"Tight" foreskin & baby erections - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-19-2008, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi All,
My 16 month old son has been diagnosed as having a "very tight foreskin, that may be a problem for him in the future" by his doctors. I am educated enough to know that this is an inaccurate statement and that babies are supposed to have a tight foreskin! He does baloon when he pees, but has a good sized stream.
However, I do have one question...he gets "baby erections" particularly at night and in the morning. Some days, it seems that this is causing him pain. The doctor said that this is because the foreskin is tight and the erection is causing micro-tearing. Any truth to this?
I've had a naturopathic doctor suggest putting straight vitamin e on his foreskin to perhaps facilitate streching, but I haven't done that either...any one think that is a good idea?
Thanks!

Abby, Mom to Matthew (9/14/06) and new baby Annabelle (10/04/09), Wife to Dan
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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I know we've had a thread on this board to this effect before. Try doing a search. But, the short answer is, no, there should be plenty of skin for an erection even without retraction. (And obviously, any recommendation of circumcision to correct "lack of skin", is... well, stupid! )
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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Ah yes, the tight foreskin lie. I was told exactly the same thing, and wouldn't you know that my son was also 16 months old at the time. You are ahead of the game with already being aware of how a toddler's foreskin should be. You are protecting your son by not buying into that bs.

What is it that makes you think the erections are painful for him?

It is actually pretty normal for morning erections to be a bit uncomfortable, circumcised or not, because they prevent the bladder from emptying. If he does seem to be expressing discomfort, it could be because of that.

My DS is now 27 months old, and hasn't had any problems since his "diagnosis" of a tight foreskin. Of course that didn't stop a pediatric urologist from insisting that he must be circumcised. He actually told me that at 16 months, he should be retractable. His foreskin is still tightly closed, and he's not even close to becoming retractable. All completely normal.

The "micro-tears" that the doctor is trying to terrorize you with are nature's way of eventually loosening the foreskin and allowing it to retract. It's one of those "oh my, his body might naturally cause tiny tears, so we ought to chop the whole thing off" ideas that is so completely illogical. Any interference with the natural process (i.e. manually retracting) is going to make things far worse.

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Old 01-19-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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My advice? Let your ds run naked a few hours a day. That will allow him to tug and pull at his foreskin. That will facilitate retraction. He and his body know what to do.

Momma to three fine children, one that lives in my heart and two that live in my arms.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chimpmandee View Post
It is actually pretty normal for morning erections to be a bit uncomfortable, circumcised or not, because they prevent the bladder from emptying. If he does seem to be expressing discomfort, it could be because of that.
I think this might be true. My two-year old sometimes seems to find erections uncomfortable, too. But I sometimes think that it's just an unusual sensation for him, and not really that painful. He's usually happier without diapers when he has an erection, though - he doesn't like anything pressing on his penis.

I wouldn't worry about it, and it's not necessary to do anything to stretch the foreskin. My son doesn't touch his penis very much, even though he's often running around naked, and I wouldn't really expect him to do that very much at such an early age.

I live in Norway and I can promise you that no doctor here would even mention circing or stretching the foreskin if I asked them about this "problem". Maybe you should find a doctor who is used to intact boys?
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Old 01-19-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post
I think this might be true. My two-year old sometimes seems to find erections uncomfortable, too. But I sometimes think that it's just an unusual sensation for him, and not really that painful. He's usually happier without diapers when he has an erection, though - he doesn't like anything pressing on his penis.

I wouldn't worry about it, and it's not necessary to do anything to stretch the foreskin. My son doesn't touch his penis very much, even though he's often running around naked, and I wouldn't really expect him to do that very much at such an early age.

I live in Norway and I can promise you that no doctor here would even mention circing or stretching the foreskin if I asked them about this "problem". Maybe you should find a doctor who is used to intact boys?
The trouble is, those of us who live in high-circ. areas of the U.S. will not find such a doctor. Medical doctors and nurses are trained to see the foreskin as a dangerous problem waiting to happen. They are NOT trained in the structure and function of the intact penis at all. The best we can hope for is to find an MD who is open to learning.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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The trouble is, those of us who live in high-circ. areas of the U.S. will not find such a doctor. Medical doctors and nurses are trained to see the foreskin as a dangerous problem waiting to happen. They are NOT trained in the structure and function of the intact penis at all. The best we can hope for is to find an MD who is open to learning.
Yes, this is so true...I've heard a few cases where a doctor has given the mom obviously wrong information in an effort to persuade them to circ...happens all the time sadly.

You have to be an advocate for your own family's healthcare, there is no other way.

It's great that you have researched this on your own and know the facts...the majority of boys are retractable by puberty, and at this point he sounds normal. If he is balooning that is even a sign that he is starting to separate! Very normal.

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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Old 01-20-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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I heard the same crap from our first ped. He told us that boys should be retractable by one year of age. He didn't warn me about those dangerous micro tears though, he told me that when DS got his first night time erection in puberty, the skin could tear. I was too confounded to ask him what he thought might be different about pubertal erections and baby/childhood erections. This was all from a doctor who styled himself as foreskin friendly.

<>< Alison
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:02 AM
 
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I would imagine that erections do pull on the attachments a bit and help the seperation process along. I just view that as natures way though along with the boy pulling and tugging on it all help in some way.

It makes me so sad to think of the little boys out there that are circed because of things like this

My ds also acts uncomfy when he has a erection in the morning and if I change him when he first wakes up he actually "requests" that I push it down instead of pointing it up like dh told me I should when I asked him. (by request I mean he actually reached down and pushed it down when I tried to lay it pointing up) He did that about 3 months ago maybe, before that I never changed him that early or if I did the erection was already starting to go down.

 
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