- What is a short frenulum?
- Symptoms of short frenulum
- Medical tests for short frenulum
- Treatments for short frenulum
- Which specialist treats short frenulum?
The frenulum of the penis is the elastic fold of the skin that joins the underside of the glans (head of the penis) with the inner surface of the foreskin. Its function is to help the foreskin to contract over the glans.
A short frenulum (also known as frenulum breve) is when the frenulum of the penis is so short that it restricts the movement that the foreskin can make – the frenulum should be long enough to allow the foreskin to retract smoothly, but a short frenulum often makes this impossible. This causes discomfort during sexual intercourse.
The main problem with short frenulum is the discomfort it causes, as well as problems during sexual intercourse. Also, it can make maintaining hygiene difficult, as it can make it difficult to clean under the foreskin, increasing the risk of infections.
One possible consequence of having a short frenulum is that it can tear, usually during sexual activity. This can be painful and may bleed, but is not a medical emergency. A torn frenulum may solve the problem if it heals in such a way that the frenulum is longer, but if scar tissue forms if becomes even less flexible and the problem worsens. If a short frenulum is impairing your ability to have sex or causing other serious issues, it requires treatment.
The main symptom is difficulty pulling back the foreskin, as well as pain and tension in the penis. This pain increases during sexual intercourse and can tear and cause bleeding because of the concentration of blood in the area.
A short frenulum is often misdiagnosed as phimosis (where the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back), due to the common major symptom of being unable to retract the foreskin, but it is not the same disease. The doctor should perform a physical examination to assess the problem and the degree of it.
There are different methods to treat a short frenulum depending on its severity. In some cases, steroid creams and stretching exercises can be enough to sufficiently elongate the frenulum. In many cases, however, surgery is the only real solution. There are several surgical techniques that may be used, including reparative plastic surgery (fenuloplasty), the resection of the frenulum (frenectomy) or circumcision.
Urologists specialise in treating all conditions of the genitalia. Within this field, andrologists specifically deal with male sexual and reproductive issues.