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Old 04-07-2012, 08:45 AM   #1
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When did your son's foreskin retract ? my ds's foreskin is still very tight at 4yrs

We just went to the pediatrician (we have a wonderful "natural" minded pediatrician) for my son because he has a mild infection in his penis....NOT related to the fact that he is not circumsized so please no circumsicion debate here. He is just over 4 years old and as a side note his ped. mentioned that his foreskin is very tight still. I know most boys will naturally retract by 4-5 years or so, some a little later.... but it sounds like most boys will be more on their way towards that by now than my son is showing.

His Dr. is absolutely wonderful and very purposeful and thoughtfull with his decisions and statements. He was just wanting us to be aware of my ds's situation and says that we wouldn't make any decisions for quite some time but if his foreskin doesn't naturally retract by maybe 7 or 8 (in rare extreme cases) we might have to consider circumsicion. I almost fell over! I tear up at the thought of having to do that to my son.

My Mom says she remembers my brother having some issues with a tighter foreskin (in the early eighties, he was born in '79), and it "working it's way out". She says her ped. back then says it usually happens naturally and that it may need a little encouragement with working the skin a little, but that not to worry too much.

Anyone experience this or have input about timeline with their boys. AGAIN, please no negative circumsicion commentary. I wouldn't have ever made a different decision (my personal opinion), and am not looking for anything but kind input or info. THANKS!

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Old 04-07-2012, 08:49 AM   #2
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Re: When did your son's foreskin retract ? my ds's foreskin is still very tight at 4y

my son is four and his is tight to. his doctor asked if he plays with it and really my kid doesnt (what a weirdo lol)

he said he wasnt worried yet and that it will often loosen and start retracting when the start playing with it naturally.

He did offer an appt with a urologist if we want but I agree with him and dont think its needed at this point
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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Re: When did your son's foreskin retract ? my ds's foreskin is still very tight at 4y

I was reading a thread the other day through Google search, not where I intended to be, but the gist was that a lot of the boys skin didnt "naturally" detach that it was manually done over time. he prob asked if he plays with it because if he did it would losen it up, if hes never payed attention to it, it make sense for it to be tight.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:16 AM   #4
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The average age to retract is 10 years. Sooner or later is completely normal too. Some boys retract before age 3, some not until adulthood. Some men never retract and if they are fine with it, it's not a concern. My DS is 7 and does not retract. I would not expect him to until puberty at earliest.

I would be concerned about your pedi's knowledge base. Even if he didn't retract after puberty and it was bothering him, circ is an EXTREME solution and almost never necessary for phimosis. First, you'd try a topical steroid cream and gentle stretching to loosen the skin. If that failed, he could have a small dorsal slit cut to allow his foreskin a larger opening. Removing the ENTIRE foreskin is just....well, I will never understand doctors who think this is the first step towards fixing a minor problem!

Just to be clear, these solutions are not recommended for young children. Steroid cream is not even supposed to be used until they hit puberty, when the hormones their body releases work with it. If you tried a steroid cream now, it would probably work, but then he'd likely go back to being non retractable when you stop using it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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Re: When did your son's foreskin retract ? my ds's foreskin is still very tight at 4y

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Originally Posted by Shaunam View Post
The average age to retract is 10 years. Sooner or later is completely normal too. Some boys retract before age 3, some not until adulthood. Some men never retract and if they are fine with it, it's not a concern. My DS is 7 and does not retract. I would not expect him to until puberty at earliest.

I would be concerned about your pedi's knowledge base. Even if he didn't retract after puberty and it was bothering him, circ is an EXTREME solution and almost never necessary for phimosis. First, you'd try a topical steroid cream and gentle stretching to loosen the skin. If that failed, he could have a small dorsal slit cut to allow his foreskin a larger opening. Removing the ENTIRE foreskin is just....well, I will never understand doctors who think this is the first step towards fixing a minor problem!

Just to be clear, these solutions are not recommended for young children. Steroid cream is not even supposed to be used until they hit puberty, when the hormones their body releases work with it. If you tried a steroid cream now, it would probably work, but then he'd likely go back to being non retractable when you stop using it.
Exactly this! DS is 8 and his glans is still totally covered by foreskin. Once he reaches puberty and begins having regular erections it should be fine. The incidence of medically required intervention of an uncirced penis is pretty uncommon. Please don't worry:goodvibes.
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #6
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Re: When did your son's foreskin retract ? my ds's foreskin is still very tight at 4y

I have no idea. Once my boys are past the potty training age, I really don't inspect their penis unless there is a reason too. I've only ever had to look at my 9yo, once. Their ped does check it all out and I do know that she mentioned one of the boys' wasn't retracting yet. I can't remember which boy or how old now. She said not to worry. If it doesn't retract before puberty, it certainly will then when they start getting interested in it in the shower and stuff!!
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:48 AM   #7
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:51 AM   #8
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My Husband said he was thirteen. In Europe the "normal" age is around puberty.

Welcome baby Edeltraud! 27-7-2011 Von meinem iPhone gesendet.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:43 AM   #9
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Ugh, we just went through this with out ped. He said 3 is the right age and that my son has phimosis (with out even looking at it). I told him that both the aap and who state that some boys don't retract until 16. I told him I wasn't concerned because my son has no issues with ballooning, pain or UTIs. My son is 8 and it barely even moves. I am not worried at all about it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:48 AM   #10
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Re: When did your son's foreskin retract ? my ds's foreskin is still very tight at 4y

Just try to keep in mind that almost all penis problems have a simple fix. Circ should be reserved for instances such as gangrene, frostbite, cancer, or irreversible damage from an accident (I've heard of this happening before, believe it on not). When doctors use the "circ first" method of treatment, that's how you end up with an entire country of people who know a friend of a friend who "had" to be circed when they were a kid. And that just makes everyone else paranoid that "that kid" is going to end up being THEIR kid.

In reality, only about 1 in 16,000 intact boys will need circumcision for medical reasons (based on studies from countries that do not routinely circ, don't advise to forcible retract, and use less invasive treatments for common problems before resorting to circ).
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