In Germany checking is laid down by the Ministry of Health ... I
receive a number of letters from men (always from Germany) who found
"checking" to be an extremely confusing childhood experience.
It will become clear that the doctors in Germany have no guide lines
on how to check, what to check for, and what to do when they find any
problem - It is somehow understood that every doctor obviously knows
what to do with such simple problems.
Many German boys are operated around the age of 6 yrs. (presumably
with a congenital phimosis which may have otherwise stretched, - on
the other hand forceful stretching exercises are still sometimes recommended
(in 1999) - in comparison with which circumcision seems a relatively
Please see related file: How
How Not To Check
The following story was written emotionally, it shows that it was
certainly felt in a traumatic way by the man concerned.
"Later, my mother took me to the paediatrician and I had one
of the most painful experiences of my life. The doctor sat me down
on the examination table and examined my little penis and its immobile
foreskin. He then called for 2 nurses who held me down by force as
the doctor attempted to brutally stretch the opening in my foreskin.
The worst moment was when he used a scalpel to make a little incision
in my frenulum. No anaesthetic was used..."
"The doctor told my mother that my foreskin would have to be
retracted and stretched daily but after a few days my mother gave up
because I couldn't bear the pain and kept on crying. So, any treatment
was forgotten and I continued to grow up with my phimosis."
I am certain, that it is only the rarest of practical doctors who would
thoughtlessly conduct such a sudden shock exposure of this important
part of a child's future manhood, however it is clear from a reports
between 1997 - 1999 that such methods are still being practiced by
a few isolated doctors.
For boys with problems, if the parents move home often, the diversity
of individual approaches must be particularly confusing -
Subject: To the Topic Examination of the Boy's Foreskin
I want to give you a short report of experiences with the prepuce from
my point of view.
My foreskin was examined at the age of two. The doctor tried to
retract it and to solve the heavy adhesions between my foreskin and
my glans. This had not much success because my foreskin was still quite
tight and cannot be seen as a phimosis but as something very natural.
The adhesions came back again and again because pulling back my prepuce
was only possible by using real force. The pains I suffered by the
doctor who was trying to retract my foreskin were very extreme, I remember
especially one occasion when I was five years old. At this point he
suggested a circumcision but wanted to retry it once more, I myself
was never asked, but I am sure that if anyone had told me at that time,
that a circumcision would make an end to the torturing pains of solving
the adhesions, I would have agreed in cutting off my foreskin.
Later I was examined by another doctor, who was a woman. We changed
the doctor because we had to move to another city. She only tried to
pull it back as far as it would go - 50 % at that time (I was 6 yrs.
old) . I was surprised that she was satisfied with that, but she said
she only wanted to see if the ring of the prepuce would be big enough.
I was once more examined by her because of a problem with the urethra
and she pulled back my foreskin again to see if I had balanitis - she
said, then she would have suggested circumcision (at 7 years). The
school doctor also pulled back my foreskin at that time and it could
be retracted to almost two thirds, which was for her not enough. She
said that a schoolboy must be able to retract his foreskin completely
and if not, then immediate circumcision was the only choice because
the adhesions could not be solved anymore, they had grown to skin bridges
between foreskin and glans.
So I got a date to be circumcised in the town hospital. But we still
had to wait one year for the operation, because there was only one
surgeon to cut the foreskins off and the school doctors sent at that
time (1985) almost 50% to the circumcision. By this time we had moved
to another town. At our new town we went after some time to a pediatrician,
who examined my foreskin which had almost no adhesions anymore (with
9 years) and he said that he wouldn't cut the foreskin off.
So I remained uncircumcised but I really don't feel happier about
that fact. I did suffer a lot under the state of the medical doctors
who had no real idea of what to do with my foreskin. ...
Maybe you can understand why I think a little bit critical about
your idea of the early examination which could prevent all prepuce
problems: I think early examination yes but not before 5 years and
if phimosis or strong adhesions then better circumcise immediately
than waiting and causing a lot of pain and shame to the boy.
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