8 year old still not retracted and I am worried but don't want to go to Dr. office. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-13-2011, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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My 8 year old son is not retracted yet and the only reason I am worried is because the tip of his foreskin is very pink.  He doesn't not complain of it hurting at all but it just looks so pink to me.  I don't know that much about foreskin as no one in my family is not circumcised.  We took him to the Dr. at 3 years old because he was balloning when he urinated.  The Dr. tried to retract him gently and said that if it didn't retract within a couple of months we would need to circumsize him.  I did some research and wrote on the boards and found out very different information.  So we have never been back for that issue.  We just thought we would wait it out and that he would retract in his own time.  I want to still feel comfortable with taking that laid back approach but he is now 8 and I am starting to worry again.  His penis doesn't balloon up as much with urnination and that is an improvement over the years.  The foresking hole just looks so small and red that I am worried and I don't know what to do (if anything).  Thank you for any advice or life experience you may have to share!

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#2 of 5 Old 05-14-2011, 12:15 AM
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Pink is normal for some I know my ds's is and he definitely has no issues. Since your ds is not in pain or having discomfort then there is obviously nothing wrong.

At 8 he is perfectly normal to not be able to retract. The current research says the avg age of retraction is 10.5 but there are many boys who have to be well into puberty before it happens. Ballooning happens when the glans and foreskin separate but the sphincter is still to tight to allow retraction. Since the ballooning is going away that means the sphincter at the tip is becoming looser even though you are not seeing that by just looking. Like the anus it clamps down when not in use. Have you watched him urinate? I bet you would see that the opening is much larger than you thought by just looking.

Everything you described sounds normal to me.

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#3 of 5 Old 05-14-2011, 11:52 AM
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It's completely normal. There's no reason for a prepubescent boy to be retractable. Hormones are what loosen the foreskin in order to retract. Some men never retract and that's normal too. Has it always been pink? The tip usually is because it's like the inside of your mouth - a mucous membrane. Even if treatment were needed, circumcision isn't it. Steroid cream and a slit in the foreskin would come first. If it's not bothering your son or interfering with urination, I wouldn't worry. I wouldn't even begin to worry until a boy is sexually active. I would also be afraid to go back to your doctor.

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#4 of 5 Old 05-14-2011, 12:47 PM
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I agree, totally normal for an 8 year old boy to be non retractable.  Retraction is a sexual function (though sex is perfectly possible for men who are not retractable!).  The hormones of puberty will most likely initiate or complete retraction for him.  As long as he can urinate freely - the function of his penis at this stage in his life - he's fine!

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#5 of 5 Old 05-16-2011, 12:15 AM
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Hi miggymama,


I'm sorry that you're having some issues that are worrying you.  My advice would be to seek out a Dr who is experienced and knowledgeable with intact boys.  This might take some work on your part in asking some questions.  When consulting with a new Dr, it's a good idea to take the AAP guidelines on foreskin care along, which talk about the problems associated with forced retraction.  Get the issue out in the open at the beginning of the consultation, and before an examination tell the doctor that you do not want your son forcibly retracted under any circumstances.


No one here has examined your son, so rather than tell you that everything is fine and normal, I'm going to disagree slightly with others and say that if you have a concern that his penis looks irritated or you have noticed a difference in color, then you should get it checked out, by a foreskin friendly Dr.  Most likely everything is absolutely fine, but it's better to have a good professional opinion to lay your worries to rest, than very well-intentioned forum folks who have not examined your son.


Hope this helps and best wishes,



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