Phimosis / Tight Foreskin

Anatomy of pelvis:

The male organ penis consists of a tubular cylindrical body called shaft of penis. It opens at its end and this area is called 'Meatus'. The skin at the end can be pulled back to a short distance and this skin is often called the foreskin (or prepuce). The foreskin protects the more delicate 'glans' and 'meatus' (the hole or opening at the end of the penis). In people who have had 'circumcision' this foreskin is removed.

Q.What are the causes of Phimosis ?

Phimosis is congenital or acquired:-

  • In acquired phimosis there is chronic inflammation of the tip of the penis and prepuce (fore skin) or there are adhesions between Glans & prepuce or due to malignancy.
  • In congenital causes it is present since birth.
  • Phimosis is usually caused by thickening and repeated inflammation of the foreskin. Once this happens the foreskin fails to retract over the glans.

QWhat are the symptoms of Phimosis ?

  • Inability to retract foreskin.
  • Straining during urination.
  • Thin stream of urine.
  • Recurrent urinary infections.
  • Pus from penis - due to belanophosthitis.

Q.How can we diagnose Phimosis ?

From history & examination

On Examination

  • Pin hole opening of foreskin
  • Difficulty to push back the foreskin over the shaft of the penis.
  • Balooning of foreskin - A bulge in the tip of penis as urine accumulates under the foreskin.
  • The urine itself maybe cloudy or reddish if blood is present.

Q.How can Phimosis be treated ?

Circumcision is the only permanent cure. This refers to the surgical retraction of foreskin.

More Valuable information about Phimosis...

If untreated complications of phimosis can occur:

  • Infected foreskin leads to infection of glans also.
  • The tip of the foreskin acts like a ring and retracts over the shaft of the penis causing pain and discomfort (this condition is called paraphimosis).
  • Meatal Stenosis - narrowing of penile opening.
  • Sometimes a cancerous ulcer on glans can cause the adhesion to take place.

Frequently asked questions about Phimosis...

Q.Which doctor should I meet for the complaint of tight foreskin?

You can meet a General physician or an Urologist.

Q.Is it true that following surgery (circumcision) adult males are made temporarily impotent?

This is untrue. After circumcision the glans is very sensitive to the atmosphere upto three months and during this period a person may not have erection.

Q.Does urine contain infectious organisms?

Urine is normally sterile.

Q.Can circumcision prevent cancer of penis?

It is true that if circumcision is done just after birth as in Jews, this can prevent cancer of penis in adults however if it is done in boyhood (as in muslims) there is no difference to cancer of penis.