If you’re a planner, you started researching infant care long before you began your surrogacy journey. Attachment parenting, scheduled parenting, to sleep train or not to sleep train, breast milk or formula, cloth or disposable diapers… You’ll find a wealth of parenting information online but when it comes to medically related information you’re best to stick to asking an expert.
Who would have thought that Dr. Google could have it all wrong?
When researching your parenting options as an Intended Parent, a quick Google search offers some very outdated and possibly damaging information about how to care for an intact penis.
For those not in the know, an “intact” penis refers to a penis that has not been circumcised. Circumcision is a hot-button issue for many parents, and I am not here to debate intact versus circumcised.
Depending on the geographical location, circumcision rates in Canada sit at about 30%. With a growing number of families choosing to not circumcise their babies, I think it’s important to clear up common misconceptions and outdated information about caring for an intact penis.
What is Foreskin?
The foreskin is the loose skin that covers and protects the penis. When circumcision is performed, this skin is removed surgically.
The most up to date recommendations suggest the intact penis should be cleaned like any other body part. The foreskin should not be retracted, and you should only wash what you can see. Wash an uncircumcised penis like a finger!
When a baby is born, the foreskin is fused together. Over time the foreskin will loosen on its own. Even if the foreskin separates from the penis in infancy or early childhood, it may not be large enough to be retracted. With time, the foreskin stretches and looses, becoming retractable, usually by the age of 18.
What You Need to Know About Caring for an Intact Penis
- The foreskin is in place to protect the sensitive penis
- The foreskin and penis need no special care
- Foreskin should never be forcibly retracted
- Be careful when using soap as it may cause irritation
If you’re surprised, you’re not alone. It seems there is a lot of misinformation floating around about how to wash an uncircumcised penis, but there you have it. Wipe it like a finger. Do not retract the foreskin. Good to go.