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When is a tight foreskin too tight?

(8 Posts)
JohnPeelwasmyhero Tue 27-Sep-11 15:53:53

Have name-changed for this incase DS is somehow embarassed.

He is 10 and to me, his foreskin seems very tight. He can just about pull it back to see a bit of the penis, but with difficulty.

He says that his friend can pull his back all the way, but doesn't seem worried that he can't.

DH says it seems normal to him, but he's a head in the sand type.

Anyone got any words of wisdom?

MayfairMummy Tue 27-Sep-11 19:03:16

MY DS (2 1/2) has a similar problem, and has since birth (but won't pull back at all). Advice seemed to be that unless it's ballooning on weeing (and might cause pressure pushing urine back into the bladder, leading to infections), that it wasn't too much of a problem just yet... and that he should practice pulling it back in the bath every day to try and stretch it. The only other option to stretching is surgery, which they (for us) suggested wasn't worth looking into for some time yet. Probably worth speaking to the dr about next time you're in surgery, though, as if it can't be cleaned under the foreskin may have problems long term. Could be good to suggest that he pulls it back regularly to loosen in the interim!

bumbleymummy Tue 27-Sep-11 21:14:33

DS1 has a non retracting foreskin at age 5. I read lots about it and apparently it's a lot more common than people think.

This is one good source of info. From the link:

"About 50-60 percent of boys at age ten do not have fully retractable foreskins.17 This is normal.17 After puberty, the percentage of boys with full retractability rapidly increases spontaneously."

Hope this reassures you a bit. smile

timetosmile Tue 27-Sep-11 22:47:10

agree with BM..also have a look at the paediatric urology (uk) website, there's some good, and reassuring stuff, there.

JohnPeelwasmyhero Wed 28-Sep-11 07:16:56

That's great info, thanks.

BM, love the "After puberty, the percentage of boys with full retractability rapidly increases spontaneously" - not that they may have helped it along a fair few times every day grin

bumbleymummy Wed 28-Sep-11 07:58:10

grin yes, I thought the same!

Suzannesee Wed 28-Sep-11 08:05:15

I think you can take great credit from the fact that at 10 years of age your son can have a sensible discussion about this and he is willing to show you his penis. Most boys seem to become shy and seek privacy at bath times or dressing/undressing around the age of 7 or 8.

The problem then is that parents never know if their sons are retractable and if so, whether they are diligent about washing under their foreskins where they can. This detail (especially if it's painful) is just another thing boys duck during this awkward phase; like brushing teeth or washing necks and ears. Whilst parents might inspect the latter, few are comfortable inspecting penises.

You are right to be concerned but not overly concerned about your son's retractability at this stage but do keep monitoring it. Because of parents' reluctance and ignorance on this issue many boys reach adulthood without resolving this situation and, judging from the cries for help posted on internet fora from many who do suffer, it can be a frightening and painful experience

Personally, this is just one reason I had both my boys circumcised at birth, as the majority do in the USA. Doing so takes all the worry out of this situation as well as bestowing several other benefits. I'm well aware that my view is contrary to that of most mums who post here, but I've no regrets about my decision - sorry OUR decision: DH, who is circumcised, was in full agreement.

JohnPeelwasmyhero Wed 28-Sep-11 18:02:28

Oh, not shyness here from DS - he insists that I come into the bathroom to chat to him while he has a bath. He is very high maintenancesmile

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