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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sister and I (who both have intact sons) were discussing penises today. Her doctor told her if her son's foreskin doesn't retract by the time he's 3 years old, she should gently force it. When I asked her why, she said it could tighten (or something...I forget exactly what she said) and the child would have to be circ'ed later. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Is there ever any reason to forcibly retract your son's foreskin? Please inform me so I can inform her. Does anyone know what her doctor was talking about??
 

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I think he is just ignorant of the fact that normal retraction can take anywhere from birth to adulthood - and it's NEVER a problem not to be retractable. There's no medical difficulty with a penis that doesn't retract - ever - although it may feel like an inconvenience if he's old enough to be sexually active.<br><br>
This doctor just takes some educating.<br><br>
You can share the following link with your sister, who may want to share it with her doctor: <a href="http://www.cirp.org/library/treatment/phimosis/" target="_blank">http://www.cirp.org/library/treatment/phimosis/</a><br><br>
There's absolutely no reason to circumcise because of a tight foreskin.
 

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Just some anecdotal evidence here - my dh is intact and he was not fully retractable until he was in his mid-teens.<br><br>
He's never had any problems! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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From the Canadian Paediatric Society: <a href="http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/babies/Circumcision.htm" target="_blank">www.caringforkids.cps.ca/babies/Circumcision.htm</a><br><br>
“The foreskin covers the shaft and head (glans) of a boy’s penis. During the early years of a boy’s life, the foreskin separates from the glans. This is a natural process that occurs over time. You do not need to do anything to make it happen. When the foreskin separates, it is said to be “retractable,” meaning it can be pulled back. An uncircumcised penis is easy to keep clean and requires no special care:<br>
Keep your baby’s penis clean by gently washing the area during his bath. Do not try to pull back the foreskin. Usually, it is not fully retractable until a boy is 3 to 5 years old, or even until after puberty. Never force it. “<br><br><br><br>
American Academy of Pediatrics: Care of The Uncircumcised Penis<br><a href="http://www.medem.com/search/article_display.cfm?path=//TANQUERAY/M_ContentItem&mstr=/M_ContentItem/ZZZRNBDTODD.html&soc=AAP&srch_typ=NAV_SERCH" target="_blank">http://www.medem.com/search/article_..._typ=NAV_SERCH</a><br><br>
“Most boys will be able to retract their foreskins by the time they are 5 years old, yet others will not be able to until the teenage years. As a boy becomes more aware of his body, he will most likely discover how to retract his own foreskin. But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until separation occurs, do not try to pull the foreskin back — especially an infant's. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready may severely harm the penis and cause pain, bleeding and tears in the skin.”<br><br><br><br>
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians <a href="http://www.racp.edu.au/hpu/paed/circumcision/print.htm" target="_blank">www.racp.edu.au/hpu/paed/circumcision/print.htm</a><br><br>
“The foreskin (prepuce) and glans penis enclose a potential cleft, the preputial sac. A preputial space is then formed by a process of desquamation, and the prepuce increasingly separates from the glans.<br>
At the time of birth this process is incomplete in the vast majority of boys, and the foreskin is non-retractable. Complete separation of the foreskin with full retractability occurs in almost all boys by the time of puberty.”<br><br><br><br>
I hope these help.
 

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The doctor is advocating retracting to prevent phimosis and that same retraction can actually cause phimosis. The foreskin opening is non-elastic until the body is prepared for retraction. Premature retraction can cause scar tissue to develop in the preputial sphincter and scar tissue is not elastic and this would cause the phimosis he/she is trying to prevent.<br><br>
The best advice is to just leave it alone. Let it develop at it's own pace and in it's own time.<br><br><br><br>
Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses. That helps clear things up. My ds is only 13 mo., but we have the same doc, so I'll be prepared when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I e-mailed a bunch of info to my sis and she just replied saying she's going to leave him alone from now on! Yay!! Thanks again for the info.
 
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