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Penile Frenulum: Understand What It Is and How to Identify If It’s Short

The penile frenulum can sometimes be too short, causing complications in a man’s sexual life. Learn more.

The penile frenulum is the skin that connects the glans to the foreskin. It is present in all men who have not undergone phimosis surgery — and can cause complications if it is too short.

The penile frenulum has important functions for men, and when something goes wrong with it, it is necessary to consult a urologist for the most suitable treatment. Keep reading to learn all about this small (but important) part of the male sexual organ.

After all, what is the penile frenulum?

The balano-preputial frenulum, simply known as the penile frenulum or frenulum, is a fibrous and elastic fold, triangular in shape, that connects the underside (ventral) of the glans (head of the penis) to the inner part of the foreskin (the skin that covers the glans).

The frenulum’s function is to protect the glans and shaft, as it keeps the foreskin in the proper position, covering the penis when it is flaccid.

Furthermore, the penile frenulum facilitates sexual intercourse. During the anticipated moment, this bundle of skin allows the foreskin to move to expose the glans when the penis is in an erect state.

How to tell if a man has a short frenulum?

In some men, the frenulum can be very short, and complications may arise over time.

A short frenulum can be identified when it has a limited movement, disrupting the anatomy of the penis.

What are the consequences of a short frenulum?

When the penile frenulum is short, exposing the glans becomes more difficult because the short frenulum prevents the skin from being fully pulled back.

As a result, this slight skin tension can make erections painful, as the frenulum becomes excessively stretched. Sexual intercourse can also be painful.

Additionally, when the frenulum is not of the appropriate length, the penis may curve downwards. The curvature becomes even more visible during an erection — but should not be confused with Peyronie’s disease, which occurs due to the formation of fibrosis within the penile structures.

Another possible confusion is with phimosis. However, in this case, it is not even possible to observe the frenulum completely. In cases of a short frenulum, this part remains entirely visible, despite the inability to pull back all the foreskin.

A short frenulum carries the risk of rupturing during sexual intercourse. The rupture is likely to cause bleeding, as it is an area irrigated by veins and arteries. If the rupture is partial, part of the skin will be exposed, causing discomfort.

What are the treatments for a short frenulum?

If the penile frenulum ruptures, it is ideal to apply pressure to the area and place an ice pack on the site. This will stop the bleeding. At the same time, seek emergency medical care or consult a urologist. The healthcare professional can stop the bleeding.

However, men with suspected short frenulum should see a urologist before such a situation occurs. The doctor can assess the best treatment for such cases.

Some techniques, such as the use of topical medications (ointments), penile traction, and/or physiotherapy aimed at stretching the skin, can be employed. However, most treatments involve frenuloplasty – a minor surgery.

In the surgical procedure, the penile frenulum is cut, contributing to a reduction in tension. Since it is a simple procedure, it can be done in the doctor’s office with local anesthesia in about 30 minutes. Recovery usually takes about two weeks, with precautions such as sexual abstinence and avoiding swimming in the sea and pool to prevent infections and aid in healing.

Peyronie’s Disease vs. Short Frenulum

Although they are distinct conditions, in some cases, they may be related.

When the short frenulum pulls the tip of the penis downward, the rigidity of the penis is compromised. The curvature also predisposes to traumas and microtraumas during movement in sexual intercourse.

This scenario favors the development of fibrosis inside the penis, which can lead to a more pronounced curvature, a decrease in size, and penile thinning – symptoms of Peyronie’s disease.

Learn more: Understand What Peyronie’s Disease Is.

If a man has both conditions, they can be treated in a single surgery. In addition to frenuloplasty, the surgeon will need to perform penile reconstruction to treat the fibrosis and restore the dimensions of the penis. Subsequently, the patient will receive a penile prosthesis to provide support for penetration.

In general, men who have undergone the surgical procedure are satisfied with the results because, in addition to a change in the appearance of the penis, there is an improvement in sexual life. If you have difficulty exposing the head of the penis or if the penile shaft appears curved, feel free to contact us.

We will assess your case, provide a correct diagnosis, and guide you towards the best treatment for a short penile frenulum.

Dr.Paulo Egydio

Dr.Paulo Egydio

Médico PhD em Urologia pela USP, CRM 67482-SP, RQE 19514, Autor dos Princípios Geométricos (conhecido como “Técnica de Egydio”), além de outros artigos e livros cientifícos na área. Professor convidado para ministrar aulas e cirurgias ao vido, em congressos no Brasil e Exterior.

Dr. Paulo Egydio é dedicado ao tratamento da curvatura
peniana e do implante de prótese.

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