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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

Penis erection of my 5 year old son

01/24/2008

Question:

My son is 5 years old. At least for the last 2 years we have noticed that his penis seems to be hard/erect when is he is taking a bath, going to the toilet for passing urine and when he goes to bed.  He keeps on touching as being uncomfortable but says that it`s not painful. Maybe he cannot explain the difference between uncomfortable and painful. We also believe that the size of his penis is larger then normal. And he also had circumcision when he months old. We are worried as parents. Please advise.

Answer:

Many boys have frequent erections, and occasionally they can be slightly uncomfortable, particularly if there are adhesions between the penile shaft skin and head of the penis (glans). There is tremendous variability in the size of the penis in boys. That being said, there is an endocrine condition that causes "precocious puberty" and may increase penile size and frequency of erections. Generally there is pubic hair development and accelerated somatic growth ( i.e., height) associated with the increased genital growth. Your pediatrician should be able to evaluate him for this. The changes in the penis are not related to timing or technique of circumcision.

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Response by:

Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP
Clinical Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University