Stories about: Department of Urology

Private Parts II: More things parents of boys need to know

Testicular abnormalities in children.

While it can be uncomfortable for parents to talk about issues with their son’s private parts, abnormalities in the testicles and scrotum are common and treatable.

One of my favorite parts of my job is sitting down with anxious families and being able to make the uncomfortable comfortable for them. I hope I can do that for you here in this guide to the most common testicular abnormalities seen in young boys.

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A ‘superstar’ homecoming: Julia’s journey for bladder exstrophy care

Julia, born with bladder exstrophy, is pictured being held by her mom and dad

Julia Ryan was born on March 2, but her journey to Boston Children’s Hospital began months before her birth.

During Tori Ryan’s pregnancy, doctors near her home in South Carolina diagnosed her unborn child, Julia, with bladder exstrophy, a rare and complex birth defect where the bladder develops inside out and is exposed outside of the body.

“There were a lot of tears,” says Tori’s husband, Sean, of receiving the news about their daughter. “It was hard. We had to balance our own worry with the excitement our two older daughters felt about having a little sister.”

Their concern for their unborn baby led the Ryans to Boston Children’s. 

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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children: What parents need to know

UTIsWhen Lauren was just under two years old, she developed a fever of 103, was irritable and lost her appetite. Mom, who suspected her daughter’s condition was more than “just a bug,” scheduled an appointment with Lauren’s pediatrician.

Based on her symptoms and physical examination, Lauren was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI). The tiny tot was treated and quickly felt better.

Unfortunately, the relief was short-lived. To mom’s surprise, the UTI returned.

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Private Parts: Things moms of newborn and toddler boys need to know

private-partsFor a lot of moms — those who have daughters, or haven’t experienced the nuances of baby boys — caring for a newborn and toddler boy’s “private area” can be a bewildering experience.

What should everything look like? Why is my son’s privates swollen? How do I clean the area? 

These are commonly asked questions but topics that are not commonly discussed outside the pediatricians office.

“I remember when my son was born and worrying if everything looked normal,” recalls Elizabeth, mom of an 18-month-old toddler boy. “That area was totally foreign to me and I’m someone who is not entirely comfortable about talking about it.”

Boston Children’s Hospital urologist, Erin McNamara, MD, MPH, and several veteran moms of baby boys discuss these delicate topics and offer helpful tips to care for newborn and toddler boys.

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