Ballooning Foreskin when Urinating? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This question isn't for me, but a good friend.

She called yesterday with her son screaming in the background and said that his foreskin was all ballooned up and holding urine and he was in a lot of pain. She said it has happened once before (he's about 5 months old) and it hurt him, but not like this. She said that she sort of just pushed on his penis (not retracting him at all, she knows that) and the urine came out. He was still upset, but no longer hurting when she called.

I assured her this is totally normal and happens sometimes (although it hasn't happened to DS ever) and that it isn't anything to worry about unless it is happening every single time he urinates. Was that sound advice?

I did a quick search on google and found some really scary misinformation, but also some research that suggests that the ballooning happens when separation starts occuring. Is that your experience?

She and her husband were really on the fence about circ'ing (she's Jewish) and ended up not sort of by default I think because they had a homebirth and it would have been a lot to take him to the ped to have it done. So, I want to do everything I can to put her mind at ease that this is not a defect of being circumcised (she actually said in a response email last night that she was regretting NOT circ'ing him yesterday when he was crying - I know, I see the disconnect, but the fact that it's on her mind is scary to me).

Is there anything else I should tell her? If this was a phimosis or hypospadias problem, it wouldn't just show up now, would it? She would have known something was up since birth, right?

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#2 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 12:13 PM
 
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Here's a thread about this exact age:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ght=ballooning

Thanks for helping your friend out. Baybee
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#3 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 12:20 PM
 
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My oldest son's foreskin has been ballooning for the past year when he urinates. But the opening at the end of the foreskin (sorry, I don't know the technical names of everything) is really tight so it does not retract at all. But it's never caused him any pain or difficulty urinating. Once all the pee is out it "deflates". From what I've read ballooning is normal, but I have no idea about the problem of urine not coming out.

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#4 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the link baybee - I knew I'd just recently read a thread here about this same thing, but couldn't find it last night.

And you know what's funny? The two quotations in that thread were what I sent her last night!

Thanks again!

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#5 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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I'm a little surprised that the ballooning was painful for him, but one of the reasons foreskins go through that phase is because they're separating from the glans, so it's quite possible he has a little raw spot that is stinging when exposed to urine. Usually, mothers report that sort of discomfort passes quickly, which I hope will be the case for him.

Another helpful resource:

Mothering Magazine
Protect Your Uncircumcised Son: Expert Medical Advice for Parents

Jen
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#6 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 01:21 PM
 
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I think your advice was good. We have had several people mention that this happened once or twice. Ballooning is definitely normal with separation, it's the urine flow being restricted that's unusual. I'm inclined to believe that there was something temporarily obstructing the flow (like... the foreskin having been smooshed in a moist diaper and closed up at the end? a small amount of smegma, also normal with separation?) Whatever it was, the fact that she was able to relieve the obstruction is good. To me that says it is not a serious chronic problem.

Does she have a foreskin friendly doctor? Or will s/he tell your friend that the baby has pathological phimosis and needs to be circumcised? I just worry since she's already ambivalent.

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#7 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 01:27 PM
 
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You know, I was thinking the same thing that Jen said- that there could have been a raw spot, which would go along with the separation and subsequent ballooning. Like Jen said, it would account for the pain.

What I'm wondering is, how long was the foreskin ballooned up and holding urine? When your friend said that happened, I'm picturing him actually not being able to urinate for a period of time until she pushed on it- but maybe your friend just kind of freaked when she saw the ballooning and assumed that meant he couldn't pee (especially because he was crying, but maybe that was because of the adhesion separation, not because the pee wouldn't come out- does this make sense?) The foreskin can be ballooned for a few seconds before the pee comes out. Has she seen ballooning with normal urination before, or just on these two occasions?

~*Kristi*~
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#8 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 01:33 PM
 
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Kristi, those were all really great thoughts/questions, thank you. I'm also interested in the answers.

Jen
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#9 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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I have heard of older boys holding the end of their penis while urinating for the fun balloon effect, but I had not heard of this happening on it's own. Learn something new every day.

I can just hear the doctors now, "That is going to cause UTI's and he needs to be circumcised. Or at the very least, we need to separate the foreskin from the glans." Grr.
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#10 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I definitely thought of the being smooshed up in a diaper and sort of sticking to itself thing (DH is circ'd, but I dated an intact man for a long time, so have some IRL experience with a penis other than my son's). I also thought about the smegma. We talked about those two things.

Now, from what I understand, he was in pain long enough for her to realize that nursing wasn't going to fix it and that something was wrong and since she couldn't *see* anything, she undressed him to double check. That's when she saw the big balloon of urine under the foreskin. The thought that there was a tiny raw spot and it was stinging makes total sense and I'll mention that to her.

I don't think I realized how freaked out she was until I got her email with that circ'ing comment, but I treated it like "Oh, poor baby, I'm sorry that it was hurting, but it's really.no.big.deal." She said it's only happened once before and we talked about that if it was something more serious, he'd be having a lot more instances like this, not just one or two isolated incidents.

She's a nurse, so pretty levelheaded about stuff altough like I said, they're both still sort of on the fence about keeping him intact. I just wanted to be prepared, since I'm seeing them tonight, with any additional information. I know how weird/scary it can be when your guy is in pain from his penis tho (it happened to us not long ago and you all were a really great help to me since I'm like the intact penis expert in my circle of friends, I had no one to turn to), so wanted to make sure my ducks were in a row.

The idea about there being a small raw spot really makes sense for me and clicks since all that literature talks about the ballooning happening during separation.

All good info, thanks!

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#11 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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Ashley, it concerns me that the urine was trapped in the foreskin like that, and not to cause unnecessary stress or worry but it makes me wonder if it might be a rare case where the foreskin opening is too small. Can she let him go diaperless for awhile and observe him peeing? If she does this and it comes out in a stream he's probably just fine, but if it comes out in a spray or a mist she really should find a foreskin-knowledgable, pro-intact doctor to evaluate him further.

Doctors Opposing Circumcision may be a good organization to contact for advice & referral.

Jen
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#12 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll ask about the spray/mist, but I don't think that's the case.

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#13 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 06:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New Mexico Beach View Post
I have heard of older boys holding the end of their penis while urinating for the fun balloon effect, but I had not heard of this happening on it's own. Learn something new every day.
.

Sort of a side comment, but I remember reading somewhere that in old times of war when showers weren't accessible men would hold their foreskins and do that to "rinse" the glans. Apparently, also it is also a VERY pleasurable sensation to have the foreskin blown up in that way (see balloon job in google).

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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#14 of 16 Old 10-31-2006, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatchristy View Post
Sort of a side comment, but I remember reading somewhere that in old times of war when showers weren't accessible men would hold their foreskins and do that to "rinse" the glans. Apparently, also it is also a VERY pleasurable sensation to have the foreskin blown up in that way (see balloon job in google).
They still do that..

When my DH was out at sea in the Gulf during operation Apollo, they got put on water restrictions for a certain amount of time. they had no baby wipes to clean themselves, so DH just did the Pinch and rinse technique to flush himself out.

I assume that the intact solders we have out in Kandahar do the same thing when out on operations, and *if* there are any intact American soldiers out in Iraq, they do the same thing too...
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#15 of 16 Old 11-01-2006, 01:39 AM
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Just tell her (very casually) it's kind of the same thing that happens when a little girls hymen breaking during exercise. I had that happen and it HURRRRT like you wouldn't believe but no one ever suggested cutting off my vagina over it.

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#16 of 16 Old 11-01-2006, 04:23 AM
 
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I find that those of us who are nurses and mws tend to over-see illness in our children so it's actually a detriment to have a Mom with too much knowledge.
Poor kids, they get dx'ed with cancer over every little thing.

The other thing I've been thinking about this situation is that babies often scream like they are being stuck with a safety pin just prior to peeing---one of my daughters used to always wake up as an infant crying like her little heart was broken in two, I'd lift her up and, right then, feel her diaper filling with warm pee. Once she'd pee'd, I could nurse her and she'd be calm again. So, in an infant who can't talk, I wouldn't necessarily assume this whole ballooning, peeing thing is necessarily pathology. Baybee
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