I'm a circumcised male (which doesn't need to be a matter of public record, so I'm posting anonymously!) but my son hasn't been circumcised.

He's 20 months old now and is starting to learn to use the potty.

Since he was born, I've noticed that when he pees, it first fills the foreskin of his penis. It blows up to 1.5 - 2 times it's normal diameter. The urine flows freely out the end and the penis deflates at the end, so I've never been too worried.

We went to the doctor earlier today for other matters and asked him. He squirmed a bit before asking if the urine was flowing freely then stuttered out that it was probably OK. I don't have a lot of faith in that. Obviously he's circumcised too and the question has never presented itself. Not a good experience.

So, now I have a great forum where I can post anonymously, I thought I'd put the question out there to other fathers (and mothers) and ask: is this normal? I assume this doesn't happen to grown men, so at what age should we expect it to stop?

I'm concerned that his penis is left in a 'wet' state surrounded by old urine. While there's apparently no bacteria in urine, it's not the best thing to be saturating your skin with :=D

asked 04 Oct '09, 09:46

Anonymous's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Posting anonymously doesn't work as the FAQ suggests, so I had to create an anonymous user. Gah!

(04 Oct '09, 09:46) Anonymous

You're an unregistered user, and nothing about you is shared publicly, so this is about as anonymous as you get on the internet.

(04 Oct '09, 14:13) Scott ♦♦

Scott: No, I'm a registered user .. I just registered with the username "Anonymous". I still had to sign up with an email address.

(04 Oct '09, 20:50) Anonymous

@Anonymous: If you click on your name, you'll see at the top of your profile that you're an unregistered user. You have to click the Register button by your name to actually "register" with an OpenID. Unregistered means you're only tracked by a cookie, and once that's gone the system won't recognize you anymore. Also, it only uses the email address to display your gravatar.

(04 Nov '09, 21:49) Scott ♦♦

It's perfectly normal, I wouldn't worry about it if I were you.



EDIT: Not to labour the point tooooo much, but both these links also state "please don't pull the foreskin back!"


answered 04 Nov '09, 21:24

pete%20the%20pagan-gerbil's gravatar image

pete the pagan-gerbil
accept rate: 5%

edited 04 Nov '09, 21:37


My son is uncircumcised, and I've seen his balloon too. I think it happens when they're little, and over time it lessens.

(02 Nov '10, 00:14) Kyralessa

Hey there, my little boy is going through the same thing. When he pee's it blows up like a ballon (just as you describe in your ariticle). I am glad to hear that i am not alone!!! I was wondering if this was a normal for my son. I was always told not to pull back the foreskin It will happen in time. Thanks for putting this up here, and letting me know that this is just a "hopefully" normal thing for little boys!! :o)


answered 26 Oct '10, 18:36

colette's gravatar image

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edited 26 Oct '10, 19:55

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

Also posting anonymously. I am not circumcised and I have never pulled back my foreskin as a child (as nobody ever told me to and I never had a problem with it). Yes it balloons and it can be hard to get the pee to go in the right direction when it first starts coming out, but after that, it is totally fine. This is also a good reason for him to sit down for peeing, so that it doesn't matter if the first pee comes out sideways :) Just make sure to use some toilet paper to dry it after peeing (from the outside, no need to pull back the foreskin, the toilet paper will get it out).


answered 27 Oct '10, 15:32

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Argh! My son is now 6 and a half and has had this "ballooning" affect since being very little, I have been advised to pull his fore skin back to help stretch it which I taught him to do while washing (although he doesn't very often, which i am pleased about now) As he's getting older it has worried me more as I have been told more and more over time that it is "normal" and he will grow out of it but I have to say until reading http://www.drmomma.org/2011/06/ballooning-in-intact-child.html tonight I've not been fully at ease with this, or even known if this was the correct term. I plan to keep my son aware that if it causes any pain or discomfort then we can look into it but as it doesn't seem to bother him just now I feel happier to wait a little longer for the natural separation and widening to happen as it should and hopefully without giving my boy a complex! :-)


answered 20 Jun '12, 14:44

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I think maybe you should start teaching him to pull back his foreskin - it may not go all the way back at first but thats ok. You just need to get him to pull it back enough to expose the eurethral openning (where the pee actually exits the body). This should solve the problem. In time his foreskin should loosen and he should be able to expose the head of his penis. Most adult men can successfull do this. If you think there is no way this is possible it might be necessary to have a small surgical proceedure done to loosen things up but its not common. The skin will never loosen up if not pulled back on a regular basis. The other reason you need to/you need to get him to start pulling back that skin is so that it loosens up enough to clean inside properly. You are right in that urine is sterile but the body sheds skin cells, there are other secretions and things can easily get infected in that area if not washed properly and regularily. For now pull back as much as you can and teach him to use TP to dry up as much as he can.


answered 04 Oct '09, 15:42

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

At 20 mths he doesn't have the understanding (or dexterity) to learn such a skill. Maybe I will get out the scissors. Circumcision can't be that hard .. right?

(05 Oct '09, 10:29) Anonymous

At first I laughed, assuming you are of course joking but then it occured to me that this is the internet and there is a chance you could be serious in which case that is so beyond sick, its really quite stunning - I really don't know what to say.

(05 Oct '09, 16:46) dreamerisme

Unfortunately we're so overly-sensitive that every little "ribbing" is taken as "Oh, wait, maybe he's an escaped lunatic and he wasn't kidding!" I think it's safe to say that, while perhaps it was in poor taste, he wasn't serious. :)

(05 Oct '09, 18:47) Jeff

You are so right JMD

(05 Oct '09, 20:25) dreamerisme

As dee said - this is extremely dangerous below the age of five!

(04 Nov '09, 21:16) pete the pagan-gerbil

If you pull back the foreskin before it is ready to be pulled back you can cause permanent nerve damage!! Do not, under any circumstance pull back the foreskin. Any doctor who tells you otherwise have no business dealing with uncircumcised kids!!! Find a pediatrician or specialist who has plenty of experience with uncircumcised children.


answered 04 Nov '09, 20:55

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A few less exclamation points and a few more citations would help your case.

(04 Nov '09, 21:09) Dinah

http://www.parenttime.com/babytips/careofuncircumcisedpenis.html - found on a google for "washing baby boys".

(04 Nov '09, 21:18) pete the pagan-gerbil

My Son who is 14 months has the same problem. I took him to a Doctor and he refered us to a Paediatric Surgeon. The Paediatric Surgeon was totally useless! He said it was normal. I had my Mum with me and she is a Paediatric Nurse who is also a Mum of 2 boys and she said 'Um no it's not, the ballooning can also but pressure on the kidneys and lead to kidney damage'. The Surgeon then said it was relatively normal! He prescribed a steriod cream which he told me to use twice a day for 3 months. The cream he prescribed isn't meant to be used on children and it's only meant to be used for up to a week! So anyway I forget what the name of the condition is, it's caused by the foreskin still being attached to the head of the penis. You are not supposed to force the foreskin back! Ever! Needless to say I didn't use the steriod cream and I will be making another appointment with a different Surgeon.


answered 22 Apr '12, 21:36

Mahony%20McGrath's gravatar image

Mahony McGrath
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Sounds like the foreskin is getting in the way of the urethra of the penis, causing it to collect the urine as he's passing and balloon the head before gushing out.

He'll need to learn how to either pull back the foreskin or adjust it so that there's no blocking, to allow for a free run for the urine.

It might be painful at first when pulling back, but nothing to worry about later on as part of keeping it clean.


answered 04 Oct '09, 10:13

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You should'nt pull back a baby's foreskin.

(07 Dec '09, 15:08) Phil Seller

My son had this 19 years ago when he was little. The urologist said he had to cut the foreskin. It called buried penis. He will have problems. Consult with urologist...this is not normal and your son won't grow out of it.

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 20 Jan '15, 23:24

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how to grow your penis Your writing has impressed me on Uncircumcised penis balloons during urination -- is this normal? post. It’s simple, clear and precise. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and family. Regards and good luck


answered 04 Dec '13, 02:51

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Asked: 04 Oct '09, 09:46

Seen: 76,680 times

Last updated: 20 Jan '15, 23:24