Why Do Doctors Examine Anus and External Genitalia of Newborns?

Why Do Doctors Examine Anus and External Genitalia of Newborns

What Is the Newborn Rectal And Genital Examination Method?

Doctors perform a complete physical examination of a newborn child to ensure his health is fine. This examination can take place a few hours after birth. It will be a comprehensive test to reveal health issues and certain problems.

Rectal and external genitalia test is a part of the baby’s physical examination. Although the first examination is quite comprehensive, the health-care provider may carry out more such tests. This post will provide information on how anus and external genitalia examination is carried out. Parents should be aware of such tests to avoid obstruction in the doctor’s job.

What Are Rectal And External Genital Examination Methods?

The rectal and external genital examinations take place in the following ways:

1. Rectal examination

The doctor will carefully pick the baby and turn him over. Now, he will perform the rectal examination to ensure the anus is open. Newborns poop 6-12 hours after birth. They release meconium out of their body. Therefore, it is important to ensure the baby can release waste out of the body without any trouble!

2. Scrotum tests

Doctors perform scrotum test to check the position of testes. The doctor will carefully touch the testicles of the newborn male child to check their size. It is normal for baby boys to have one testicle larger than another one. One testicle can be two-three times larger than the other side testicle. The baby might suffer from a hernia or edema if such problems are not diagnosed at the time of birth.

Some babies are born with fluids accumulated in their testicles. It is a sign of scrotal edema. That fluid should quickly disappear if the baby is healthy and fit. It might take 4-6 months to completely get fine.

In the case of cryptorchidism, the abnormal shape and position of the scrotum may remain as it is. The doctor may recommend treatment to cure this condition. The doctor will treat the issue and keep the baby under observation for some days. His scrotums will be checked again before discharging from the hospital.

3. Female baby genital examination

The doctor will carefully check for adhesion of the labia in baby girls. It is an important part of the female child genital examination. Labia adhesion can occur due to two reasons, acquired and congenital.

The congenital adhesion rarely occurs in the labia of girl children. It is found only when the doctor performs a physical examination after birth. This examination is quite necessary to detect or rule out hermaphroditism.

If such things are not tested and cleaned, they can cause inflammation, irritation, and infection in the baby’s genitals. Therefore, most health-care providers do not take any risk. They perform a comprehensive genital examination to ensure the baby is fine!

What Are The Nursing Methods Of Anus And External Genitalia?

The following methods are followed:

1. Nursing method for a girl child

The process begins with cleaning the girl child’s vulva. Parents must ensure they clean the baby’s genitals before going to bed every night. The Baby’s genitals should be cleaned with clean water after urination and bowel movement.

It would be quite easy if you clean the baby genitals in a tub or basin. Fill the tub or basin with warm water. Soak a soft towel in that water. Now start cleaning the baby’s genitals gently. Do not rub too hard because it will hurt your child.

Always clean from the front side to the backside. Begin with cleaning the vaginal opening, urethral opening, and then clean the anal opening. It should not take more than two-three minutes and then wipe the baby.

You should always choose soft and highly absorbent diapers for your child. Make sure the nappy is breathable to keep the baby dry and prevent skin rashes. Do not choose open crotch pants for your child. Also, avoid chemical fiber and nylon underwear to keep your child safe against skin problems.

Baby’s underwear should not be too tight or too loose. You should change it right after cleaning the baby. Always look for redness, itching, swelling, abnormal discharge, odd smell, and other such signs of health problems in your baby’s vulva.

2. Nursing method for a newborn boy

Organs responsible for producing androgens and sperms in the baby boy’s scrotum are not developed completely at the time of his birth. They develop with growing age. Babies are also quite weak at this time. They can’t resist diseases as effectively as adults do. If a baby boy’s genitals get damaged due to a health condition, it can affect his fertility in adulthood. Therefore, the parents have to not take the baby near chemicals, radiation, infection, and other contaminated places.

It may be a bit daunting to clean a baby boy’s genitals perfectly. The foreskin on the child’s genital can be long. His penis will be covered with several layers and bacteria can hide in those layers. Put the baby in warm water and clean his genitals at least once a day. Thus, it will be easy to remove germs and keep the baby’s genitals clean.

Parents should slightly turn the foreskin back to check for infections. If not possible at home, then take the baby to the doctor. The doctor will thoroughly check his genitals during the physical examination. If the doctor spots the signs of infection, he will provide ointment and medications to cure the problem. 

You should use the best soap to clean your baby daily at home. Suppose you spot the symptoms of genital health problems, take your baby to the doctor. The doctor will order certain tests to diagnose the health problem and then the treatment will start. Thus, you can prevent further damage to the baby’s genitals.


Rectal and genitalia examination is an important procedure. The doctor will check your baby’s genitals several times a year. It is a normal test that ensures your baby’s genitals are developing quite normally. You can also follow the methods explained in this post to clean and check your baby’s genitals. Thus, you can prevent serious health issues in the baby at an early age.

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