PEDIATRICIAN ADVISES TUGGING
When my son was 2 years old he had balanitis, and I took him to
his pediatrician who forcefully pulled back his foreskin and advised
me to continue this practice. My husband did so twice but it seemed
to cause my son so much pain that I insisted that we stop. I contacted
the pediatrician again and he stood by his recommendation. We did not
continue to pull the foreskin back however, because I found numerous
sources which advised against it. My son is now almost 5 years old
and I believe that his foreskin may be too tight for him to pull it
back on his own. I have tried to encourage him to do so gradually but
he says it hurts. I am worried that retracting the foreskin at age
2 may have caused a true phimosis. How does one know if that is the
case? I am actually afraid to go to another pediatrician because the
one I went to is considered quite informed and he gave the wrong advice.
What do you think? I would appreciate a reply as I am probably one
of the only people in Kentucky who did not circumcise her son and I
have no one to ask .
Thank you for answering my letter. I have already read everything
on your site and after doing so, I feel somewhat better, but still
it seems that by age 4 1/2 most boys have retractable foreskins.
I think my son experiences pain whether the penis is erect or flaccid
if we attempt to push back the foreskin. He also says it hurts when
his penis gets "happy" (erect), but I would say it might be a little
uncomfortable, but it couldn't really be hurting that much or he would
show more distress.
Since reading your info, I have encouraged him to pull forward on
the foreskin and roll it between his fingers. I'm not sure why, but
he says he is not going to "do the weenie thing." I have certainly
never scolded him about self-manipulation, but as far as I know, he
rarely does it.
There are no infections, and the balanitis he experienced at 2 was
due to diapers I guess. That was the reason I took him to the pediatrician,
and the pediatrician just forcfully pulled back the foreskin in the
office and said, "His problem is that he is too tight." My son cried.
The pediatrician told us to continue to do this at home, but I could
not bring myself to do so even once. My husband did it twice. I wish
I had never listened to the pediatrician because I felt it was wrong.
You are correct when you say that most doctors in the states have never
seen a foreskin. I called the local hospital for advice and they told
me to just start pulling it back. This was the same avice I got from
We are definitely in a minority. My entire family thinks I am crazy
because I refused to circumcise my son. I have worried that maybe all
around me were correct and I was wrong. I hope not.
I have examined him as much as I feel that I can without causing
any pain. I feel bad enough about his earlier experience. I don't want
to do that again. But it appears to me that the opening in the foreskin
is too small. The opening is big enough for me to see part of the head
of the penis, but not much. I have noticed though that the foreskin
can be pulled forward very far away from the penis, and this causes
no discomfort. One of the articles I read on your site said that the
opening might at first appear as small as a pin hole but by the time
the boy is 17 it would be big enough . That made me feel better, but
should the foreskin be retractable at his age or can I relax about
it and give it more time? I want to make sure that I do what is right
for my son. I fear that if I take him to a pediatrician here they will
either recommend forcfully pulling back on the foreskin, or worse and
more likely, they will recommend that I have him circumcised now.
Notes: I think its crazy to tug around on baby boys foreskins and
cause them pain, an adult would never cause themselves so much pain..
.... I argue against leaving an unretracted foreskins alone till the
age of 17 This advice is given by many anti-circumcision sites. This
figure comes from Øster`s study which has been considerably