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Phimosis - Why Is Circumcision The Best Treatment For It?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Anuj Sharma 93% (814ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship of Indian Association of Gastrointestinal Endo Surgeons (FIAGES), Fellowship in Sexual Medicine
IVF Specialist, Meerut  •  17years experience
Phimosis - Why Is Circumcision The Best Treatment For It?

What is phimosis?

Phimosis is the name of the condition wherein the foreskin of the human penis cannot be pulled back from the head of the penis. The foreskin should be capable of being readily pulled back in most boys over 10 years of age when they have had no circumcision. In some cases, it is delayed to about 17 years of age.

Phimosis as a medical condition is supposed to have occurred when there is pain and irritation on the penis when the boy is an infant, or when the foreskin cannot be pulled back readily even after 17. There are various causes that may be responsible for this condition, and also multiple ways in which it can be treated. Among them, circumcision generally yields the most success.

Causes of phimosis:

Phimosis can occur due to a number of reasons. These include:

• Certain medical conditions predispose you to this condition, and a major one would be diabetes.
• If you have scar tissue on the foreskin region, caused due to past infectious diseases, or injury, you may have phimosis. The excessive hardening of foreskin is the cause for this reduced flexibility.
• If you handle the foreskin very roughly, tears and scratches may develop on it and cause it to lose elasticity.
• Increasing age predisposes you to this condition.

Symptoms of Phimsosis:

This condition can be identified by specific symptoms, like:

• The slow development of a white ring on the foreskin, that resembles scar tissue
• Pain and discomfort on the foreskin
• An uncomfortable feeling, involving pain, irritation or swelling on the foreskin during sexual activity and sexual intercourse
• Pain on the foreskin during urination, probable appearance of blood in urine, and a reduction in the force of urine flow
• An increased vulnerability to urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Treatment of phimosis: Why circumcision is the answer?

Even though steroids can be administered as a temporary cure for phimosis, circumcision is the more preferable treatment alternative.

Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin. It is a quick procedure and can be done both in hospitals and homes. In many cases, in certain cultures, religions and societies, baby boys are circumcised at birth. After the procedure is over, there is application of petroleum jelly at the site.

Along with permanently curing phimosis, circumcision has a host of related benefits. It guards against cancer of the penis. It also significantly lowers the risk of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases in men.

To conclude, phimosis is a rare albeit potentially painful condition. Although there are multiple causes for it, there is only one method of treatment that is the most effective: circumcision. If you are suffering from it, you should seek medical help immediately.

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