I have three boys, 9, 6, and 3, all intact. My husband is circumcised so can't really help when I have questions! I also find that most doctors really don't know enough. The last time my oldest went to a main stream doctor was 2 years ago. The doctor said he needed to see how far the foreskin retracts because it should be retracting "soon". I was in the room, and it was an uncomfortable experience for all of us and the next day a bunch of white stuff came out.....anyway, I can't remember what that is called now, but I researched it at the time and felt ok about it. Anyway, the "doctor" experience really bothered me so we haven't even been back since. He definitely retracted it further than it had ever been before. But my oldest does have longer foreskin than his brothers, and it does NOT fully retract yet. We were always told by any doctors that he should "work on retracting it" and I have said this to my son, but he said to me "why??" and honestly I didn't know how to answer that question. I just assumed that in time it would work out as it should, and nothing needed to be "done." My six year old can't retract the foreskin the whole way either, but I have a friend with boys age 6 and 9 and she says both of them can retract their foreskin the whole way. What do people think? Is there an "appropriate age" that the foreskin should retract by? And should I even worry about it?
Yes, Escaping is right. It doesn't really matter when the foreskin retracts, as long as it is not causing a problem for the boy.
The average age of retractability is 10.5 years, but there is great range, with some boys retracting as toddlers, and others not until their teen years.
Most boys are fully retractable by the time they finish puberty. If not, then it may cause problems during sex that may require treatment (with less invasive options than circumcision, of course), but if there is no problem, then there is no need to do anything about it.
Well, most of the doctors in question are circumcised so they do not deal with a foreskin themselves and apparently the only thing they are taught about foreskins is how to cut them off. Most information I have seen from doctors on the issue says that boys are usually retractable by age 2-6 (depending on the source) so when they see a boy who is not retractable by whatever age they think he should be (based on their education), they suggest circumcision. That way they never learn how it develops when left alone.
Sorry, I feel like I was rambling there.