Contrary to Popular Myth
Cleaning is Easy

by Mary G. Ray, ©1997, All Rights Reserved

       During infancy and early childhood, only the outside of the intact penis needs to be rinsed with warm water. The foreskin should not be retracted during cleaning. It's that simple.

"People thought that boys would not keep themselves clean if they werent circumcised,"
a mother answered when her intact son asked why circumcisions were done.
Her little 5 year old said,
"Well, thats dumb mom!!
What are they gonna do?  Cut their butts off too?!"

Out of the mouths of babes.          This is quoted from a bulletin board post at

       There is much unnecessary anxiety over the issue of hygiene. It is not at all difficult to maintain proper hygiene. “ professionals generally agree that uncircumcised boys do not have any special hygienic problems.” Concern for proper hygiene is over emphasized, and so the needless practice of routine circumcision continues.

        Overzealous cleaning attempts can cause posthitis, urinary tract infections and phimosis. People are surprised to learn that the intact penis requires no special care. The best advice is to simply leave it alone.
Consider providing your doctor with an Intact Care Agreement.

       Usually starting around the age of 5 or 6, boys should be taught to retract their own foreskins once a week and rinsing with warm water. Sometimes the separation process takes longer and a boy may not be able to fully retract his foreskin until he is 10 or more. This is normal and not cause for alarm. Once the foreskin is retractable , the instructions for cleaning are simple.

       1.) Gently pull the foreskin back.

       2.) Rinse with warm water only. Soap under the foreskin can cause irritation and swelling.

       3.) Pull the foreskin back in place over the head of your penis.

        No one should do this for him.  He can pull the foreskin back by himself gently.  After rinsing, he simply pulls the foreskin back into place. (Cleaning inspections are not required.)  We do not pull out our teeth to prevent cavities -- we brush them.

       When your son reaches puberty, he should retract and rinse during daily bathing. Brushing teeth is more difficult than cleaning the intact penis. It is ridiculous to think that children cannot be taught and counted on to perform this simple task through adulthood. Circumcision does not improve hygiene. It surgically removes healthy, protective tissue.

Regarding the issue of  ‘dreaded smegma’ comparatively little is formed in childhood.
Smegma is Beneficial Not Bad

The Foreskin Has Value
Newborns: Care of the Uncircumcised Penis
by the American  Academy of Pediatrics

FAQ about Your Son’s Intact Penis

Myth:  Circumcision Inevitable Later

If you want direct contact with someone to discuss care and development of the intact penis, you can ask people who have perfectly healthy sons intact at AgainstCirc.  You will also find members of this discussion e-mail list who are doctors, nurses, midwives, childbirth educators, parents whose children have experienced wrongful circumcisions or complications, jewish people who've chosen against the tradition, men who regret having been circumcised, some undergoring foreskin restoration and men happily intact.  Subscribe to ask your questions and then whenever you want to discontinue the list, unsubscribing is easy.

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Last Update:  10/19/00