I have been debating with myself whether I needed to post this question for a while now because my son seems fine so I have convinced myself that everything is normal, but his (intact friendly) day care providers told me today that they were concerned about him so I said I would look into it.
My son is 3 and toilet training. He likes to play with his penis while sitting on the toilet and I have noticed it is partly retractable--he can expose the right side of his glans. The foreskin is apparently still fused on the left side of the glans, and it appears to be fused to the urethra so that when he pulls back on his foreskin, his urethral opening gets very large and red. It was the red that attracted the attention of his day care providers today. At first, one of them thought it was blood, so she called the other one in to look. Neither of them touched his penis; they only asked him to show them and between the two of them they determined that the tip of his penis (not the foreskin, but the urethra) is very red and should be looked at by a doctor. I was already aware that it was red. I had asked him previously whether it hurt and he said no. Apparently he said the same to them today, but now he is claiming that it does hurt. I don't know if it actually does hurt or if he is just reacting to the suggestion at this point.
However, I have to admit that a bigger concern for me is not the urethra, but the appearance of the glans itself. The part of it that I can see always looks a sickly purple colour, as if the circulation has been cut off or something. Is it normal for it to look purple at this stage in his development, or is that a sign of a problem? What about the red urethra? Neither of these are even noticeable unless he is pulling back on the foreskin. Should I be concerned?
Now mom to a boy born January 2010.
Cautiously expecting Dec 2014!
12/08 (6 weeks), 1/13 (11 weeks), & 12/13 (9.5 weeks)
I'm not a medical expert but from what I understand, the foreskin is actually fused to the glans until later, which is why it shouldn't be retracted. If it's separated prematurely, it can form scar tissue and cause the foreskin to permanently "stick" in the place it was damaged. It may still be partly fused because it's not quite ready to be retracted, or it may be partly fused because it's been damaged (there is no way to tell until later). I think the red and the purple sound normal, but you should probably have it checked out. Has soaking it in the bath helped at all?
My ds2 would play w/ his foreskin/penis & I'd get a glimpse underneath. The first few times I saw it, I was a bit surprised. IT was purpleish like you described. I don't recall getting a look at the urethra, but from watching ds2, I'm thinking if it was partially fused on one side, then when he pulls it back, the still attached foreskin may pull on the part that is attached near the urethra & you may be looking inside it, where who knows what the color should be. Oh, and, his foreskin appeared to be unevenly attached when he first started being retractable. Seemed that it was still attached partly around the corona, but not around the rest.
Yeah, I guess the purple is normal. I believe we were looking at the inside of his urethra, which is why it was so red. In any case, I told him to stop pulling it back (I hope I haven't given him a complex!) and it has not bothered him since then.
About giving him a complex, you probably won't. If it were me, I'd explain why I'm suggesting he do what I'm suggesting. I don't tend to tell my children what to do so when I do, they usually listen.