small opening, doc says maybe circ? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 10-26-2010, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

My baby is 6th months old now. He was born at home and though we circ'ed our first son, I have since learned a lot and we didn't circ Luke. I delayed shots a bit and when I went in the doc said his opening was really small and if he starts "balooning" when he pees we may need to talk. He was supportive of not circumcising, but said some kids actually do need it.
I hadn't noticed the opening was small, but when I looked, it is tiny. The last time I had to wipe a his penis much, it had a decent opening and you could see the tip of his penis if it pulled back a bit. I didn't pull it back at all, that's just what I noticed while wiping. My midwife had said just to leave it alone and not try to pull it back, so I didn't.
Is there anything I can do to avoid circumcising him? If he needs it, I'm okay with that, I just don't want to jump the gun. So far he is peeing fine, but the opening is really tiny. How does that happen?
Thanks for any input you have, or reference to other threads.
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#2 of 21 Old 10-26-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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I'm sure he is fine. If my kid is any indication the opening at the front of the foreskin actually widens to allow urine to pass and then cinches back up. The body is an amazing thing really...if you leave it alone and let it work properly.
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#3 of 21 Old 10-26-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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i honestly think that alot of the time, when doctors say things like "sometimes babies NEED to be circ'ed", it's a bunch of bs. yes, i suppose sometimes it does need to be done, like i guess sometimes babies need other parts of their bodies amputated, but generally speaking... no, it does not NEED to be done. my ds's hole is VERY small, can barely see it at all, it's shut so tight. he's peeing... so i'm guessing he's fine.

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#4 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 12:05 AM
 
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Anne,
Please read this thread, it addresses ballooning - http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=764732?

Your son does NOT need a circumcision. He's fine. He's penis is doing what it's supposed to do - passing urine. If you feel you need a second opinion, please read the list of "foreskin friendly" doctors or ask for the name of one in "Finding your tribe". Too man American doctors do not understand normal foreskin anatomy. A circumcision surgery is not going to magically make your son's urethra wider. If anything, it might lead to urinary meatal stenosis.

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#5 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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It's called a preputial sphincter. It closes up to keep stuff out. It's supposed to be small. Also ballooning is not a problem at all. Two thing have to happen for a boy to be retractable. The preputial sphincter loosens and the membrane attaching the inner surface of the foreskin to the glans of the penis separate. If separation happens first the boy may balloon while peeing as the space can fill up faster then it can drain. If the sphincter loosens first the boy may be able to retract a bit but still have some adhesion to the glans. My first son had the preputial sphincter loosen first and my second had the separation happen first as he is now ballooning. My advice is to arm yourself with knowledge about the normal development of the intact penis. A good start would be: http://mothering.com/health/protect-...advice-parents

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#6 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much ladies! I love the mothering.com forum! This forum is what led me to research and find out I could have a normal birth after a 4th degree tear, and what led me to research homebirth! It changed my life, and continues to help me so much!
I circ'ed my first son because I saw several infections in elderly patients I took care of during my college years when I worked at a nursing home. Then I heard that many kids needed to be circed in their early years for infections. Of course, I thought it was the best thing....
Fortunately I learned more, and decided not to circ my second son. I learned that the vast majority of those issues were with care given, not an inherent problem.
When the doc told me his opening was small I was skeptical. Not about the docs intentions, because he is great, but of his knowledge and experience with uncirced penises. So I thought I would come here. I guess after having 2 kids at home with no difficulty after being told I would HAVE to have csections, I am naturally questioning when told anything....lol
My mind is DEFINITELY put to ease! I can't say how much I appreciate it!
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#7 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It makes so much sense that the opening would be small to keep stuff out. The doc said that infection could cause a problem... but, urine is sterile, so it wouldn't cause a problem, and a small opening would allow less in....
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#8 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 08:19 AM
 
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I hope you take the time to talk to the Dr. and explain to him about the sphincter and how it works and about how NORMAL ballooning is. He might cause other little guys to be circed because of his ignorance in that area.

I also hope that from now on you dont allow him to touch your ds's penis that way he wont be finding "problems" to scare you with.

 
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#9 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 08:27 AM
 
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My younger son's opening was reeeeeallly small too and ballooned. It was small enough that it concerned me, who has been rabidly anti-circumcision for about 20 years now (thank you Geraldo circa 1991 ). It didn't seem to cause discomfort and I looked at some info that has been referenced here and all is now well 6 years later. So yeah, tell your doc you can "talk" but that is about all he will be doing in regards to your son's penis

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#10 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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The end of the foreskin is a sphincter. It relaxes to let urine pass. This why it seemed big when you were wiping him right after he wet a diaper. Other times it closes tightly shut to keep stuff (such as poop) out of the urethra.

If the Dr was messing with the foreskin then you DS will have instinctively closed it tightly, just as he will have closed his eyes tightly if the Dr tried to touch them.

Never let the Dr try to retract your DS's foreskin.

Ballooning is a harmless and extremely common stage boys go through. My DS who was an early bloomer, did it for a little while around your DS's age. It soo went away. The age (though typically older than my DS) at which it can occur varies greatly. There is also a great variation on how long it last for. No matter when it starts, or how long it last (up to years in some cases, and of course older intact men can even do it deliberately if they want to by pinching the end closed) it will not cause any harm. It will not go back up into the kidneys.

here is an article to read.

http://www.mothering.com/health/prot...advice-parents

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#11 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anne1006 View Post
I circ'ed my first son because I saw several infections in elderly patients I took care of during my college years when I worked at a nursing home. Then I heard that many kids needed to be circed in their early years for infections. Of course, I thought it was the best thing....
Fortunately I learned more, and decided not to circ my second son. I learned that the vast majority of those issues were with care given, not an inherent problem.
THIS !! I find the lack of knowledge of normal male anatomy that pervades the medical community in North America to be staggering.

Read and print for your doctor: www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/normal/
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#12 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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My husband was born in eastern Europe and is intact. He says that little boys used to try to impress each other with how much they could balloon during peeing.

Not a harmful thing at all, totally normal.
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#13 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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My 2nd son had a pinhole opening and yet he retracts just fine now. (He is 5.)

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
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#14 of 21 Old 10-27-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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I want to implore you to get a foreskin-friendly pediatrician. It can make a huge difference in your comfort level with visits and with your son's foreskin.
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#15 of 21 Old 10-28-2010, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I definitely am glad I thought to come ask here before doing anything drastic! I can breathe easy now!
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#16 of 21 Old 10-29-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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"Find a foreskin-friendly doctor."

Yes, I agree. The question is, how?? Seriously, I do wonder about this. Before we had DS#1, we interviewed peds in our northern VA area, and settled on the one who said, "absolutely fine to leave baby intact." She ended up being one of "those" who tried to retract to "visually inspect," and also told me that "the opening is really tight." Hmmm. I would say that she was/is NOT "foreskin friendly."

We moved to CO when DS#1 was 2 and DS#2 was under a year, and had a heck of a time even finding a ped in town who would take non-newborn patients (this is a different topic, insert eyeroll). We finally STUMBLED into our current ped, whom we *love*. Interestingly, he is someone who does circs, and someone who circ'd his own three sons for religious reasons, but he is ****FAR**** more foreskin-friendly than our first. He asked us ONCE if we wanted our twins circ'd (which, from what I read on here, is unusual, LOL), never mentioned again. Never tries to retract, visualize, etc. Literally, barely looks at their penises. And I have four sons, so I see the guy x4 every year.

Anyway, I digress. How do you find a "friendly" ped/PA/Family Practice doctor?? Is there some master list somewhere? I would love to see it if so! I would consider that a HUGE boondoggle. If that is even a word...

GL to the OP -- hope your fears have been resolved.
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#17 of 21 Old 10-29-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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You are like me you are pretty much stuck with what you got. What I did was just put into effect the no touching of the penis rule at all. If they needed to check ds's testicles then I told the Dr. before the diaper came off "you may check his testicles but do not touch his penis" when ds had the infection I told the Dr. he wasnt to touch it at all and he looked at me and promptly put his hands behind his back. I was the one who raised it up so he could see the underside but of course I didnt retract him or even touch his foreskin.

It is possible to keep a ped. who is not foreskin friendly as long as you are comfortable standing up to that ped. and making sure they dont mess with it. It also is a great way to teach the Dr. about proper intact care though some are way more open to learning than others.

 
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#18 of 21 Old 10-30-2010, 01:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
My husband was born in eastern Europe and is intact. He says that little boys used to try to impress each other with how much they could balloon during peeing.

Not a harmful thing at all, totally normal.


I can totally see little boys doing this! Writing their name in the snow comes later, I bet.

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#19 of 21 Old 10-31-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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As long as he can pee, it's fine. "Ballooning" is not a reason to circ. It just means that the foreskin has started separating from the glans, but the opening is still snug. The pee fills the area between the foreskin and glans before coming out. It's pretty normal and doesn't mean it's "too tight". The development of the penis doesn't happen all at once, and never in exactly the same order so there's a lot of variation between kids. My almost 6 year old still balloons and as far as I know, isn't retractable yet. It doesn't hurt him and hasn't been an issue. He thinks it's quite fun to squeeze the balloon when he pees. It makes it shoot.

Also remember, that the average age to retract is about 10. It's VERY rare for a child's foreskin to be too tight. Only if they had a problem peeing would that be the case.
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#20 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Sounds like a totally normal baby penis to me. I have three sons, and they all did, or do, look like that and have ballooning. If they can pee, there is no problem.

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#21 of 21 Old 11-03-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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I second what everyone else says (small opening - NORMAL, Ballooning - NORMAL) and want to add that when you encounter a doctor who says that some kids need circumcision - run far far away!

Jessica, mom of Julienne (3) and Sebastian (1)
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