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Very very long foreskin. Help!

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hey guys. I am a long time lurker but very infrequent poster. Maybe I should introduce myself?
I'm Hannah, mom to two sets of twins; Milo and Owen, and Levi and Nina.

Milo is not circumcised. Owen IS circumcised. Owen was born with moderate-severe hypospadias and was circumcised to repair that. I regret it. Not the circumcising him part, as I feel that would have had to be done regardless. more the fact that I didn't push for other options and circ as a last resort. But Milo was left intact and ho boy was THAT a fight with everyone. It was the one and only time the words "They're my goddamn kids NOT yours" has left my mouth!

Anyway, fast forward to now and 3 month of Levi. Obviously he was not circumcised at birth. But he has an extremely long foreskin. It has to be retracted to clean because it is so long. Not retracted past the tip of the penis, more like rolling it inside out. I don't know the best way to describe it. But when he poops (and boy is he a pro at that!) it gets all up inside and in the beginning we left it alone, until he DID start having problems and had his first UTI at 3 weeks and his second at 7 weeks and I am thinking he might have the beginnings of one now. He has also had yeast issues. My pediatrician who is anti circumcision and in fact doesn't even perform them and has never once retracted Milo (or now, Levi) says that we need to be cleaning the gunk from the overhang. I brought up circ and she said not to worry about it now. My thought process was can they just take most of the overhang and not retract at all and still leave plenty for him to grow into? She says she has never heard of someone doing that and that it can probably be done but there might then be issues with the scar sealing itself shut.

I don't want Levi circumcised, that is not my intent at all. But I am just worried that these UTIs are going to be a common thing and we might end up having to do it.

Any advice?
post #2 of 30
He'll grow into it. Don't worry about it.
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
But what about all the infections he is getting now? And if he is going to grow into it, I don't know any woman who will be able to marry him! His overhang is longer than his entire penis. It's that long. I have never in my life heard of anyone having a foreskin this long and my doctor has never seen it either.
post #4 of 30
Your perceptions of his possible future sexual attractiveness aren't really important here, sorry to be blunt.

There is absolutely no correlation between what his foreskin to penis ratio is now to what it will be when he's a grown man.

Removing the end of the foreskin removes the ridged band, which is physiologically an important part of sexual stimulation and function. Even removing just a small portion of the end of the foreskin will also cause damage to the frenular delta, which is probably the most important part of the penis for pleasure and function.

Many girls have very long labia. At some point, there is going to be some girls whose labia is VERY VERY long. But would you trim her labia? How do you know how long they will be when she is grown? The genitals on both sexes go through RADICAL changes during puberty. You cannot predict what his foreskin will look like when he's eleven, and certainly not when he's 25. And it's really not your choice to make. If at 25 he thinks it's ugly and doesn't like it, it would be up to him to modify it or not. Would you presume to shape your daughter's genitals to better meet your expectations?

As far as the UTI's go, girls get them far more frequently than boys, at all ages. But we don't trim their genitals to reduce infection (although some studies suggest that trimming labia can help reduce UTI in females), we treat the infection. Boys typically outgrow common UTI after 12 months of age. The best treatment you can give him is to continue to breastfeed him (I know you are having problems with that, but here's another reason to stick with it). Babies who are breastfed have fewer UTI's than babies who are not, regardless of genital intactness.

As for retracting it, I would dissuade you from that. I doubt he needs to be retracted to be cleaned, and would guess that it is causing irritation.

With a child with recurrent UTI, you may want to check for kidney reflux.

HTH,
Lindsay
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
I don't mean I think it's unattractive (wow, that's a weird thing to think about!) and I don't care if his future partners think it is. What I was responding to was when the pp said he would grow into it. I meant that, to be frank, he would be, ahem, very well hung.
I don't want to circumcise him. I know how horrible circ is, which is why I was at odds with my entire family to not circ Milo. But I am looking at it from a health perspective. To have such frequent problems is not good.
When I say retract it, I mean we roll it inside out and rinse it with plain lukewarm water. We never pull it back from the tip and we never excessively groom it or use chemicals of any kind. He has never objected.
I will talk to his doctor about kidney reflux. Also what about the mad yeast infections?
I am glad I don't have a pro circ doctor or this would be a huge nightmare.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeosMama
As far as the UTI's go, girls get them far more frequently than boys, at all ages. But we don't trim their genitals to reduce infection (although some studies suggest that trimming labia can help reduce UTI in females), we treat the infection. Boys typically outgrow common UTI after 12 months of age. The best treatment you can give him is to continue to breastfeed him (I know you are having problems with that, but here's another reason to stick with it). Babies who are breastfed have fewer UTI's than babies who are not, regardless of genital intactness.

As for retracting it, I would dissuade you from that. I doubt he needs to be retracted to be cleaned, and would guess that it is causing irritation.

With a child with recurrent UTI, you may want to check for kidney reflux.

HTH,
Lindsay

I had chronic UTIs until i was 18 years-old. Nobody ever thought to cut anything off of me!


Perhaps while DS is in the poop up his forskin phase, you could swish him around in the sink instead of pulling back his forskin, which may be irritating and prolonging the UTIs.
post #7 of 30
My understanding is that pulling it back at all is retracting.

I'd be worried about doing it too far and hurting him. Have you tried just swishing it out in the bath?
post #8 of 30
Well, good for you for not wanting to circumcise! Especially with family pressure.

I don't have too many helpful ideas - I'm guessing Frank will. Because he always does.

If he's getting re-current infections, what you're doing now may not be working. Are you sure that when he poops there is actually fecal matter getting inside of the foreskin? That's never happened to my son (as far as I know), so I'm not sure what I would do if it did. I've never really been concerned about the inside of his foreskin, and just wash the outside of his penis. What does your dr. say about cleaning it? I'm glad she's anti-circ, you're right it would be a nightmare otherwise.

I hope someone else has some more info, I just didn't want to read and not respond. It's so great to hear from a mom who's looking to help her child without circumcising him.

I love your children's names - very different and beautiful. My sister almost named her son Levi - I've always loved that name.

Take care,
post #9 of 30
How much overhang are you talking about? Can he toss it over his shoulder, or wrap it around himself like a belt, or what? I suspect that he has a bit of overhang, like many children do, but it is not "extra" any more then the foreskin itself is "extra". Some children have longer foreskins, some have shorter foreskins that barely cover the glans...all are within the range of "normal", and I'm willing to bet if he had a ultra-rare birth defect like megaprepuce (which, by the way, doesn't just mean a long foreskin), your doctor would have already used that term, talked with you about it, and it would be being addressed.

The tip of the foreskin tapers, and the skin usually sticks to itself. It just doesn't make sense that he's getting feces up inside it at three months. Especially when it's regularly rinsed with an outgoing stream of sterile urine.

Also, at the tip of the foreskin is the preputial sphincter/ridged band. If you shorten his foreskin (which would be a form of circumcision), this part will be the first to go and then the tip of his foreskin will no longer contain that structure and will loosely hang open.

At three months, you shouldn't be retracting and it's likely that 'turning his foreskin inside out' to clean/rinse is causing irritation and the opportunity for introducing bacteria/infection.

You said if he grows into his foreskin, that would make him very 'well hung'. He's three months old. Even if he has four inches of foreskin extending past his glans, and he grows into it, that would make his penis average sized in adulthood.

As far as yeast infections go, yeast thrives when there is imbalance in the body or auto-immune problems. Overzealous hygiene, excessive refined sugars, diabetes, etc can contribute. If a woman had a slightly deeper than average vagina, or slightly longer labia, I don't imagine she'd have any higher risk of yeast infection. Why would a boy with a bit of foreskin overhang be at a higher risk?

I guess I just don't understand.

Jen
post #10 of 30
I would stop rolling it back because that is retracting even if you might not think it is. Swish it in water or give him a bath when he gets poopy. I'd also really treat the yeast. Yeast is sooo hard to get rid of. So hard. Talk about the kidney reflux too, UTI's can be an indicator (sp?) of that and if it's not corrected, the child will eventually need kidney transplants.
post #11 of 30
I agree w/ everything Jen said, but I will add 1 more.

Reagarding thrush: Liam and I battled constant thrush for months. It wasn't until I figured out his last food allergy that we finally got rid of it. And I mean within a few weeks of cuting wheat out and doing nothing else. Wheat was his hardest FA to figure out b/c he has a delayed reaction when I eat it. It takes up to 4 days for him to react, so when I would cut it out and add it back in, I would think it was ok to eat b/c after a day or so he hadn't reacted. In our case, allergies were causing a suppressed immune system. SOmething like that has to be at the root of recurrent thrush. Not necessarily a FA (although that's most likely) but something. Just a thought

Oh, and also, how much of an overhang are we talking here? Even among my 3 boys I've seen a lot of difference. Damien's has remained pretty constant w/ about a half inch overhang, looked like a lot when he was a small baby, but looks pretty normal now. Jake's has varied from about an inch to nothing. (The inch was when he was REALLY fat and had a buried penis--he basically had his foreskin sticking out and that was it, no penis inside. ROFL! He'd had a penis when he was born and the ped never said anything, so I didn't think much about it. Now I've actually had people comment on the size of his penis. It's not much smaller than his older brother's. ROFL! His overhang is ony about 1/4 of an inch, but I won't be surprised if that changes.) I didn't realize foreskins could change greatly in size until I had him. Liam's is slightly more than half an inch, maybe 3/4 of an inch. And I have a ruler next to me, so I'm sure my lengths are right. LOL! Liam's overhang is at least as long as his penis if not longer (well, at least the part that's not buried in his pubic fat. lol) Looks pretty normal to me. I have seen a lot of intact little boys, though. I worked at a daycare in an area w/ a less than 10% circ rate. There are huge differences int eh length of the overhang.
post #12 of 30
well, i don't have any real advice, but you may want to check out ec (elimmination communication) and this way he won't have poopy dipes.
just a thought, tho i can't even imagine how busy you must be with 2 sets of twins
post #13 of 30
If he's had 2 UTIs and he's only 3 mos old, he needs to be evaluated by a pediatric urologist. He could have Kidney Reflux. It may have nothing to do with his foreskin at all. I am really surprised your pediatrician has not suggested this. Was he hospitalized for his first UTI?(he was only 5 weeks old)
post #14 of 30
Good for you for sticking up for your sons! I'm sure they will grow to thank you for that

Good news for you and your guy. Even in the studies that showed circumcision made a difference in UTIs, (some studies showed a difference, some did not) there was only a difference in the first 6-12(depending on the study...some say 6, some12) months of life, after that the stats were the same.

Secondly, I don't think there can be "too much" foreskin. All body parts vary in size and shape, but they are all that way for a reason. Here is a link in which the baby has a very long foreskin, and he is still considered normal:
http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/

I hope things improve for your little one.

Take care,
Tara
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calngavinsmom
Good for you for sticking up for your sons! I'm sure they will grow to thank you for that

Good news for you and your guy. Even in the studies that showed circumcision made a difference in UTIs, (some studies showed a difference, some did not) there was only a difference in the first 6-12(depending on the study...some say 6, some12) months of life, after that the stats were the same.

Secondly, I don't think there can be "too much" foreskin. All body parts vary in size and shape, but they are all that way for a reason. Here is a link in which the baby has a very long foreskin, and he is still considered normal:
http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/

I hope things improve for your little one.

Take care,
Tara
Oh Levi's is longer than that. I would say it's probably a little over an inch when flacid.
When we change his diapers, we try to kind of fold it up. We double it back and tuck it between his penis and scrotum (yes, it's that long) so that when he poops, it's out of harm's way. Sometimes it holds, sometimes it doesn't.

EC is out of the question. No way I even want to attempt it. It won't work for us.

I could try not rolling it back, but we did that for the first several weeks of his life and he was having problems. Although I can't really say that the problems have stopped.
I don't want him circumcised. That was not my intent posting here and I feel like people think that I am trying to justify a circ. I'm not. I'm just trying to find out what others have done in this circumstance, if anyone has had this problem before.
I will ask the ped about kidney reflux. Thanks. I don't think she's mentioned it before, but with four kids to keep track of I don't always pay that close attention!
post #16 of 30
I would definitely not cut anything off your ds, no matter what! Just to add to the suggestions from PP, I would add in probiotics to try to combat any imbalances that are leading to yeast infections, etc.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
When we change his diapers, we try to kind of fold it up. We double it back and tuck it between his penis and scrotum (yes, it's that long) so that when he poops, it's out of harm's way. Sometimes it holds, sometimes it doesn't.
From your description, it sounds like you are trying to fold it over to keep the poop out, but wouldn't that keep the pee in? And maybe be causing some of the irritation?

And I wouldn't worry about his adult penis size- his penis and foreskin will grow at different rates throughout his growing life.

I would also look seriously at the yeast issue. It can really be insidious. Has he had any antibiotics since his arrival?

I know bf babies poop nearly with every diaper change at that age and imagining taking all his clothes off to bath him 7 times a day (especially in the winter!) seems crazy.....but maybe something else would work to get him cleaned off without manipulating his foreskin? Maybe a peri bottle filled with warm water and GSE and Dr. Bronner's soap to rinse him off with onto a cloth prefold (don't know if you CD) or a towel?

Good luck!
post #18 of 30
folding itlike that seems like it would keep the pee in!! My son's penis at birth, and until probably 6 mos old, was mostly foreskin, we couldn't see any solid penis in there anywhere, but our doctor seemed unconcerned. we never cleaned it through retraction or anything, just outside. Now his foreskin "overhang" at 1 year old is probably an inch to an inch and a quarter. He's never had a UTI. I agree witht he PP's who said take him to a ped urologist, sounds like kidney reflux to me. Oh, and stop retracting him, you're probably just making it more irritated.

as far as the yeast, try grapefruit seed extract at every diaper change, it will work in a day or two.

hth

Misty
post #19 of 30
my ds has a inch of overhang if not more never measured it but it is long. What I have always done if he has a messy poo and it gets on there is simply wipe it off as good as I can by starting at the base of his penis and kinda stretching the skin toward me very gently I know this dosnt hurt cause the little bugger can about stretch it out hisself to his almost belly button.

It is impossible to know how much retraction or pulling back (both mean the same thing) is to much. A babies skin is a thin as paper and it can cause microscopic tears that are allowing bacteria in contributing to the yeast. I would definatly stop the rolling it under as this dosnt allow the urine to pass as freely as it should and clean out whatever might have gotten in there. The tip of the forskin has a spencter and this usually stays kinda tight unless they are peeing. That keeps everything out.

Urine is steril as it leaves the body and it will wash out any left over poo that may be in there.

Stop any and all cleaning by pulling back any on the foreskin. Do like I described above for awhile and see if that dosnt help a little. With the yeast I would do nystaten(yeast cream) to get it under control. Give it a week or so and you should see a improvment.

He definatly needs to be tested for kidney reflux if he has had 2 UTI's already. I know it is an invasive test but in this case I think it is warented. Just be 100% sure if u have it done he is not retracted. It can be done by the dr either just fishing for the uriter opening.

Also have the ped do a swab of the tip of his foreskin and see if anything grows he may have a bacterial infection instead of yeast. And the only way to know for sure is to see what grows with the swab. This is done by swabing the very tip of the foreskin with a q-tip like thing. NO pulling back is needed and should not be done.

Pulling back on the foreskin even a tiny bit fits the definition of retraction. It just should NEVER be done.
post #20 of 30
so sorry he has had 2 UTI's so far

infants grow out of the tendancy to get UTI's because as their tubes grow longer it reduces the chance of bacteria to work its way up

with 2 UTI's so far it may be wise to talk to a urologist. Be warned that he or she may advise circumcision - my sister's son's urologist advised this and now they are so glad that they said no way If you choose to have any tests please look into the things you can do to ease the discomfort. Definitely do not let anyone retract. I believe that these tests involve the use of a catheter, and that can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract!

then later a doctor confided that a foreskin had nothing to do with UTI's but that getting bacteria up there did!

swish swish swish

and my sister did start EC and her son did not get another UTI

probiotics

that's all for now
Good Night and Good Luck
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