7 key questions of phimosis in adults

Much of the population believes that phimosis is a problem exclusively in childhood, but the reality is that it is common in adults.

But what is phimosis?

When there is difficulty or impossibility to retract the skin covering the head of the penis (foreskin), both at rest and only when erect, there is phimosis. That is, the impossibility of leaving the glans uncovered.

What problems does phimosis cause?

Basically, there are two major problems:

  • It is difficult to have an adequate hygiene, increasing the risk of infections and the appearance of cancer and balanitis.
  • It makes penetration difficult during intercourse, becoming painful.

What is the cause of phimosis in adults?

There are different factors that can be related to the pathology during adulthood. Among them, diabetes stands out as the main cause. In these cases, closure of the foreskin becomes the first symptom of diabetes for patients.

Infections of the skin of the foreskin, known as balanitis, cause its inflammation. This pathology can be caused by fungi or bacteria, as well as by infections such as HPV or genital herpes.

Lichen sclerosus of the penis can also affect the foreskin and glans penis. This autoimmune disease appears due to microtrauma or infections in the penis, first affecting the frenulum area and the preputial ring.

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Finally, hygiene is important, although it is not a common cause of phimosis in developed countries.

What are the symptoms of phimosis?

In some cases, phimosis in adults may not present symptoms in the early stages. Later on, the following symptoms may appear:

  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Cracks in the penis in the form of wounds.
  • Inflammation of the glans and foreskin.
  • Affection of the urinary stream.
  • Pain or discomfort when trying to retract the foreskin.

What happens if phimosis is not treated?

Some of the complications that can be avoided by treating phimosis in young people or adults are the following:

  • Reduced sexual satisfaction, caused by painful intercourse.
  • Acute urinary retention, caused by progressive closure of the foreskin.
  • Paraphimosis. This is a severe and very painful complication, which occurs when the retracted foreskin can no longer slide forward. Surgery may be required.
  • Major infections.
  • Cancer of the penis.

What is the treatment for phimosis?

The most effective solution is the circumcision operation, which is the simplest and least risky method.

  • It is an outpatient operation with local anesthesia.
  • It is not painful and lasts 30 minutes.
  • At the end of the operation, a bandage is placed around the penis and glans penis, leaving the urethral orifice free to urinate without difficulty.
  • After the intervention the patient takes a general analgesic to avoid pain.
  • The following day the first treatment is performed in consultation, teaching the patient the procedure.
  • The dressings are daily and simple, cleaning the area with saline and antiseptics and then placing a gauze.
  • The stitches fall off by themselves after two or three weeks.
  • Sexual intercourse is possible after 30 days.
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Are there other benefits of circumcision?

  • Studies indicate that circumcised men have a 60% lower risk of getting HIV. It also helps prevent HPV and genital herpes.
  • Female partners have less cervical cancer, as well as more avoidance of HPV.
  • Men have less risk of fungus, balanitis, lichen sclerosus and penile cancer.