5 year old twins, not yet retractable? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have three intact sons, ages 9 and 5 year old twins.

Starting when he was about 4 years old my oldest son was under the care of a pediatric urologist (for incontinence and spastic bladder, which has since worked itself out with herbal treatment). The urologist, of course, pressured us to speed along the retraction of his foreskin, threatening that he would need surgery if it didn't happen soon. We used steroid cream on it for 2-3 weeks and his foreskin became easily retractable and has remained that way since.

My twins, who are turning 5 next week, have foreskins that are quite tight and are nowhere near retractable. I tried the steroid cream for a few days, but their foreskins are not loosening up nearly as quickly as their older brother's did. At this point, their foreskins only come back far enough to expose probably 4 mm of the head and there is a little strip (probably 1 mm wide) of tissue at the 6 o'clock position that is tethering the foreskin to the head.

I am a little concerned about this because it won't be all that long before it becomes inappropriate for me to be dealing with the intimate details of their personal hygiene and I would like them to be well practiced at retracting their foreskins and cleaning underneath by then.

I know that if I seek medical advice about this I will get "I told you so" -- we live in an area when intact boys are rare.

Any thoughts about how to deal with this?

Catholic mother of three intact boys, ages 9 and 5 year old identical twins. Licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and nutritionist in private practice. Daughter of CNM.
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#2 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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My DS is not yet two, and is nowhere near retractable.

I think it's pretty common for boys of your sons' age to not retract at all. I've seen the average age of retraction stated as 10.4 years, and I'm not going to worry about it (for my son) unless my son complains or he's not retracting at 16 or 17.

There is no medical reason for your sons to need to be retractable. It'll happen when it happens, and when the foreskin is still fused it offers much easier cleaning (none) that when it becomes retractable.

I would tell your doctor not to worry- he probably is misinformed about intact penises as most doctors in high circ areas are. I'm not sure why doctors feel the need to speed up the natural processes of retraction, as it can cause much more harm than good. The intact penis is perfectly natural and it should be left up to nature as to when it retracts.
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#3 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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A lot of boys aren't retractable at that age. My almost five year old isn't, either. Some boys are nowhere near being retractable until puberty hits, when the hormones help.

Your oldest son did not NEED the steroid cream. The urologist was wrong to prescribe that, since non retractibility at that age is a non issue.

Just leave the boys alone....honestly. It's nothing to be concerned about. Things will happen in their own time.

Also, the piece of tissue at the six o'clock position is the frenulum, and is supposed to be there. It connects the foreskin to the underside of the glans.
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#4 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 05:15 PM
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my son is 5 and is not even close to being retractable. 100% normal.
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#5 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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Steroid cream is meant for adults - not children.

There is no need for them to be retractable until they reach puberty and/or are having sex (and not even then either)

It's very possible you will never know if and when your boys become retractable. There is also no need for them to clean underneath them. Foreskin is self cleaning just as the vagina is. Douching used to be the norm, it's now known to be detrimental to normal flora.

Stop trying to retract them, it's only going to cause problems like micro tears that will allow the introduction of bacteria, and paraphimosis from having the foreskin get stuck behind the glans.

It will happen when it happens, as long as they can pass urine, there is nothing to worry about and nothing you need to do.

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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#6 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
Steroid cream is meant for adults - not children.

There is no need for them to be retractable until they reach puberty and/or are having sex (and not even then either)

It's very possible you will never know if and when your boys become retractable. There is also no need for them to clean underneath them. Foreskin is self cleaning just as the vagina is. Douching used to be the norm, it's now known to be detrimental to normal flora.

Stop trying to retract them, it's only going to cause problems like micro tears that will allow the introduction of bacteria, and paraphimosis from having the foreskin get stuck behind the glans.

It will happen when it happens, as long as they can pass urine, there is nothing to worry about and nothing you need to do.
the urologist that gave you that advice was dead wrong and your first ds is very lucky that he became retractable or I bet the Dr. would have pressured you until you gave in to a totally unnecessary circ.

The avg age for retraction is 10.5y and any time up to adulthood is normal. Just like every girl starts her period when she is ready every boy will retract when nature is ready for it to happen.

No one but the owner of the penis should ever try to retract.

 
SAHMlady.gifread.giflovin' trekkie.giffan intactivist.gifwinner.jpg to loveeyes.gifenergy.gifDD 10/00 & superhero.gifmoon.gifDS 10/04 ribbonpb.gifIf your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumnocirc.gifCirc, a personal choice, Your sonsyes.gifbrokenheart.gif11/98brokenheart.gif6/99ribbonbrown.gifanti-tobaccoribbonyellow.gifThyroid cancer survivor. With cat.gif& goldfish.gif & (Boxer)dog2.gif wishing 4 whale.gif&ribbonwhite.gifsigncirc1.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gif

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#7 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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oh...make sure you tell the doctors to keep their hand off too. Far to many HCPs (especially in the US) have no idea what is normal for normal male genitalia and seem to have a weird (kinda scary) fascination with intact boys foreskins

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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#8 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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There is no need for a 5yo to retract. Trying to force it can cause problems.

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Originally Posted by Acupuncturist View Post
and there is a little strip (probably 1 mm wide) of tissue at the 6 o'clock position that is tethering the foreskin to the head.
This is the frenulum, it is a normal part of male anatomy.

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#9 of 19 Old 09-26-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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My 5 1/2 year old is not at all retractable as far as I know and it isn't an issue. It's NORMAL!
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#10 of 19 Old 09-26-2010, 05:26 PM
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only about 50% of the boys retract by the age of 10 which is 100% normal.
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#11 of 19 Old 09-26-2010, 05:32 PM
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oh and they do NOT need any special hygiene for the area until they rich puberty. washing it with soap will only irritate the glans and wash off good bacteria making the area more likely to be infected with yeast. Even when they are grown ups, only very mild soap (if any) should be used on genitals (much like with girls' genitals). When they do become retractable (which may not happen for a long time), ocasional retraction in the bath tab and rinsing it just with water is more than enough.
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#12 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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I live in an area with a less than 1% circ rate and all the doctors know to leave little penises alone. (One of the things I really love about Nova Scotia!)My nearly-6 year old is nowhere near retractable, and that is totally normal. There's a really wide range of normal on this one. Some boys retract when they're 3 and some do it when they're 12, and nothing bad at all happens to them.

You're right that your boys will be too old for you to be that involved with their intimate hygiene before long, but so what? If they're too old for you to do it, they'll definitely be old enough to understand you when you say, "once your foreskin pulls back over the head of your penis, give it a rinse-off when you're in the shower". There, taken care of!
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#13 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acupuncturist View Post
Any thoughts about how to deal with this?
Leave their penises alone and forget about it.


They won't need to wash under there until they are sexually mature and I bet they will figure it out without any involvement from you.
And for now, they don't need to retract OR clean inside.
So, nothing at all for you to do.
Easy peasy.

All the best to you,
Jen
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#14 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by green betty View Post
I live in an area with a less than 1% circ rate and all the doctors know to leave little penises alone. (One of the things I really love about Nova Scotia!) There's a really wide range of normal on this one. Some boys retract when they're 3 and some do it when they're 12, and nothing bad at all happens to them.

You're right that your boys will be too old for you to be that involved with their intimate hygiene before long, but so what? If they're too old for you to do it, they'll definitely be old enough to understand you when you say, "once your foreskin pulls back over the head of your penis, give it a rinse-off when you're in the shower". There, taken care of!

Now mom to a boy born January 2010. 
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#15 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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I don't think anyone posted this yet - Dr. Paul Fleiss wrote an article on how to protect your son from ill informed or unethical doctors.

http://www.mothering.com/health/protect-your-uncircumcised-son-expert-medical-advice-parents

Quote:
I often receive calls from distraught parents who say that a doctor insists that their little boy needs to be circumcised because there is something wrong
Quote:
Probably, the only problem you will encounter with the foreskin of your intact boy is that someone will think that he has a problem.

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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#16 of 19 Old 09-29-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Acupuncturist View Post
I am a little concerned about this because it won't be all that long before it becomes inappropriate for me to be dealing with the intimate details of their personal hygiene and I would like them to be well practiced at retracting their foreskins and cleaning underneath by then.
Any thoughts about how to deal with this?
Please do not be concerned. Your DSs are perfectly normal - as the others have stated the average age for a boy's foreskin to retract, as observed in Denmark - a non circumcising nation, is 10.4 years old. You might want to read www.cirp.org/library/normal/ . There are many other articles on the cirp website, and most have extensive lists of references after them. The bottom line is that nature does not make mistakes and the design is perfect. It is just that many of our doctors think they know better.
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#17 of 19 Old 09-29-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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Another one chiming in to say completely normal. My second son will be 5 in Nov and does not show any signs of retraction.

oAlisha- eternal companion to mike:, mother to three energetic boys (02):, (05), and (07) and one sweet little girl 3/13.  Two in heaven.7/21/2010, 11/05/2011 mecry.gif.

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#18 of 19 Old 10-08-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Yulia_R View Post
my son is 5 and is not even close to being retractable. 100% normal.
Ditto this

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#19 of 19 Old 10-10-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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Thank you for this thread. I've started worrying, as my younger son's penis is definitely different than my 5yo (the 3yo's is much looser) I was beginning to prepare myself for a conversation about the tight foreskin, and the time when it becomes a worry w the docs, and v v glad I read this thread first.
I will take this worry off my plate.
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