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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

Very narrow urethral opening

11/06/2008

Question:

My 6 year old male child has a narrow urethral (penile) opening and complained only recently of pain while passing urine. He has never complained so far. Our pediatrician noticed build up of smegma in the penis and as he also saw the urethral opening to be very narrow (abt 3 mm) for the child sugested circumcision. Myself and my wife are scared to go ahead. Please advise if his condition will improve on its own when he grows up and we can avoid circumcision. as of now we are applying FLUTIBACT ointment prescribed to avoid infection.

Answer:

Narrowing of the urethral meatus is uncommon unless there is hypospadias (downward displacement of the urethral meatus) or unless he was circumcised at birth. Some of the common symptoms are discomfort with urination and a deflected urinary stream. The build-up of smegma (epithelial debris) is physiologic and should not force you to make a decision either way, either for or against 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