Son had his 1st issue - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-01-2010, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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My son a few days back was complaining to me after we got back from church that it hurt down there. When i checked him his penis was swollen and foreskin was red.Took him to urgent care and told us he prob has Phimosis and to take him to the E.R. cause they cant treat him. I was shocked but took him to the E.R. There they asked us if he would complain wen he uirnated and he didint he could uirnate just fine it was when he would move or bump into things it would hurt him the most. I got a lecture about how im suppose to retract his foreskin and clean it they made me feel horrible.

They ended up prescribing anitbiotic and ointment to retract his skin. and a print out for me on how to clean and retract his foreskin/penis. He was diagonsed with Balantis even though they did no test other than a urine test and they sent us home about 15 mins after we gave them a urine sample. When we got home about 2hrs later (traffic and stoppin get to lunch), i checked him and noticed a white discharge with a some cottage cheese consistency and after that i started giving him motrin for the pain and the antibiotic we had just picked up on the way home. The next day more discharge and the swelling was going down by the 3rd day he was back to normal. today is the 4th day and no more probs.

I ask what he experinced normal and okay or was the e.r. doc correct in diagonsing him with balantis(inflamation of the head of the penis) caused by poor hygeine.allows bacteria or fungus germs to grow and cause infection.symptoms are red swollen and painful glans of penis as per the printout the hospital gave me? I still havent followed doctors orders about retracting his foreskin but im still giving the antibiotics. What should i do?

My son is 3.75 years old and never experienced any problems before till now. Even when his reg doc has asked me to retract him but didnt.
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#2 of 8 Old 01-01-2010, 10:48 PM
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s to you & your ds. I don't know what is causing his problems, but from everything I've read here & elsewhere, you don't want to forcibly retract him - that will cause more problems then it could possibly solve.

There are lots of knowledgeable mamas & dads/guys here - I'm sure others will chime in.

Oh, and, if they are trying to tell you he should be retractable already, they're wrong. The *average* age for retraction is 10y.o. The reason he is not retractable yet is to prevent infection; it does not cause it.

here are two sites w/ some info on the 2 dx's you were given/

Hope some of this helps!

Baby the babies while they're babies so they don't need babying for a lifetime.
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#3 of 8 Old 01-01-2010, 11:21 PM
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From your description, it sounds like it was probably some separation. This is a natural process that can sometimes result in some short term redness and discomfort. Please read this link.

You absolutely do not want to retract him or allow anyone else to retract him (apart from he himself). That would be likely to cause a genuine infection.

Single mom to the Crunchy Froglets, Keith and Carlin, twin boys born 1/30/09. Frozen for 10 years, now unleashed on the world.
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#4 of 8 Old 01-02-2010, 03:09 AM
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I am sorry you had such a non helpful visit to both urgent care and the ER. It sounds like your ds was going through what some boys do when separation starts. Please read the thread Crunchy Frog put up and please do not allow anyone to mess with his foreskin.

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#5 of 8 Old 01-02-2010, 04:51 AM
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I'm glad you aren't retracting him per instructions. That is terrible advice. It could lead to all kinds of problems, leaving the foreskin alone is the best thing to do.

The discharge was probably a bit of smegma. Smegma is just the normal harmless secretions of human genitals (yes, females also make smegma.) Sometimes while the foreskin is still attached, pockets of smegma build up. When the foreskin separates those pockets open up releasing the smegma. Usually this process is painless, but occasionally it hurts (just as usually looseing a baby tooth is painless, but occasionally it is more bothersome.

Give him probiotics to help restore the bacteria balance in his gut and in general.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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#6 of 8 Old 01-02-2010, 05:16 AM
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Sounds exactly like what we went thru when my son was just over 3. The doctor had the same response as yours and prescribed antibiotics. However I gave it a few days and he cleared up without treatment.

Now I realize it is normal separation symptoms (there was a great Separation post around here, I will try to look for it and bump it up for you) and my son goes thru this for a few days every so often, but it always clears up without us doing anything and I don't believe it is either phimosis or balanitis in our case.

I hope this really sounds normal to me.
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#7 of 8 Old 01-02-2010, 01:22 PM
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It never ceases to amaze how clueless doctors are. It is very good that you did not follow their advice.

He does not have phimosis. He is simply too young for this to be the diagnosis. Children his age do have attached, tightly closed foreskin. Perfectly normal, so if the doctor says he has phimosis, you know immediately he is wrong and clueless. He needs more continuing education at the very least before attempting to diagnose this condition. For further information:

Balantitis also is a pretty uninformative diagnosis. It simply means inflammation of the glans penis. Duh, you new that already. What you wanted to know is why. Since his foreskin is NOT yet retractable, and he is an infant, it is NOT an issue of not keeping things clean. All you can do is clean as you would your finger or eye. Clean what you can see. Period.

To determine if there was an infection under the foreskin, they would need to test for yeast and bacteria. Then treat appropriately. May simply be separation issue, as it now sounds, so no treatment needed other than what you have already done.

Bottom line, you know a whole lot more than your doctors about this.

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#8 of 8 Old 01-02-2010, 01:52 PM
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Just chiming in, your doctors were completely wrong and gave you harmful advice. You should not retract his foreskin to clean his glans (head of his penis) or underneath the foreskin, and you should not give him antibiotics. He is having separation irritation and the discharge is smegma (dead skin cells, same as women produce, not infectious).

If you have a minute, please go to and contact them with the name of the hospital and your story. The hospital and ER staff need to know that they are giving harmful, outmoded advice that will cause more problems than it will solve.

Really, I can't believe how ignorant the doctors are -- would they recommend scrubbing out a young girl's vagina? It's the same thing.

Your son will be fine -- almost all intact boys go through a bit of separation irritation at some point, and it bothers some boys more than others, but it's really nothing at all to worry about -- just a growing pain. Letting him air out and giving him a warm baking soda bath, and letting him pee in a cupful of warm water if peeing is really irritating him, will help things along, and he should be all better in a couple of days.

I know this has been traumatic for you, but please know that this is in all likelihood the first and last time your son will have a problem with his intact penis -- this is not a sign of things to come! Overall most intact boys are very low-maintenance.

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