erection pains
Shutterstock/Dragana Gordic

Pain during erection: Check for Frenulum Breve

Frenulum Breve, also known as short frenulum is a condition in which the frenulum - the elastic fold of skin around the penis is really short and causes pain during sex and masturbation. But there is a cure. Let’s get you more details.

Severe pain on the penis tip 

Aakash has always experienced discomfort and pain during erections, the tip of his penis seemed a little bent out of shape too. He didn’t make much of it until he experienced excruciating pain and some bleeding during his first sexual encounter. The same thing happened, the second time and the third. 

Concerned, he reached out to a urologist for help, who diagnosed him with Frenulum Breve, known as short frenulum in lay terms. Aakash was relieved to know that while this condition doesn’t resolve on its own, it can be treated with minimally invasive treatments. 

If your experience has been similar to Aakash’s, here is everything you need to know about Frenulum Breve: 

What is Frenulum Breve? 

The frenulum is an elastic fold of skin around the penis that connects the head of the penis, known as glans, with the inner lining of the foreskin. It’s meant to facilitate the movement of the foreskin, allowing it to contract over the glans effortlessly.

However, in the case of Frenulum Breve, this elastic fold is so short that it restricts the movement of the foreskin. As a result, it becomes nearly impossible for the foreskin to glide over the glans and back without causing pain. The discomfort is amplified manifold in case of vigorous activities such as masturbation and intercourse. 

Signs of Frenulum Breve 

If you have been experiencing pain, discomfort – and/or bleeding during sexual activity – checking whether you have Frenulum Breve could be the first step toward resolving these problems. One of the easiest and clearest ways to identify whether your frenulum is shorter than normal is to pull back the foreskin. If you cannot pull it all the way without feeling slight pressure or pain, consider it a primary sign of Frenulum Breve. 

Other signs of this condition include: 

  • Pain, bleeding or both during sexual contact, making the experience unpleasant rather than pleasurable 
  • Inability to pull back the skin of the glans completely 
  • Pulling the foreskin back cause the head of the penis to fold or tilt 

This condition is often confused with phimosis, where the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back from the glans. While similar, the two are not the same. If you see these signs while examining your penis, consulting a urologist is highly recommended. The right diagnosis and treatment can not only alleviate discomfort but also allow you to enjoy an active, fulfilling sex life. 

Possible complications 

Experiencing bleeding from your penis can be scary. The constant pain and discomfort during erections and intercourse unpleasant. Even so, even in case of a tear, Frenulum Breve is not a medical emergency. But it does hamper the quality of life and sexual experiences to a great extent.

Apart from the discomfort and risk of tears, maintaining intimate hygiene can become difficult since the foreskin cannot be pulled back completely. This can pose an enhanced risk of infections. 

In many cases, a tear in the frenulum during sexual activity can resolve the problem, if the tear results in an increase in the length and heals the right way. On the flip side, formation of scar tissue in the place of the tear can worsen the problem and make the symptoms more pronounced. 

That’s why getting medical attention is recommended, especially in case of a tear. 

Treatment options 

Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor may recommend one of the following four treatment options: 

  • No treatment: If the problem is mild to moderate, your urologist may hold off on any medical intervention. You may be advised to use lubricants during sexual activity in order to reduce the friction and prevent tears 
  • Steroids: Topical application of steroid creams may be used to treat scarring in early stages to prevent the condition from worsening 
  • Frenuloplasty: This is a minor surgical procedure for releasing the foreskin performed under local anaesthesia. The doctor will make a small incision on the frenulum and re-stitch it vertically to facilitate a full range of motion. This procedure keeps the foreskin intact while saving your frenulum for undergoing more wear and tear 
  • Circumcision: In this procedure, the foreskin is removed entirely, leaving the head of the penis permanently exposed. Since, this is an irreversible procedure, you must discuss with your doctors and fully understand the pros and cons of foreskin removal before agreeing to this procedure 

Frenuloplasty is the most common treatment option, as it poses minimal risk and offers optimal benefits. The likelihood of complications such as post-surgical infections is next to none, and you can recover fully within 2-3 weeks. 

Frenulum Breve is curable and with the right treatment your penile skin can get full range of motion, permanently alleviating the pain and discomfort. Don’t hesitate in seeking help.

Got questions? Join our discussion forum to have your questions answered or connect to us via Facebook.  We are also on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. 

Arushi Chaudhary is a freelance journalist and writer with 5 years of experience in print publications such as the Pune Mirror and Hindustan Times, and has spent close to a decade writing for digital platforms and print publications – The Tribune, BR International magazine, Make My Trip, Killer Features, The Money Times, and Home Review, to name a few. Of the many things she's written about over the years, exploring the space of love and relationships through the prism of psychology excites her the most. Writing is her first and forever love. You can find her on Twitter here.

Did you find this useful?

Add new comment


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang>