Phimosis
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Trouble pulling back the foreskin, here is why?

In males, sometimes the foreskin of the penis can’t be pulled back. Relax, it is not a disease. The condition is called phimosis. Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is phimosis?

Speaking in medical terms, phimosis is a condition in males where the foreskin of the penis can’t be pulled back against the penis head (also called glans). It is not a disease that you can catch or acquire by any means. It is simply a physical condition that some men have while others don’t.

Degrees of phimosis

The extent up to which a male can retract the foreskin of his penis varies among men. Some can fully retract it so that the pink coloured penis head is clearly visible. On the other hand, some men have their foreskin wrapped tightly around the glans such that only their urinary hole is visible.

Is this natural and normal?

Depending on the severity of tightness, a man can experience pain while trying to pull back his foreskin. When some young men having phimosis try masturbating for the first few times in their life, the constant back and forth rubbing of the penis happens. This accidentally allows them to retract their foreskin. Doctors advise to not try this method to overcome phimosis because the chances of bleeding and infection due to skin damage are very high. In some severe cases, the penis head is swollen on the inside and even a slight rub on the foreskin to pull it back is hurtful.

Is it really something to worry about?

Phimosis prevents men from masturbating without experiencing pain. In some cases, men rely only on nightfall to have an ejaculation. When they indulge in penetrative sex, their foreskin hurts because of the in and out thrusting movement of the penis. At times in some men, even having an erection is painful.

Circumcision and phimosis

In some cultures and traditions during older days, the foreskin of young pre-teenage and teenage boys was cut with a blade. This act was called circumcision and is still known by the same name. Once a male is circumcised, the issue of phimosis never bothers him. In modern day with better health care resources available, surgical treatment for phimosis is done by trained doctors. The small surgery takes a few minutes and with the help of painkillers and anaesthesia, pain is not experienced.

What happens after surgery?

Once a man is circumcised or gets his phimosis corrected, the foreskin painlessly retracts fully over the penis head to reveal the pink coloured region. A white coloured sticky substance often gets deposited at the skin where the penis head and the foreskin meet. This substance has a smell of its own kind and is called smegma. Regularly washing the penis head after retracting your foreskin to clean the smegma is a part of men’s personal hygiene.

What can you do?

If you as a man are having difficulty in pulling back your foreskin or while masturbating or having penetrative sex, the first step, in that case, is to talk to your father or brother or an elderly male. The next step is to visit an experienced doctor and see how you can proceed to overcome phimosis. Some non-surgical methods to correct phimosis also exist depending upon the severity of the condition.

*To protect the identity, the person in the picture is a model.

Do you have more questions about penis and its health? Ask below or on Love Matters (LM) Facebook page. You can also consult ask LM experts on our discussion forum.

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