Phimosis

phimosis

Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin is not able to be pulled back over the glans penis

Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin is not able to be pulled back over the glans penis.  When the foreskin can only be pulled back with great difficulty the male is considered as having a relative phimosis. Phimosis usually occurs in uncircumcised males but may occur in circumcised males if there was not enough skin removed during the circumcision procedure.

Phimosis is a normal physical state in young children.  It is then called physiological phimosis.  In new born babies the foreskin is fused to the glans of the penis and the foreskin is not able to be retracted until the child is 2 years old.  This would not be diagnosed as a phimosis because it is normal and natural.  The breakdown of the foreskin’s adhesion to the glans occurs spontaneously and does not need manual manipulation. In some children this fusion is considered to be normal even up until puberty. If this phimosis does not interfere with any activities and does not cause any infections to occur, no treatment is needed.

It is difficult to determine the incidence of phimosis because of the presence of physiological phimosis and also because in many cultures male babies are routinely circumcised at an early age.  It is estimated that about 1% of uncircumcised males develop phimosis.