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Problem with Foreskin

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Old 10-23-2002, 07:03 AM   #1
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Unhappy Problem with Foreskin

Hi, I'm a 31 year old male and I tore my foreskin during sex about a month ago. It bled a lot at the time but it has healed now, although there is a small, hard lump on the underside just where the foreskin meets the head. I can still retract my foreskin, but when I try to have sex it gets incredibly painfull (I struggle to reach orgasm now because of the pain). Can anyone give me any advice on what I can do about this please? Thanks very much.

[This message has been edited by paulhd (edited 10-23-2002).]

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Old 10-23-2002, 07:27 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: stoughton WI USA
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mlgable HB User

You need to see the doc and get this checked out. Sounds to me like your tear didn't heal properly and should be checked out at the docs office.

Old 10-24-2002, 03:29 AM   #3
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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and go see my doc. I would also be interested to hear from anyone else out there who has ever experienced this problem.

Old 10-24-2002, 04:24 AM   #4
Geoff B
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I've seen other posts from guys who tore their frenulum and it healed up with a little bump. Some others had trouble with it retearing and bleeding. One guy went to emergency while bleeding and the doctor inserted a stitch. Where you are will probably determine what treatment options you are offered by a doctor. In the UK you will be offered treatment that should fix the problem with minimal trauma but in the USA and some other countries they may try and persuade you to get circumcised. That should only be a very last resort. Perhaps things will settle down after some rest and time to heal. Alternatively, you may be able to gently restretch the scarred tissue or a small amount of surgery such as a frenuloplasty and/or stitching may be the answer. Good luck and stand up for your rights.

Old 10-24-2002, 10:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info Geoff. I've updated my Profile to show that I live in the UK, so I'll get myself off to the doc's next week. I also managed to find a UK newspaper article on the net called "Ouch!". It was written about 8 months ago and shows how tricky this sort of thing can be to get the proper help with. Sorry, it does go on a bit, but hopefully it will be of inteest to some of you who take the time to read it. Thanks again for your help.


Frenulum breve affects around 5% of uncircumcised men - and can lead to extremely painful cuts and tears in the foreskin. But information about it is hard to come by, as Jonathan Cope found out

Jonathan Cope
Thursday February 28, 2002
The Guardian

Tell someone you've cut your frenulum and the chances are you'll get a blank look. But if you mention - to a man at least - that you've snapped your banjo string, he'll wince in sympathy. It's probably the most sensitive part of the male anatomy: the ridge of skin beneath the head of the penis, joining it to the foreskin.

I've snapped mine twice, the first time during sex seven years ago, when I was 22. It stung, but healed within a week, and I thought nothing more of it - until last summer, when I was washing my penis in the shower and felt a painful twang. On close inspection, there was a barely visible cut on my frenulum. This time it did not heal, and after a week's abstention from sex, my girlfriend twigged.

Reluctantly, I spilled the beans, and we abstained for another couple of weeks but when we tried again my "string" still felt like someone had been picking out Duelling Banjos on it. Like a paper cut, the size of the wound belied the pain it caused. First we turned to NHS Direct for advice, but the creepy adviser's suggestion that we were to blame for having too much sex was unhelpful, upsetting and, as I was to find, nothing to do with the problem.

So I talked to male friends. One or two had suffered and suggested that it would heal, but I didn't like the idea of an indefinite wait. I tried salty baths, Vaseline, Savlon, even Sudacreme - a cream for healing nappy rash - but it didn't heal me. As ever, the internet provided conflicting information, and worryingly, a couple of sites mentioned full circumcision under general anaesthetic and an overnight hospital stay. This was backed up by a nurse I spoke to at Guy's hospital in London; I didn't like the sound of it at all. I rather like my foreskin.

Two months on, confused and increasingly concerned, I visited my local genito-urinary clinic. The consultant suggested either a herpes sore (I really didn't think so) or a tear due to a short frenulum - "frenulum breve" - literally, a "little bowstring'. This, he explained, restricts movement of the foreskin over the head of the penis, leading to soreness, bruising and occasionally a small but painful tear. Apparently it is common, affecting perhaps 5% of uncircumcised men, mostly aged 17 to 30. So why had I never heard of it?

The answer was simple - there is little in the way of published medical research, and people don't talk about it. In 1958, a certain Professor Grewel suggested in the Folia Psychiatrica Neerlandica that the "manifest neglect" of frenulum breve in medical literature is due to a combination of the castration complex among physicians, prudery, and plain masculine pride preventing men from reporting penis problems - as he notes: "When this organ is menaced, fear and anxiety arise." However, my search for the condition using the huge Medline internet database drew a blank.

The GU consultant thought, as I feared, that I might benefit from surgery - not circumcision, thankfully, but something called frenuloplasty. It is difficult to describe in words what this involves, so he drew me a sketch. The frenulum is cut vertically and the two tiny flaps of skin that this creates are sewn into the foreskin with a couple of stitches. These dissolve in a fortnight, and after a couple of weeks most men have fully recovered and are able to resume sexual activity. It may not sound like fun, but it is preferable to the method practised by the Luo tribe of East Africa, which involves the incisors of the male soldier ant.

After a couple more weeks with no improvement, I decided to leapfrog the potential 15-month waiting list and get my privates checked privately. Gordon Muir, the urologist I visited at King's College Hospital, took a glance at my cut and was "80%" sure that frenuloplasty could help. "You've got a design fault," he explained. "The problem is that, even if your cut heals naturally, you'll be left with scar tissue - thicker but more brittle skin which is prone to splitting again.

"Because we're all different, there's no clear way of knowing just what constitutes a problem frenulum, but as a rule of thumb, it's more likely to cause problems or tear if it automatically pulls the foreskin forward over the head of the penis when you have an erection. The operation is far quicker and less traumatic than full circumcision. We do it with a local anaesthetic as an outpatient procedure and you can go back to work as soon as it's done - unless you're a professional sportsman." I assured him that I was merely a gifted amateur.

"Does it leave a scar?" I asked. "Will it show?" "It depends how closely you look. And if you're still worried," he whispered conspiratorially, "don't be - I've had it done myself, and it was filmed by a group of medical students to boot."

Apparently, many men unaware of frenuloplasty seek full circumcision to cure the problem and are relieved to find that they can in fact keep their foreskins. In a small minority of cases, though, circumcision may be required. Despite Muir's assurances, I was still worried and waited in vain for some natural improvement. Finally, in January this year, about six months after the cut first appeared, I decided to bite the bullet.

The operation was over in 10 minutes - painless apart from the local anaesthetic injection just below the head of the penis. Far worse were the ghastly Y-fronts I had to wear to keep a small gauze dressing in place afterwards. Determined to test Muir's theory, I had a cup of tea at the hospital and went straight back to work (ironically, a meeting at the Department of Health), mentally grimacing at the thought of what I had done, but physically fine.

Over the next month, painful erections were a bit of a nuisance, and I felt a bit low - even emasculated. But when the stitches were removed, I had gone from short bowstring to fit as a fiddle. Daily application of E45 keeps the tiny operation scar supple - it's the lanolin, apparently - and after six months of painful sex followed by a month of none at all, the relief is immeasurable

Old 10-26-2002, 07:05 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: ottawa, ontario canada
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sslilly HB User

Get circumcised! End of problem.

Old 10-28-2002, 01:21 AM   #7
Posts: n/a

Thanks for that Geoff. I can see that Frenuloplasty may not be the perfect answer in some cases then. I've listened to the various arguments for and against circumcision and, personally, I would prefer to avoid it if I can. I think I'll try the stretching techniques first before I think about Frenuloplasty. Luckily I've got an understanding partner (for the time being anyway!!!).


Old 10-29-2002, 04:06 AM   #8
Geoff B
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Good luck Paul. Let us know how you go.

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