I recently shared a story regarding an incident during my son’s 18th month old check-up that didn’t sit well with me. During his check-up my son’s pediatrician gently retracted his intact penis and told me I needed to retract it when cleaning. I was immediately taken aback because I knew she was incorrect. Rather than stew about it I acted! I contacted my HMO’s membership services to file a complaint and started a petition on Change.org to bring awareness to this issue. I was honored by the support I received not only from people who took the time to sign the petition but also from groups like The Whole Network, Colorado NoCir, and Mama Natural.
Today I received the most amazing phone call from the Chief of Pediatrics for my HMO in Colorado! She not only agreed that my pediatrician was providing me with misinformation but she has promised to make sure all 75 of the pediatricians she oversees are up-to-date on the care of the intact penis. I hope this can be a reminder to everyone that if a care provider is telling you something you believe to be untrue it’s so important to speak up.
While I’m feeling victorious I know my fight isn’t over because this updating needs to take place on a national level. All parents of intact boys need to be provided with current care information. Please continue to show your support by signing and sharing the petition, Update Pediatricians: Intact Don’t Retract. The more awareness brought to this issue the more likely something will change. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clearly states the following; “But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until the foreskin fully separates, do not try to pull it back. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready can cause severe pain, bleeding, and tears in the skin.” All pediatricians follow AAP guidelines and yet many of them are still misinforming impressionable parents. Please speak with your child’s pediatrician about this even if you’re the parent of a daughter or a circumcised son. You can make a difference!