The Fathering Advisor

Six Year Old Boy’s Foreskin Doesn’t Retract

My son is unable to retract his foreskin at age six. The largest opening that can be achieved is about 3mm. We have consulted three specialists and all have claimed he has phimosis and should be circumcised. All of these doctors do not circumcise at birth. By searching Nexis, I have found that doctors in England perform a stretching operation that often corrects this problem. The ones I read about were at Addenbrook Hospital in Cambridge. I have received no response to my letters to them. Is there someone you can tell me about in the U.S. that can help or possibly someone in Europe who could point me in the right direction?

A three millimeter opening is quite a lot for this age. Many six year old boys have a foreskin that does not open enough to be retractable. This is no reason to rush him off for surgery. The inexperience of many American doctors with such things is always amazing. Would your three “specialists” be just as eager to force open your six year old daughter’s vagina?

No boy’s foreskin is retractable until he has opened it by pushing it back repeatedly over a period of weeks. Many boys have discovered the pleasure of this before puberty; those who haven’t usually do during puberty.

If there are no problems and you enjoy the virginal appearance of his penis, just leave him alone.

If you think it would be healthier to have his foreskin retractable now, teach him to always push it back as far as possible each time he urinates. This pushing back several times each day will stretch it open within a few weeks. The foreskin will have a slightly different appearance once it has been thoroughly stretched. You can find out more about stretching in the section Care of Intact Boys. There you will also find out what to do if he pushes his foreskin back too forcefully before it is fully stretched and gets it stuck behind the glans.

It is likely that this whole thing has left your son with the impression that something is wrong with his penis. If you say what part of the country you are in, we may be able to recommend a pediatrician who will take a look and make it official for him (and you!) that he is perfectly normal, and that his penis looks just fine.

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