How much should a foreskin retract? - Mothering Forums

How much should a foreskin retract?

Irishmommy's Avatar Irishmommy (TS)
10:55 PM Liked: 315
#1 of 10
10-14-2003 | Posts: 45,457
Joined: Nov 2001
Serious question here. On an intact adult, erect, how much of the glans should be visible when the foreskin is retracted? My dh's only exposes about the size of a penny, and I don't think that's "enough" iykwim.
laidbackmomto2's Avatar laidbackmomto2
12:18 AM Liked: 0
#2 of 10
10-15-2003 | Posts: 97
Joined: Apr 2002
My intact DH's foreskin retracts back well behind the corona, or rim, of the glans.

It sounds as though your DH may not be "fully retractable". I've read that some men who are not "fully retractable" are comfortable with that (and are not suffering any problems) so choose not to do anything about it.

However, if this bothers your DH, either physically or emotionally, he should look into manual stretching exercises (I believe to "widen" or "loosen" the preputial opening (opening of the foreskin) and/or steriod cream which will assist in the process. An informed urologist should be able to prescribe one and may be able to help him with the stretching technique. As you are in Canada (me too, btw...hello!), I would hope that finding a urologist who doesn't insist that circumcision is the only option shouldn't be too hard.

And perhaps Frank, with his vast knowledge on foreskin restoration, may also be able to describe some stretching technique...have you been in any contact with intact men who have done this, Frank?

Hope that helps.

Sarah's Avatar Sarah
01:59 AM Liked: 21
#3 of 10
10-15-2003 | Posts: 2,093
Joined: Nov 2001
If he goes to CIRP he can look into the conservative treatments before visiting the Dr so he knows what is available to him and can read the Dr.s spin- if it is respectful or callous.

If it doesn't bother him, I don't think it's really your business. iykwim... Some men are not retractable and are fine with that... if it' not causing him a problem either physicaly or emotionally- it's his penis, not yours.

A lot of guys would prefer to have a retractable foreskin but have been convinced (through heresay) that circumcision is the only thing available to a guy with phimosis. Lots of guys would rather keep their non-retractable foreskins rather than be circumcised. If the conservative treatments were well known and if more Doctors were willing to offer them without scaring a guy into the next state with the C word... there would probably be less people living with this.

Love Sarah
Sustainer's Avatar Sustainer
04:09 AM Liked: 61
#4 of 10
10-15-2003 | Posts: 10,340
Joined: Sep 2002
My intact partner's foreskin retracts completely.

Yes, your partner's penis is his own, but you're not totally out of line talking to him about it if it is affecting you sexually.
11:23 AM Liked: 49
#5 of 10
10-15-2003 | Posts: 767
Joined: Feb 2002
The adult penis has an amazingly mobile skin system. Most foreskins can be retracted to the point where the glans is exposed and a large part of the shaft covered by the inner mucosal lining. To see an illustration of this go to , enter the site, and scroll down to 'the three zones of penile skin'.
As Sarah pointed out, some men live out their lives quite happily with a non retractile foreskin, presumably because they have enough skin to comfortably cover a full erection. There is lots of information on treatments at and if you scroll down to the end of the discourse on treatment with topical steroids you will find the latest paper, written by some canadian doctors in Kingston, Ont. Or just add ashfield1/ to the above url.
Your Dh is very lucky a noth american dr did not catch him, as they very likely would have deemed he had a problem and circumcised him. Such is the single mindedness of our medical community - most still are not aware of all the treatment options or even the option of leaving it alone !!
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking
07:51 PM Liked: 32
#6 of 10
10-15-2003 | Posts: 4,928
Joined: May 2002
There are two things that may be causing your husband's non-retractability. One is a tight frenar band. That is the elastic band that keepos the foreskin opening tight around the glans. The other is called frenulum breve or "Short Frenulum." Both of these parts can be successfully stretched permanently and painlessly over the course of a few weeks rendering complete retractability. If he would like to speed up the progress, he can ask his doctor for some betamethesone .05% cream available by prescription. There is a website that deals with this issue and has a discussion board populated by men who have been there and are experienced to answer any questions he may have.

Irishmommy's Avatar Irishmommy (TS)
12:51 PM Liked: 315
#7 of 10
10-16-2003 | Posts: 45,457
Joined: Nov 2001
Thanks for the replies everyone. I bit the bullet and showed this thread to dh, and he said he would think about it. No matter what though, circing him will NEVER EVER be an option.

Sarah, I get your point about it being his penis, his decision (whid it always will be) but it does affect our sex life, in that penetration can be an issue, as can other stuff, so it does affect me too. He's the only intact man I've been with, so having nothing to compare, I didn't know it could be fixed, until all the talk here about retracting got me thinking (always dangerous lol).
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking
09:49 PM Liked: 32
#8 of 10
10-16-2003 | Posts: 4,928
Joined: May 2002

I would like to clarify something if you will indulge me.

You said your husband exposes only about the size of a penny when he is erect. If he (or you) pull back on the foreskin, will it pull back behind the glans?. I ask this because many men stay covered when erect but the foreskin will easily slip back behind the glans on penetration or for playing. Other men have a foreskin that will automatically retract on erection. Either way is normal and I just want to make sure.

The impression I got was that your husband can not pull the foreskin back behind the glans and the information I have given is for that case.

Irishmommy's Avatar Irishmommy (TS)
11:38 PM Liked: 315
#9 of 10
10-16-2003 | Posts: 45,457
Joined: Nov 2001
Frank, your impression is correct, it just doesn't retract at all.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking
02:01 AM Liked: 32
#10 of 10
10-17-2003 | Posts: 4,928
Joined: May 2002
Well then, if he wants it, full retractability is just around the corner. The method is 99%+ effective. Best of luck to him for quick and easy retractability!

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