jenn - posted on 06/11/2011

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Thanks for answering my question Laura. :)

Kate - when my son and daughters went in for their well-baby checks, the Dr always took a peek in their diaper to make sure there weren't any problems. A Dr shouldn't assume that the parent has been checking things out, or that they would notice if there was a problem with something.

Tara - posted on 06/11/2011

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Every time I have taken one of my 3 sons to the doctor for a check up when they were under 2, my doctor checked their bits. He made sure their testicles had dropped into their scrotum and stayed there, he made sure they had no hernias and it allowed him to see their hips when he rotated them to check for any abnormalities in their movement. He also takes a quick glance at their intact penises, just to be sure there is no redness or other possible problems, like diaper rash, lol
This has been the case for me for 3 boys going back almost 18 years.

Tara - posted on 06/11/2011

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From what I have read you can leave it alone and it should naturally retract when it's naturally time to do so, however that said I would still go see a pediatric urologist to be sure.
You really don't want to mess around with that part of their body. The specialist may tell you to leave it alone, he may suggest retracting it over time. But I wouldn't do anything until I spoke to someone.
My brother's son had reattachment issues, he ended up with severe scarring that is still a problem at 14. Actually more of a problem now that he has hit puberty, his penis pulls really hard and painfully to one side when he has an erection, due to scar tissue.
So... talk to a specialist and go from there.

Becky - posted on 06/10/2011

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Our doctor checked our boys' genitals at every check-up until they were 12 months. He didn't check their penises, but their testicles. Zach's were down and fine until 12 months, and then they suddenly retracted and he had to have surgery on them. So it's not actually true that they only have to check them once. A hernia can develop and pull them up when they were previously right where they should be.
As for Eric's issue, I agree with talking to a pediatric urologist. If it has reattached this many times, I'd want to get a medical opinion on it so that hopefully, it's not something that gives him problems for the rest of his life.

Tawny - posted on 06/10/2011

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We had our son circumcised and they didnt do it correct so it kept getting infected so we went to a ped urologist and was so glad that we did and they had to redo the circumcision but my little has not had any infections or problems since. I think it is best to have a second opinion from a specialist because they know more than the reg. doctor. I hope it works out and your little guy stays out of pain.

Kate CP - posted on 06/10/2011

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Maybe it's because my doctor knows me and knows that if something was wrong I'd bring it up. He's seen 3 generations of my family and trusts that I know when something is wrong with my kids. *shrug* Then again, my son IS only 4 months old, so maybe he just hasn't checked him YET. I dunno. First boy, here. ;)

But yea, I second my original vote for seeing a specialist.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/10/2011

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Oh man, poor baby. My son was not circumcised, and he never gets schmegma discharge, but I don't retract the penis. I really hope you listen to everyone's advice and see a specialist....before it gets infected or painful again.

Also, every doctor visit my children have been to, my son ALWAYS has his junk checked. To check for hernia's, make sure both testicles are ok. I am sure for other reasons that I am not thinking of.

Dana - posted on 06/10/2011

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Okay, wait....you're worried about it yet you won't take him to a pediatric urologist? I trust that "some' of these ladies know what they're talking about but, they're just NOT going to have all the information that a pediatric urologist is going to have. And I mean that respectively.

Charlie - posted on 06/10/2011

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Oh I agree Dyan , sorry I thought you were talking about those who had posted and not in general :)

Rosie - posted on 06/10/2011

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i just think it's not very smart to ask a bunch of women on the internet who obviously aren't doctors loureen. :) it's a medical problem, it should be dealt with on a case by case basis by a doctor.
i never said anyone was claiming to be a doctor, or even playing doctor, just simply stating it's not in the best interest of her child to leave his health up to a bunch of people who aren't doctors.

Merry - posted on 06/10/2011

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Jenn the issue was it had reattached and formed like a pocket in a ring all around the head, and there was small holes here and there that hadn't attached and bits of smegma were coming out there, looked like pus and it was red and swollen too.
Had a dr give me a cream for an infection and he didn't even notice it was reattached!
So it was hurting him and all red, so idk if the smegma was getting infected or what but it wasn't ok to leave it like that. Idk if forcing it back was the best choice, but it was what I was told and it wasn't until after that incident that I started researching online and not blindly trusting drs for everything.

Dyan, I'm not blindly trusting anyone, but the ladies here have links and facts to back themselves up and drs just say 'trust me' etc. So I won't just do whatever any dr says, they have to show me it's the best choice, not just their personal preference.
Idk, i can't imagine taking Eric to a urologist and letting them inspecting Eric, he hates drs already, and he is so sensitive with his penis, it would just be bad I think.
*sigh*
Wish I had just left his poor penis alone in the first place.
I had no idea I'd CAUSE him so much pain and damage from doing what is supposedly going to PREVENT pain and damage.
Ok I'm going to check out those links now ladies, thanks and keep the advise coming if you have more!

Mrs. - posted on 06/10/2011

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Hey, I'm not an intactivist...but please get over the fear and see a specialist who you can trust.

I have had a ton of urogyno issues and I know how difficult it is to find a good urologist...how scary and painful a visit can be. Still, there are good ones out there and looking into which ones are the good ones...or just go and see some until you feel comfortable taking an advice or doing any procedures on your son...it is a must. The kind of advice you can get from a good specialist is really, just way more valuable than you can get from any online message board, IMO.

Do it before he gets much older and it gets harder.

I'm sorry this has happened and I hope you find the answers you need.

Charlie - posted on 06/10/2011

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They only need to check the testes once and that has nothing to do with the penis and as far as I could tell Dyan everyone here has reccomended a pediatric urologist with advice on asking the doctor what his reccomendation is before letting him go ahead .

Not sure why your exact same advice is sage and everyone else is claiming to be a doctor ....strange .

Jenn - posted on 06/10/2011

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I didn't circ my son, so I don't know, but what do you mean by trapped smegma? Isn't is supposed to be there? Like, on someone who isn't circ'd, wouldn't it be "trapped", because it isn't retracted? I don't understand why it has to be wiped.

Rosie - posted on 06/10/2011

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i'd be pissed at your doctor kate. the penis is obviously part of the body, and has problems just like anything else from time to time. most of the time with an infant it is to check to see if the testicles has descended properly.



now i understand that the doctor should never be trying to retract foreskin, but i'm talking just the regular one over check of the testes and penis.

Kate CP - posted on 06/10/2011

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I don't understand why doctors are doing healthy baby checks and looking in the diaper. Unless Mom says there's something wrong with the baby's genitals or butt then they don't need to be poking around down there. My pediatrician never did that with my kids.

Rosie - posted on 06/10/2011

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i'm sorry i understand maybe being a bit weary about doctors advice, but i'd not take a bunch of women over the internet's advice about this. definitley talk to a doctor, tell him your concerns, tell him your story, tell him your wariness of it, then talk to another doctor the same way to double check.
there could definitely be something specific to your sons case that would make this not so typical, and nobody here has a medical degree. definitely talk to a doctor.

Amy - posted on 06/10/2011

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oh laura, i wish i knew! Luckily my son hasn't had any issues at all with his pieces. I would probably find a pediatric urologist if my son had issues. Get one with lots of good recommendations. I know...stinks when you have to doubt your doc. I had to stop my son's first doc from retracting it. I saw his hand going towards that and he was oh so going to. "it's what you're supposed to do". packed my boy up and left. i think i actually told him he was fired. lol. but, yeah, find one specific for that. good luck hon. i hope it all turns out alright.

Dana - posted on 06/10/2011

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Well, yeah, always good to ask. I'd be watching anyone who came near my son's penis like a hawk.

Charlie - posted on 06/10/2011

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The amount of mothers who ask for help on some of parenting communities I am in because their pediatrician retracted their son is scary it is far fewer to see it come from a pediatric urologist but it does happens , better to ask first I reckon .

Dana - posted on 06/10/2011

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I could (barely) see a pediatrician not knowing but, not a pediatric urologist. I mean that's their business, that's what they've gotten years upon years of schooling for! :|

Charlie - posted on 06/10/2011

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And since you already have a strong stance on the issue and an understanding on what forced retraction does I would ask the pediatric urologist a few questions before allowing him any where near the foreskin , you don't want them retracting it again .

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