Ballooning of the foreskin
Ballooning of the foreskin occurs when urine flows out of the urethra of the penis faster than it flows out of the foreskin of an intact boy. Ballooning cannot occur until the inner layer of the foreskin has separated from the glans penis to which it is attached by a synechia. Although ballooning is a developmentally normal condition, not every boy experiences ballooning. Ballooning may cause some transient, temporary discomfort if it pulls apart the synechial connection to the glans penis.
The layer of dartos muscle in the foreskin keeps the tip closed to protect the penis from infection. The pressure of the urine is necessary to open it to allow passage of urine. The pressure is what causes the ballooning.
Babu et al. (2004) compared boys with ballooning with boys without ballooning. No evidence of obstructed urinary flow was found. Ballooning is a self-limiting condition that disappears with normal development.
No attempt to retract the foreskin should be made. Forcible retraction is harmful. Wright (1994) advises that the first person to retract the boy’s foreskin should be the boy himself.
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Do You Know: Foreskin Ballooning is Normal?, www.intactamerica.org, Intact America. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
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Ballooning, www.yourwholebaby.org, Your Whole Baby. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Fleiss, P. / F. Hodges / R.S. Van Howe (October 1998): Immunological functions of the human prepuce, in: Sex Trans Infect. 74 (5): 364-67, PMID. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Babu, Ramesh / Sara K Harrison / Kim Hutton (August 2004): Ballooning of the foreskin and physiological phimosis: is there any objective evidence of obstructed voiding?, in: BJU Int. 94 (3): 384-7, PMID, DOI. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Wright, J.E. (7 February 1994): Further to the "Further Fate of the Foreskin", in: Med J Aust. 160: 134-135, PMID. Retrieved 17 May 2020.