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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES-04

0711-Patient Guidelines Regarding Hygiene of Physiological Secretions IV: Uro-Genital Secretions

Background material by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. for Year 2 Semester 1 PPSD session on Wednesday 14th November 2007

1.0 VAGINAL SECRETIONS

The vagina excretes the menstrual flow in addition to several fluids of its own. The vaginal canal has no glands; its moisture is a transudate. This fluid is rich in glycogen that is fermented by bacteria in the vaginal wall to produce lactic acid. Lactic acid protects the vaginal wall from infection by creating a slightly acidic environment. The cervix secretes some fluids. Bartholin's glands near the introitus are also secretory.

 

The moisture inside the vaginal canal is not an impurity as long as it is inside the vaginal canal. Inter-menstrual vaginal discharges are not an impurity. Ritual washing is needed when there is a vaginal discharge following a wet sexual dream although the fluid itself is not an impurity. All vaginal discharges and any other fluids in the perineal area should be washed away very quickly because of the high potential of infection.

 

Chronic vaginal discharges or bleeding do not prevent a woman from prayer. She should wash her vagina, pad it, make ablution, and pray immediately. Menstrual blood is washed off the cloth. If dry it is scraped off the cloth. The cloth can then be used for prayer even if traces of the blood can be seen. Touching the perineal area of one self or someone else nullifies ablution. This also applies if the perineum is of a child or an animal.

 

2.0 PENILE SECRETIONS

Semen or seminal fluid contains sperms and seminal plasma. The seminal plasma consists of fluids and materials needed to maintain the viability of the spermatozoa. The contributions to these fluids are seminal vesicles 60%, the prostate 30%. The constituents are citric acid, acid phosphatase, calcium, sodium, zinc, potassium, enzymes, and fibrinolysin. The bulbo-urethral and urethral glands add mucus.  Each male ejaculation consists of 2-5 ml and contains 200-300 million sperms.

 

The Law recognizes three types of penile discharges: seminal fluid, mani, prostatic discharge, madhi, and urethral discharge, wadi. Semen is not an impurity because it contains sperms that are living human hereditary material. Dry semen on a cloth is scraped away while the wet one is washed with water and the cloth can be used for prayer. Prostatic or urethral discharges that occur independently of semen are impurities. Discharge of prostatic fluid necessitates repeat of ablution. The same applies to discharge of urethral fluid. It should be noted that both prostatic and urethral discharges are normally impurities anyway because of urinary contamination.

 

Touching the penis or self or another person nullifies ablution. This is based on the fact that these areas normally contain impure material.

 

3.0 CIRCUMCISION

Circumcision is recommended for males. Only the prepuce is removed. Circumcision is a hygienic measure to prevent accumulation of urethral discharges and urine under the prepuce that can lead to infection. Circumcision in females is symbolic and should not involve any genital mutilation of any kind.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. November, 2007