Two y.o. penis discomfort question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-08-2011, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2 y.o. son is intact. For the last month or so, every so often we'll point to his penis and say it "hurts." His penis looks perfectly normal (no swelling, no redness...) and he doesn't have a fever and is acting normal. 

 

I don't know what's wrong. I would take him to the pediatrician but I'm nervous she may retract to "see" what's going on. The retraction hasn't occurred yet naturally, which also has me a bit worried, b/c my ped said it usually happens by two. 

 

I don't have any experience with this. Please share suggestions on what you think might be going on... Thank you!!

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#2 of 6 Old 01-08-2011, 05:15 AM
 
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It's possible that he doesn't have words or understanding to tell you what he's really feeling, it could be something as benign as the different feeling of an erection.  Also, as the adhesions gradually break down, it's possible that there are spots where the remaining adhesion now gets concentrated pressure on it if he was to pull his foreskin or something. It could just be the pressure on that- or if an adhesion broke away- it possible that there could be a little raw spot. 

 

Typically boys pull their foreskin out away from their body when they are playing in the tub- and this is the most gentle way for those adhesions to be challenged and give way (as opposed to the action of rolling the foreskin back) so that's a good thing at this age.

 

I'm curious about the way you phrased your question about the fact that he hadn't naturally retracted yet.  It's not like it just one day- boing- snaps back... retraction is almost always something that is done manually... a boy may be retractable at this age- but you'd never know it if you didn't check (don't).  Don't let yourself get worried about the idea that as soon as a boy is retractable that all of a sudden a lot of washing and intervention has to be implemented- it's no big deal to just keep leaving it alone for quite some time.  Eventually you will want to teach him that this can be done and that he can do it, that there is another part of his penis in there and he isn't going to hurt himself checking it out. As I said, most boys pull outward- so the idea of pushing it back can be a new one.  Little kids have no idea, and some are really amazed by the discovery of their glans- so it's just a matter of giving him some information when he's a little older.

 

There are two parts to retraction- the adhesions releasing and the tip of the foreskin becoming mature enough to be challenged to open that wide... there is a lot of variation in when either of those things which may not happen at the exact same time.

 

If you aren't seeing redness or swelling, and it's just a time to time complaint and not something that's causing him distress, (like not wanting to pee or grabbing at it constantly) I wouldn't be worried about it at all.

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#3 of 6 Old 01-08-2011, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the feedback.

 

What I meant was the even when he seems to have an erection, his penis never peaks out past the foreskin (and foreskin rolling back). He does play with it once in a while, but mostly pulling the skin forward rather than backwards. 

 

What worried me is that my ped said that by around 2 their penis should begin to be visible when they have an erection. And in our case, I've yet to see it. 

 

I'm so clueless about this stuff and DH is circumcised so he's no help either. 

 

I really appreciate the help.

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#4 of 6 Old 01-08-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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Oh goodness, I think that 2 is really early to be retracting! There is no set age, I wish doctors would quit saying that because it only makes parents nervous.  My older son was almost 3.5 when he did.  I remember because it was Mother's Day and he couldn't wait to give me breakfast in bed and show me his new "trick". OMG. lol.gif  3.5 is not late either- each boy will retract in his own time. For some it happens in their teens when they hit puberty!  Don't worry about it at all. 


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#5 of 6 Old 01-08-2011, 10:24 AM
 
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Oh, and also, my son is now 6 and still likes to run around naked.  I have seen him with an erection and I don't know if this is unusual or not, but his foreskin does not roll back by itself at this point.  His glans is still covered during an erection unless he chooses to uncover it.


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#6 of 6 Old 01-08-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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Your ped is very wrong about the age thing. While some boys may be retractable at 2 the avg age for it to happen is 10.5yo and it isnt considered abnormal for it not to be retracting until adulthood. If by then it dosnt then there is a problem if the owner of the penis is uncomfortable. Some men never retract and live normal happy lives (rare but possible)

Every boy is different when retraction happens just like every girl starts getting breasts at different ages. I to wish Dr.s would get with the program and learn about the intact penis before scaring parents with inaccurate information.

FWIW my ds was in no way retractable at that age and at 6yo he is still only about halfway retractable. I know this from seeing him mess with it. From birth the tip of his glans was visible during an erection even though he has a lot of overhang. Like everything else about the human body things like that are different for each person.

The pain issue it could be that he is starting the separation process when it happens the skin on both the inner foreskin and glans is raw for a bit until the body can repair it. Here is a link that goes into more detail about the Natural Separation process http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=764732 You may never see anything like is described but if you do you wont have to rely on the Dr. to figure out what the issue is and will know how much or if you should be worried.

Sometimes at your ds's age an erection can feel funny and they dont know the right words to describe it and say they are in pain when the sensation is there.

 
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