Is it ok that my 4 yr old is still not even close to retracting? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 11-15-2011, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have not been reading too much about this and wasn't all that worried about it, but my dr. said that I needed to start retracting the foreskin or it would cause problems...  My son is almost 4 and not even close to being able to retract!  There is only an opening large enough to pee through.  Is this a problem or should I just leave it?

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#2 of 15 Old 11-15-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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Just leave it be. Some boys are MUCH older before they retract... it's not a problem! smile.gif

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#3 of 15 Old 11-15-2011, 11:25 AM
 
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The average age of retraction is actually 10.5yo but there is no set age for it to happen. The Dr. is very wrong about you doing any retracting it can cause damage to your ds. No one but him should mess with it. The Dr. shouldnt even be checking his penis unless you are asking about a problem there. The main problem with the Dr. doing so is what has happened with you causing worry for no reason.

 
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#4 of 15 Old 11-15-2011, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much!  Makes me feel better about my instincts...  It never seemed to bother him and I wasn't worried about it till the Dr. appt!  I wish they would educate more Drs about uncircumcised boys!  The doctor even suggested that I go to a urologist to get the 'problem' taken care of!!  I will be letting nature take it's course...smile.gif

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#5 of 15 Old 11-16-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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If they can urinate and have no pain or infection there's no issue.  Some men never retract.  The average age of retractability is debatable, but the fact that it's not impeding or hurting him in any way is not.  So it's a non issue.  Once he's hit puberty, if he doesn't begin to become retractable then you can start looking into stretching exercises and topical steroid creams. 


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#6 of 15 Old 11-16-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelyPageTurnr View Post

If they can urinate and have no pain or infection there's no issue.  Some men never retract.  The average age of retractability is debatable, but the fact that it's not impeding or hurting him in any way is not.  So it's a non issue.  Once he's hit puberty, if he doesn't begin to become retractable then you can start looking into stretching exercises and topical steroid creams.


This can be done, if it is bothering the owner of the penis.  It does not "need" to be done if the only reason is it's not retractable.  As you said, "Some men never retract."  ;-)

 

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#7 of 15 Old 11-17-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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No, it doesn't need to if it's not causing problems.  That's why I said it 'can' be done, instead of it 'must' be done.  I wasn't sure if you were agreeing with me, since you use the word 'need' in quotes and I didn't use that in the context that you're speaking about.  I'm kinda confused.  I've not been very welcome on this board, which I think it's sad, since I don't advocate RIC, but I do advocate accuracy in our arguments.  So I'm not sure if you thought I was saying it needed to be done, but if you did, to further clarify, it does not.
 

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Originally Posted by mama24-7 View Post


This can be done, if it is bothering the owner of the penis.  It does not "need" to be done if the only reason is it's not retractable.  As you said, "Some men never retract."  ;-)

 

Sus

 

 

 



 


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#8 of 15 Old 11-17-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelyPageTurnr View Post

No, it doesn't need to if it's not causing problems.  That's why I said it 'can' be done, instead of it 'must' be done.  I wasn't sure if you were agreeing with me, since you use the word 'need' in quotes and I didn't use that in the context that you're speaking about.  I'm kinda confused.  I've not been very welcome on this board, which I think it's sad, since I don't advocate RIC, but I do advocate accuracy in our arguments.  So I'm not sure if you thought I was saying it needed to be done, but if you did, to further clarify, it does not.

 


LonelyPageTurnr, I'm not picking on you personally; I don't know you, so it's not possible ;-).  I know that you did not say "must," however, when I read it, it sounded *to me* like you were saying that that was the next step.  Since many people read this forum and don't necessarily post nor ask questions, I wanted to clarify that it is a possibility but not a necessity.

 

I'm sorry that you are not feeling welcome.  I don't think I've posted anything in response to your posts previously?  This area of MDC has a number of posters who feel very strongly about protecting children & being that it is so impersonal (that & the new smilies are so much harder to use - grrrr), combines to make it so that appearances are not always what they seem.

 

I don't know about any one else, but I will say that I believe in genital integrity for ALL children, regardless of their parents ignorance, biases, beliefs or any other reason they give for removing a healthy, functioning body part from some one else.  (I may not agree w/ their decision, but a person can choose what they do w/ their own body.)  From reading posts you've written, I am not sure that you feel the same way.  Because of this, I find myself reading your posts wondering what you are going to say next ;-).

 

Hope this helps clarify things some.  Feel free to PM me if you'd like :-).  

 

Sus

 


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#9 of 15 Old 11-17-2011, 09:58 PM
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Please educate your doctor on the facts of premature or forcible retraction so he stops giving harmful, inaccurate medical advice. Get some educational pamphlets on-line from www.nocirc.org  (under nocirc publications). Read them, print them, and either mail them to him or give to him personally. Number 6 entitled "Answers To Your Questions About Premature (Forcible) Retraction of Your Young Son's Foreskin" is relevant.

Bless you and your intact son for coming here for the CORRECT answers.

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#10 of 15 Old 11-20-2011, 06:44 AM
 
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Mama24-7 - Nope, must was never in the books for me.  I'm the rare US doctor that doesn't look at the prepuce as the enemy.  I only believe in manipulation or steroid creams (or RIC/non-religious circ, for that matter) if it's a medical necessity, as in the penis is not able to function properly otherwise.  If there's just foreskin that won't retract and it's not bothering the man, then I see no point in fussing with it.  If he decides, once he's older, that he wants to go down the road of becoming retractable, I fully believe that that is ok, just as him deciding not to is ok.

It's hard for me to keep track of who posted, unless they have a different icon or they've posted to me frequently, so I apologize if it came across as though I thought that you were personally attacking me or what, it was just a comment as to why I was responding the way I was.  I understand where you're coming from, the issue is that I have had many conversations with parents about circumcision from a medical POV.  I have never met one that believed they were harming their children or were doing anything less than the best for their child.  Because of that, I feel like having a hard line attitude about it is counter-productive.  I've personally managed to talk about half of the people who talk to me about it (that is not half of my patients, keep in mind) into not circumcising (in an area with 80%+ circ rate).  Not by telling them it's mutilation or they're victimizing their children, but by calmly listening to their concerns and giving them the facts.  Not 'facts' I've heard repeated over and over again online, but not researched.  Not 'facts' that are iffy so that I can sway them to my side, but facts that are independently verifiable.  That way, they know that I am giving them unbiased information.  I don't expect anyone else to take my approach, but I would like to be able to suggest such an approach without being viewed as the enemy.  Just because I don't go on the attack or use harsh language with people who are considering circumcising, or people who have circumcised, does not mean that I support circumcision.  As far as the religious aspect, well, I'll have to discuss that with you over PMs.  It's Mothering's policy that they are against RIC only, or that's how it was explained to me, and that's why they don't allow the conversation on the religious aspect.  So please, if you'd like to discuss that, or anyone else would like to discuss that, do it over PMs.

 

 

Now, while I don't believe everyone needs to approach the debate the same way I do, I have a real, serious problem with some of the 'facts' and statistics used in Intactivist circles.  That doesn't mean that I am pro-circ.  It means I am pro-truth.  Just as it's disingenuous for circumcision advocates to tout the African HIV studies (because the studies had very poor methodology, and they were done in an area with far different sexual practices than us, and are further under the influence of the Catholic Church, which means condom use is very discouraged), I believe it's disingenuous to pull up the NYT article about circumcision percentages. 


I guess the issue for me is this.  Is it more important to get accurate information out there and to try to reduce the number of circumcisions as much as possible (which education and lack of insurance coverage or providers seems to be the best way to accomplish that from what I've seen) or is it more important to use whatever means necessary to be 'right' and try to bully people into taking your point of view (including people like myself that are against circumcision but don't toe the party line)?


There are grey areas in the world.

 


Sorry about the rant, I will PM you.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama24-7 View Post

 


LonelyPageTurnr, I'm not picking on you personally; I don't know you, so it's not possible ;-).  I know that you did not say "must," however, when I read it, it sounded *to me* like you were saying that that was the next step.  Since many people read this forum and don't necessarily post nor ask questions, I wanted to clarify that it is a possibility but not a necessity.

 

I'm sorry that you are not feeling welcome.  I don't think I've posted anything in response to your posts previously?  This area of MDC has a number of posters who feel very strongly about protecting children & being that it is so impersonal (that & the new smilies are so much harder to use - grrrr), combines to make it so that appearances are not always what they seem.

 

I don't know about any one else, but I will say that I believe in genital integrity for ALL children, regardless of their parents ignorance, biases, beliefs or any other reason they give for removing a healthy, functioning body part from some one else.  (I may not agree w/ their decision, but a person can choose what they do w/ their own body.)  From reading posts you've written, I am not sure that you feel the same way.  Because of this, I find myself reading your posts wondering what you are going to say next ;-).

 

Hope this helps clarify things some.  Feel free to PM me if you'd like :-).  

 

Sus

 



 


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#11 of 15 Old 11-22-2011, 04:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelyPageTurnr View Post

Mama24-7 - Nope, must was never in the books for me.  I'm the rare US doctor that doesn't look at the prepuce as the enemy.  I only believe in manipulation or steroid creams (or RIC/non-religious circ, for that matter) if it's a medical necessity, as in the penis is not able to function properly otherwise.  If there's just foreskin that won't retract and it's not bothering the man, then I see no point in fussing with it.  If he decides, once he's older, that he wants to go down the road of becoming retractable, I fully believe that that is ok, just as him deciding not to is ok.

It's hard for me to keep track of who posted, unless they have a different icon or they've posted to me frequently, so I apologize if it came across as though I thought that you were personally attacking me or what, it was just a comment as to why I was responding the way I was.  I understand where you're coming from, the issue is that I have had many conversations with parents about circumcision from a medical POV.  I have never met one that believed they were harming their children or were doing anything less than the best for their child.  Because of that, I feel like having a hard line attitude about it is counter-productive.  I've personally managed to talk about half of the people who talk to me about it (that is not half of my patients, keep in mind) into not circumcising (in an area with 80%+ circ rate).  Not by telling them it's mutilation or they're victimizing their children, but by calmly listening to their concerns and giving them the facts.  Not 'facts' I've heard repeated over and over again online, but not researched.  Not 'facts' that are iffy so that I can sway them to my side, but facts that are independently verifiable.  That way, they know that I am giving them unbiased information.  I don't expect anyone else to take my approach, but I would like to be able to suggest such an approach without being viewed as the enemy.  Just because I don't go on the attack or use harsh language with people who are considering circumcising, or people who have circumcised, does not mean that I support circumcision.  As far as the religious aspect, well, I'll have to discuss that with you over PMs.  It's Mothering's policy that they are against RIC only, or that's how it was explained to me, and that's why they don't allow the conversation on the religious aspect.  So please, if you'd like to discuss that, or anyone else would like to discuss that, do it over PMs.

 

 

Now, while I don't believe everyone needs to approach the debate the same way I do, I have a real, serious problem with some of the 'facts' and statistics used in Intactivist circles.  That doesn't mean that I am pro-circ.  It means I am pro-truth.  Just as it's disingenuous for circumcision advocates to tout the African HIV studies (because the studies had very poor methodology, and they were done in an area with far different sexual practices than us, and are further under the influence of the Catholic Church, which means condom use is very discouraged), I believe it's disingenuous to pull up the NYT article about circumcision percentages. 


I guess the issue for me is this.  Is it more important to get accurate information out there and to try to reduce the number of circumcisions as much as possible (which education and lack of insurance coverage or providers seems to be the best way to accomplish that from what I've seen) or is it more important to use whatever means necessary to be 'right' and try to bully people into taking your point of view (including people like myself that are against circumcision but don't toe the party line)?


There are grey areas in the world.

 


Sorry about the rant, I will PM you.

 

 



 


I think I love you. I get a bit discouraged being an intactivist when I find so much hyperbolic anti-circumcision information out there. It does our cause no good to put forth spurious alarmist "facts". Skeptics latch on to the inaccuracies (25% of intactivist arguments?) and close down their minds to the rest of it (75%). (I am just guessing and making up those statistics.)

 

I think the number one thing we can do is to educate doctors on normal foreskin physiology and care - accurately, so they will accept the advice credibly. Once older boys stop "needing" to be circumcised "later", the myth (among American doctors) that the foreskin is problematic will go away. This is why I am so pleased that Intact America is focussing on educating doctors. It's a great strategy.

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#12 of 15 Old 11-22-2011, 05:27 AM
 
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I agree!  That's wonderful.  There are many doctors who are no longer circumcising, but still don't know correct care of the foreskin and what's normal for the foreskin.  I think what Intact America is doing is wonderful.

 

Thanks for the Love, I bet everyone could use a little right now.  Your comment about latching on to the inaccuracies is so succinct, and that's exactly right!  Using so much bad information makes us less credible, and look like nutters.  I just think it's important not to start citing any study that comes your way, no matter how flawed, just because it 'supports' your argument.  Because it's not actually supporting your argument.


Anyway,
Thanks Beru


LPT
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post


I think I love you. I get a bit discouraged being an intactivist when I find so much hyperbolic anti-circumcision information out there. It does our cause no good to put forth spurious alarmist "facts". Skeptics latch on to the inaccuracies (25% of intactivist arguments?) and close down their minds to the rest of it (75%). (I am just guessing and making up those statistics.)

 

I think the number one thing we can do is to educate doctors on normal foreskin physiology and care - accurately, so they will accept the advice credibly. Once older boys stop "needing" to be circumcised "later", the myth (among American doctors) that the foreskin is problematic will go away. This is why I am so pleased that Intact America is focussing on educating doctors. It's a great strategy.



 


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#13 of 15 Old 11-29-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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LonelyPageTurnr- Since you know first hand about the health of the foreskin I have some questions.  I have an 8yr old son who is intact.  About a 2 months ago I checked his foreskin, talked to him about the possibility of beginning to think about retraction in the future.  At that point the opening was large enough to retract some.  Fast forward to last week and we talked about it again.  He showed me that the opening was much smaller, so much so that it would not retract at all.  He says if he tries to pull it back even the slightest bit it hurts.  He has gone through a growth spurt, but this leaves me wondering if this is normal?  His father was intact until 8th grade.  He said is foreskin opening was only big enough for urine to pass and it hurt very bad if he tried to retract it.  He was the only intact boy in his family and chose circumcision on his own at age 12. He said it was a horrible experience.  I asked him if his doctor felt this was medically necessary of if the choice was all his own, he said he can't remember.  I am worried of the possibility of Phemosis.  I know we are not in the age range yet to worrry, but when should I be concerned and when should I consider having a doctor check it out?  Having a doctor check your genitals can be traumatizing enough.  I appreciate any insight!


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#14 of 15 Old 11-29-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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Usually when a retractable foreskin stops retracting there is some irritation going on of some sort. It could be as simple as your ds using soap on his penis or it could be he has a mild yeast infection. At his age not being able to retract is not an issue but having been able to in the past and now cant points to some issue. Not that it means he will have to be circed far from it. It just means that he may need a treatment of some sort for yeast or just stop using soap and see what happens.

Here is an article written by a Dr. on this issue and what he says about it:
Quote:
Foreskin was retracting now it is not? (Taken from the Mothering Magazine Article by Dr. Paul Fliess)
Sometimes a previously retractable foreskin will become resistant to retraction for reasons that are unrelated to impending puberty. In these cases, the opening of the foreskin may look chapped and sting when your son urinates. This is not an indication for surgery any more than chapped lips. This is just the foreskin doing its job. If the foreskin were not there, the glans and urinary opening would be chapped instead. Chapping is most often caused by overly chlorinated swimming pools, harsh soap, bubble baths, or a diet that is too high in sugar, all of which destroy the natural balance of skin bacteria and should be avoided if chapping occurs. The foreskin becomes resistant to retraction until a natural and healthy bacterial balance is reestablished.

 
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#15 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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Thank you for that information.  He did have some candida issues when he was much younger (2).  It has been the holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving and treats about as we visit family.   I used to dissolve probiotics in a bit of water in a shot glass and have him hang his penis in that when he was younger, it always was very effective.  I also kept an old agave bottle filled with raw apple cider vinegar diluted in water, in the shower as an alternative to soap.  He showers on his own now, so who knows what he does in there!  I will implement these old, but 'good' habits again.  Thanks for the reminders!


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