Background: We examined the external genitalia of 2149 elementary schoolboys in the suburban area of Taichung in Taiwan for an understanding of foreskin development before adolescence.
Methods: The study's subjects comprised 692 first-grade boys, 725 fourth-grade boys, and 732 seventh-grade boys. The foreskin's condition was classified as: type I (normal prepuce), type II (adhesion of prepuce), type III (partial phimosis), type IV (phimosis) and type V (circumcised foreskin). Other abnormalities of the genitalia also were recorded. All of the examinations were performed by the same urologist.
Results: The incidence of type I foreskin was 8.2% in first-grade boys, 21.0% in fourth-grade boys, and 58.1% in seventh-grade boys. The incidence of type IV foreskin was 17.1% in first-grade boys, 9.7% in fourth-grade boys, and 1.2% in seventh-grade boys. Only one boy had balanoposthitis. Other abnormalities included inguinal hernia (n = 2), hydrocele (n = 12), cryptorchitism (n = 8), varicocele (n = 22), and subcoronal-type hypospadia (n = 1).
Conclusions: Physiological phimosis declines with age. Most boys with phimosis in this study did not require treatment.