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tight foreskin=circumsion?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am looking for anyone who has a son with a foreskin that won’t retract because it is too small. I took my 5 year old to the urologist today, and he looked at his penis and said the same thing as our dr. that his foreskin was too tight, and that he would eventually need a circumcision. I asked about a cut, and the dr. said men were always coming to him, because women didn’t want to have sex with men who had anything unusual about their penises.
Did anyone try something else? What age did you circumcise? The dr. said there is no rush. But to keep in mind that by puberty the it will be a much more sensitive area.
On a personal note, my parents were horrified that I didn’t circumcise my baby. My husband is not Jewish or circumcised, and neither is my 2 year old. I wonder is there are many other Jewish parents who decide not to circumcise.
Thanks for any information, nat
post #2 of 22
Is the foreskin tight, or simply still attached to the glans? I was reading that it is not uncommon for a foreskin to still be attached to the glans thru puberty. Maybe "tight" foreskin and still attached are one in the same thing?

Typically, it separates or retracts by 5 years of age, but not always, and it doesn't imply that there is a problem... it is just another variation of the norm.

I am copying this from a article I grabbed off Mothering when I searched under circumcision. You should check out the whole thing when you get a chance:

Hope this helps:

Arguement: Your son's foreskin is too tight. It doesn't retract. He needs to be circumcised.

The tightness of the foreskin is a safety mechanism that protects the glans and urethra from direct exposure to contaminants and germs. The tight foreskin also keeps the boy's glans warm, clean, and moist, and when he is an adult, it will give him pleasure. As long as your son can urinate, he is perfectly normal. There is no age by which a child's foreskin must be retractable. Do not let your doctor or anyone try to retract your child's foreskin. Optimal hygiene of the penis demands that the foreskin of infants and children be left alone. Premature retraction rips the skin of the penis open and causes your child extreme pain. There is no legitimate medical justification for retraction. The child's discomfort is proof of that.

Argument: Your son's foreskin is "adhered" to the glans. It must be amputated.

The attachment of the foreskin and glans is nature's way of protecting the undeveloped glans from premature exposure. Detachment is a normal physiological process that can take up to two decades to complete. By the end of puberty, the foreskin will have detached from the glans because hormones that are produced in great quantities at puberty help with the process. There is no age by which a child's foreskin must be fully separated from the glans.

Some misguided doctors might suggest that the "adhesions" between the foreskin and glans should be broken so that your son can retract his foreskin. This procedure is called synechotomy. To perform it, the doctor pushes a blunt metal probe under the foreskin and forcibly rips it from the glans. It's as painful and traumatic as having a metal probe stuck under your fingernail to pull if off. It will also cause bleeding and may result in infection and scarring of the inner lining of the foreskin and the glans. The wounds that are created by this forced separation can fuse together, causing true adhesions. There is no medical justification for this procedure because the foreskin is not supposed to be separated from the glans in childhood. If any doctor suggests this procedure for your son, firmly refuse, stating, "Leave it alone!"

Argument: Your son's foreskin is getting tighter. It no longer retracts. Something is wrong. He will have to be circumcised.

Sometimes, in childhood, a previously retractable foreskin will become resistant to retraction for reasons that are unrelated to impending puberty. In these cases, the opening of the foreskin may look chapped and sting when your son urinates. This is not an indication for surgery any more than chapped lips. This is just the foreskin doing its job. If the foreskin were not there, the glans and urinary opening would be chapped instead. Chapping is most often caused by overly chlorinated swimming pools, harsh soap, bubble baths, or a diet that is too high in sugar, all of which destroy the natural balance of skin bacteria and should be avoided if chapping occurs. The foreskin becomes resistant to retraction until a natural and healthy bacterial balance is reestablished.

You can aid healing by having your son apply a little barrier cream or some ointment to the opening of the foreskin. Acidophilus culture (which can be purchased from a health food store) can be taken internally and also applied to the foreskin several times a day to assist healing, and should be given any time a child is taking antibiotics.
post #3 of 22
No, no, a thousand times no! Your baby does not need a circumcision. What you need is a new doctor, one who is foreskin-friendly! Or, actually, probably no doctor at all, because your son does not have a disease or a disorder.

Non-retraction is totally normal at your son's age. There is no way to tell right now whether it will retract on its own as he gets older. If it isn't fully retractable by the time he's in his teens, there are stretching exercises and steroid creams that can be used. But there is NO need for a circumcision, now or later!

You have come to the right place, mama! Some of the posters here on this board know more about the foreskin than many if not most doctors. I am sure they will be along to post their words of wisdom, but in the meantime here are some articles to ease your mind:

Dr. Paul Fleiss, Protect Your Uncircumcised Son (the print is really small but it's a great article, and can be ordered in reprint form from Mothering).

Circumcision Information and Resource Page on "phimosis"

to Mothering dot com!
post #4 of 22

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your son. He is just one of the variations of normal.

What is normal? It varies widely. About 1/3 of boys are retractible at 3 years old and about 2/3 by 6 years old. 90% will be retractible by age 10 and some will not become retractible until late teens. All of them are absolutely normal.

In a child such as your son, there is no such thing as a tight foreskin that is abnormal unless he has had repeated bouts of infections. I doubt this is the case since you didn't mention it. The opening of the foreskin is tight for a reason. It is to protect the still developing glans and inner mucosal foreskin. Tell those doctors to leave it alone and let it do it's job!

post #5 of 22
the dr. said men were always coming to him, because women didn’t want to have sex with men who had anything unusual about their penises.
Hmmmmm . . . interesting comment from your doc. A lover is more than a walking penis, lol. What if a potential lover decided he didn't like my breasts? I certainly would not go have them surgically altered for him, heheh. What about the "baby-fat" around my belly? Liposuction?

I Totally Agree with the other posters here who said to leave it alone.

post #6 of 22
post #7 of 22
Nat- try this link and then report that doctor to the state medical board... anyone who would suggest circumcision without offering ANY (and there are MANY) alternatives is a total quack. What they did to you was total deciet and fraud.... malpractice TOTALLY- even without cutting your boy... just suggesting circumcision without explaining the less invasive (and less EXPENSIVE and highly sucessful) alternatives is ILLEGAL.... I don't know about Canada- but in the USA it is.

"As stated above, one could argue that before one decides what treatment to undertake that it is necessary that all options be made available to the patient." (not an official website- but one that has the basic idea)


Love Sarah

At 10:15 I am editing this post to add another link to further explain the concept that physicians have a responsibility to offer and explain treatment options- in case there is any question about the way that you and your son have been wronged by this quack urologist:


"A successful exchange of information between the doctor and the patient accomplishes two things. First, the physician’s willingness to explain diagnoses, treatments, expected outcomes, and potential risks to the patient demonstrates that the physician recognizes the patient’s rights and will remain responsive to them. Secondly, it shifts the decision-making responsibility from the physician alone to a mutual responsibility of both physician and patient. Informed consent should protect and inform both the patient and the doctor. "
post #8 of 22
Nat -

Just to reiterate what other posters have said - your son is just a variation on normal.

My dh is intact, and he tells me that he wasn't fully retractable until his late teens. It was never a problem and he eventually retracted all on his own (fun discovery, he tells me!).

He's never had any problems!
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all the responses. Griffin can pee fine. The dr. said his penis was very large and later, when he had an errection, the foreskin would never fit over. Yes, I agree we are all born the way we need to be. But sometimes our bodies are not perfect and need help. I would feel reassured, but I have heard (from women) about husbands, fathers and sons all needing to be circumcised when they are teenagers. If this is the case, I would like to avoid extra pain and even more harm by doing this before puberty. The dr. said I didn’t need to rush, and I could wait as long I wanted, even till he is a teenager.
I guess I’d like to hear from men who were told that they needed circumcision and when they got it done, why they needed it, did they try alternative therapies?
post #10 of 22
The dr. said his penis was very large and later, when he had an errection, the foreskin would never fit over

How can he know that? How can he even pretend to know what your son's erect penis will look like and whether the foreskin will fit over it or not?

I definitely encourage you to find a new doctor.

but I have heard (from women) about husbands, fathers and sons all needing to be circumcised when they are teenagers. If this is the case, I would like to avoid extra pain and even more harm by doing this before puberty

But you don't even know if this will be an issue later. And I'm sure circumcision will be just as traumatic and painful now as it would be later - especially if there was no reason to do it.

If he isn't having any problems with his penis, leave it alone!
post #11 of 22
Your doctor has no basis for the assertion that it will avoid pain and trauma by doing it now then waiting until puberty. The foreskin is incredibly sensitive from birth. It will be painful and traumatic for your son to have his foreskin cut off now, and it will be painful and traumatic for him to discover later that there was no reason for it.

All of those people you've heard about who "had" to be circumcized - the sad truth is, they were in all likelihood sold a bill of goods by doctors just like yours who don't know the first thing about foreskins and their normal functioning and normal variations.

If you had a daughter and her pediatrician told you your daughter's labia were too big and needed to be surgically altered, would you do it? How about her clitoris? If her doctor said it was too big and needed to be cut to be smaller, would you do it? Or if her labia adhered together (which happens all the time in baby girls) would you agree to cut them off to prevent it from happening in the future?

No, I hope you're saying, I would never do that, that's ridiculous.

And yet doctors have recommended those surgeries for girls, and still do. In this country.

Please, please, please read the links we have posted for you. There are medical studies backing up what we're saying here, and you will learn that in other countries (like England, Europe, etc.) where circumcision is not common and not routine they don't do circ for "phimosis" at nearly the same rates and people are just fine.

Did you know that in most anatomy textbooks in use in US med schools they show circumcised penises? Not natural ones. US doctors simply are not educated about natural penises. Please, do not trust your doctor on this one! He stands to make money off a completely unnecessary surgical procedure here and has a vested interest in persuading you to cut your son.
post #12 of 22
I'll go along with everyone else here. The foreskin is elastic and stretchy and grows at the same rate as the penis. In young boys though, htis is not the case. The preputial opening is not stretchy and elastic and it's not for a reason. That is to keep fecal matter and other contaminants out and to prevent trauma from the foreskin being retracted and tearing the normal and natural adhesions.

There is a chance that your son will have a short foreskin that does not completely cover the glans (agfain, a variation of normal) but one that is not big enough in diameter? Not a chance! Find another doctor who is not in the dark ages. If he/she can be this wrong about something that is so incredibly easy to research, He/she is bound to be wrong and terribly far behind on other medical issues. For your son's sake and safety, DUMP THIS DOC!

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you all again for all your support. We will be looking into ways of helping our son stretch his foreskin on his own, in his own time. We live in Canada, so the dr. doesn’t make any more money from us, he is already super busy. I was greatful he didn’t try and rush us into anything, saying we can wait. I will still look into what happened to those men that ended up having a circumcision. I would like to do what ever it takes to prevent a circumcision, but I will also do whatever is best for my child. As no one knows the future I will have to go on my intuition and as much information as I can get.
Thank you again for all your help. natali
post #14 of 22
Isn't it ironic that a doctor will always find a way to treat a patient even when he knows that there is absolutely nothing wrong with him?

But then why do we go to a doctor when there is absolutely nothing wrong with the body? To be reassured that there is nothing wrong with our body?

Shouldn't we trust our instincts that if a child urinates WITHOUT PAIN, and complains of NOTHING, and has NO symptomes that things are all right? That he needs NO intervention.

I am flabbergasted!
post #15 of 22
I think I would definately find a new doctor. Seriously, foreskin is there for a reason a natural part of the body and whether or not it will stretch over your son's penis is not something the doctor can tell.
post #16 of 22
post #17 of 22
Hey Nat, welcome to the board.
Im relieved to hear you are looking at options. Good for you.
We may be in Canada, but the doctors still make money off of us. Just not directly.
post #18 of 22
Originally posted by mattemma04
There is the AC(against circ) list at yahoogroups and foreskinrestoration(same place) where I am sure you can come across men who either avoided surgery,or those who had it done and realized too late they had other options.


One of the saddest stories I have ever seen was at Foreskinrestoration at Yahoo. A 21 year old man came there after an elective circumcision. He had succumbed to societal pressure and had a circumcision 19 days before. He almost immediately realized he had done a very stupid thing and was looking for information on restoration. He blamed no one except himself and he was beating himself up pretty badly. Unfortunately, since the doctor had removed all of the inner mucosal foreskin, there was little that could be done for him. He and made an irreversible decision and because of the doctor's ignorance of the male anatomy, had cut off a very vital part of his sexuality.

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
That is really sad. I forget about men's image stuff, since their pictures are only half as many places as females. Teenagers go through an especially hard time with body image.

But if you were thinking that this is the type of man I was hoping to get information from. It's not, I was looking to hear from men who had to have a circumcision for a physical problem, related to pain or an ailment.

peace & love, nat
post #20 of 22

I've recently been through this with my 3-year-old - a urologist insisting that he needed to be circumcised because his foreskin was too tight. He insisted that it would eventually "come to circumcision" so we might as well do it now.

What I found (from reading articles written by urologists in peer-reviewed medical journals) is:

1) Phimosis - a tight foreskin - is a natural condition. Every little boy who is lucky enough to keep his foresking has development phimosis. His foreskin remains tight until it naturally begins to separate from the glans and, over time, is able to retract. Pathological phimosis occurs as a result of scarring (most often from persistent infection or forced retraction) and can not really accurately be diagnosed until after puberty - and also does not become a problem until then so long as there is no impediment to urination.

2) Even if pathological phimosis is a problem, circumcision should be the last resort. Treatments for phimosis - including everything from steroid creams to manual stretching and surgery that retains the foreskin (where a small incision is made, the foreskin is stretched, and then sewn back up) - are effective in well over 90% of boys/men.

Even if your child does have a problem - and you can't be sure he does - it's too early for intervention and the doctor has no business suggesting circumcision as a primary course of "treatment." He should know better. If he doesn't, you should find another doctor.

Good luck. I'm sure your little boy will be just fine. Mine certainly will, now that we're no longer seeing that quack.
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