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Intact 14 year old son says his foreskin won't retract

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have been out of the anti-circ loop for a long time and most of my info/knowledge from Mothering relates to what is normal for intact infants. My son is now 14 years old and I am really uncertain as to what might be going on with him at this point.

 

Ds has never had any foreskin problems up to now. When he was around 6 or 7 he announced one day after a bath that his foreskin "goes back" and so I know for sure at that age it did retract. But naturally in the years that followed I never gave this issue any more thought. I just assumed all was well.

 

Ds asked his dad the other day why it is that he doesn't pee in as straight as other guys in bathrooms and dh (who is circ'd) told me ds said that. I remember reading somewhere that intact kids should retract a bit when peeing so they can pee straighter and told dh to tell ds to try that.

 

So what came of that was that ds said his foreskin does not go back anymore. I was pretty surprised to hear this and after asking a few questions it seems that ds can't remember when this stopped, but he knows it has been more than a year, maybe several years, and if he tries to make it go back it hurts too much.

 

Okay, what the heck?? He does not complain of any other symptoms. I'd like to have some info on what is normal at this age, what might be the cause of this change, and what possible solutions should be tried. I don't want to just rush off to the urologist until I have more info myself, kwim?

 

Thanks so much!

post #2 of 16


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDCGuest03 View Post

I have been out of the anti-circ loop for a long time and most of my info/knowledge from Mothering relates to what is normal for intact infants. My son is now 14 years old and I am really uncertain as to what might be going on with him at this point.

 

Ds has never had any foreskin problems up to now. When he was around 6 or 7 he announced one day after a bath that his foreskin "goes back" and so I know for sure at that age it did retract. But naturally in the years that followed I never gave this issue any more thought. I just assumed all was well.

 

Ds asked his dad the other day why it is that he doesn't pee in as straight as other guys in bathrooms and dh (who is circ'd) told me ds said that. I remember reading somewhere that intact kids should retract a bit when peeing so they can pee straighter and told dh to tell ds to try that.

 

So what came of that was that ds said his foreskin does not go back anymore. I was pretty surprised to hear this and after asking a few questions it seems that ds can't remember when this stopped, but he knows it has been more than a year, maybe several years, and if he tries to make it go back it hurts too much.

 

Okay, what the heck?? He does not complain of any other symptoms. I'd like to have some info on what is normal at this age, what might be the cause of this change, and what possible solutions should be tried. I don't want to just rush off to the urologist until I have more info myself, kwim?

 

Thanks so much!

 

I might consider having the situation evaluated at his next well checkup appointment. 14 is getting toward an age where more and more should be fully retractable. It isn't a serious problem or anything at this point but worth an evaluation. You'll probably be given a prescription for a steroid creme.
 

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I am just particularly concerned that he said it used to retract when he was younger and no longer does--I might be less worried if it had never retracted in the first place.

 

Is the steroid cream something his ped. can prescribe? We have a pretty crunchy ped. 

post #4 of 16

It can certainly retract early on and then not. I can't say for sure why that happens but it's not unheard of. Any ped can prescribe the creme but it may still be a bit too early to think about it so that's why I say get an opinion from them. But as long as he knows it should retract then I think it will be fine because if he knows it should retract at some point, and it doesn't, he can bring it up down the line. Either to you or the doctor. A situation like this can be a problem when the boy doesn't know what should be happening with his body, that doesn't seem to be the case for you.

post #5 of 16
This might be embarassing to him or you, but the solution is likely very simple. Its a solution you would likely never be offered in the USA due to our sexual inhibitions. Google: beauge + circumcision and you will find a report from a French doctor who has a very uncomplicated approach. I think you don't need to do more than let him read the article.
post #6 of 16

Thank you so much for that link!  I learned something new today :)

 

ETA:  Not really a link but you know what I mean....  I feel more prepared if my son has this situation or if I counsel another mom whose son has this.  Good to know that there are options!

post #7 of 16
Irritation of some type can cause a previously retractable foreskin to stop retracting. I would ask about soap and make sure if he is using it to rinse really well after and possibly not even put soap on the penis itself.

There is an article in the Natural Separation Issues thread in the stickies. It is by Dr Fliess one under the "Used to retract now dosnt" section and talks about this very thing happening and how it can be resolved. ie avoiding the irritation. I used to have the link to the full article in there but it is dead. If anyone has the new link for it please let me know so I can relink to it.
post #8 of 16
post #9 of 16
Yes that is the one thank you smile.gif I put the link back in the thread in resources.
post #10 of 16

Not retracting at 14 yo is not necessarily a problem.  The first question to ask before seeking treatment, is...  Does it actually bother your DS?  If he doesn't care and it isn't causing him discomfort, then there is no pressing need to worry about it.  

 

It would be a concern if there were other symptoms.  If the skin was itchy or had an unusual texture or what have you, then it might indicate a problem such as yeast infection.  Unless other symptoms come up this isn't really a concern.

 

Normal exploration should gradually stretch it out.  Don't have him try to force it.  he could cause tearing or paraphimosis.

 

If it is bothering him, then just ask your Dr for the steroid cream and get a print out of the stretching exercises that your DS needs to do with the cream.  The cream doesn't work alone (though it is often prescribed that way) the exercises must also be done.  

post #11 of 16

This expectation that a foreskin must be retractable by a certain age seems to be a unique facet of the North American medical system.  As others have stated, in Scandinavia it has been observed that the average age of retraction is 10 1/2.  They allow their boys to develop naturaly, with no intervention by doctors etc.  Also some intact males go through life with a foreskin that does not retract and are perfectly content that way.  I have a nephew who was not retractable until about 16.  His Dad had been away working for a week and was greeted with "Hey Dad, look, mine's just like yours now!!". I happened almost spontaneously.

 

Now, I know you stated that your son had been retractable previously, and now is not.  I would not be concerned yet. I believe this happens sometimes. It would be interesting to hear what someone like Dr Paul Fliess or Marilyn Milos has to say about that.  If having an inaccurate pee stream is his only issue, can he retract enough to expose the meatus to preclude that?  If he is bothered by other factors, then maybe it would be helpful to get a prescription of Betamethasone cream to help him stretch.  Check out www.cirp.org/library/treatment/phimosis  for more info. Good luck!

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlainandTall View Post

This might be embarassing to him or you, but the solution is likely very simple. Its a solution you would likely never be offered in the USA due to our sexual inhibitions. Google: beauge + circumcision and you will find a report from a French doctor who has a very uncomplicated approach. I think you don't need to do more than let him read the article.


Read the Beauge article and it makes sense. Might be an uncomfortable discussion for her to have with her son tho. LOL

post #13 of 16

 

I'd say that offering a link to the article would be a great idea, embarrassment be hanged.

 

Honestly, I think it's important enough grab a banana and do a little demonstration of how "most guys" masturbate, because one of these days he's going to have a sex partner and how much would it suck if intercourse is uncomfortable bc his foreskin hasn't been retracted over the course of years of teenage self-stimulation? You think it's embarrassing to watch your dad do the banana demo? Try explaining to your first serious girlfriend why you cannot have intercourse without pain.   

 

Another choice is to pick a video and let the kid watch it in privacy. 

post #14 of 16

Oh, I agree. It's just that for so many families in America, open discussions about masturbation do not happen and as a kid, I couldn't think of a more mortifying conversation. ROTFLMAO.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

I'd say that offering a link to the article would be a great idea, embarrassment be hanged.

 

Honestly, I think it's important enough grab a banana and do a little demonstration of how "most guys" masturbate, because one of these days he's going to have a sex partner and how much would it suck if intercourse is uncomfortable bc his foreskin hasn't been retracted over the course of years of teenage self-stimulation? You think it's embarrassing to watch your dad do the banana demo? Try explaining to your first serious girlfriend why you cannot have intercourse without pain.   

 

Another choice is to pick a video and let the kid watch it in privacy. 

post #15 of 16

 

The "my penis hurts when it gets all the way hard" conversation with a girlfriend (or boyfriend) would definitely be more mortifying. Bolt.gif

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

Honestly, I think it's important enough grab a banana and do a little demonstration of how "most guys" masturbate, because one of these days he's going to have a sex partner and how much would it suck if intercourse is uncomfortable bc his foreskin hasn't been retracted over the course of years of teenage self-stimulation? You think it's embarrassing to watch your dad do the banana demo? Try explaining to your first serious girlfriend why you cannot have intercourse without pain.



more power to mom/sons that can talk about this, but I would never be able to eat a banana around my son again! can we use a food I don't really like? like hot dogs!

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