Is a retracted penus cause for worry?

My son’s retracted penus – should we be worried?

My son will be 11 years old in September. His penis has always had a tendency to retract completely into his body. We didn’t really worry about it because we always assumed it would correct itself. He has gotten to the age that it bothers him because he perceives it as meaning he has a small penis. He does sometimes have a problem cleaning himself, although he has never mentioned it affecting urination. Is this a physical problem that we should be concerned about, or is it just the way he is built?

This certainly is an age when appearance becomes a concern for young boys. From infancy on, many boys have a prominent fat pad at the base of the penis that actually pushes out and covers the penis. If he pushes at the base of his penis, it might allow his penis to project out from his body. Most children outgrow this during puberty, when weight and height become more proportional.

Hygiene is another big concern because it takes more effort for your son to clean during his bath or shower. He also may have urine dribbles that irritate the skin, so cleanliness is particularly important.

Some boys have unusual attachments of the penis to the skin at the scrotum. This would prevent the penis from coming out fully and would also cause painful erections, which happen quite innocently. Your doctor should take a look and let you know whether this is something he will outgrow. Your doctor will also be able to let you know if your son’s penis is the appropriate size for his age.

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