Question: What are the signs and symptoms of Phimosis?
Answer: Phimosis is a condition affecting the males which is characterized by tightness of the foreskin of the penis which prevents retraction of the foreskin. It is primarily a congenital anomaly which prevents retraction of the skin over the glans penis. Boys and men both can have this penile abnormality.
Usually most new born males have tight skin on the tip of penis, and there is slight difficulty while retracting the foreskin. Eventually with growing age, the condition improves and most boys by the age of three are able to completely retract the foreskin.
If phimosis is present till adolescent, and if it causes difficulty and discomfort while passing urine, a procedure called circumcision is may be necessary. It is a small surgical operation for removal of foreskin. Adults with phimosis may also have difficulty while performing sexual intercourse.
In many males phimosis remains undetected if it does not produce any symptoms. In many males, phimosis may be secondary to recurrent infections of the penis which may result in scaring of the prepuce.
Signs And Symptoms Of Phimosis
Most of the symptoms of phimosis in boys and adults are similar with slight difference.
Symptoms of phimosis in boys:
- Difficulty to void urine with ballooning of the foreskin during micturition.
- Burning and pain around the penis due to recurrent bacterial infections.
- Urination is painful.
- The foreskin becomes swollen, red and tender.
- Difficulty in retracting the foreskin.
Diagnosis can be done by physical examination.
Symptoms of phimosis in adults:
- Pain while passing urine.
- Urination can be accomplished only by straining.
- Urine is passed in drops or small stream.
- If adhesions are not present urine accumulates beneath the foreskin.
- A hernia or prolapse of rectum can result from straining.
- Recurrent urinary tract infection.
- Since the foreskin is tight and difficult to retract person finds discomfort and pain during sexual intercourse.
- Pain in penis while passing urine.
Treatment For Tight Foreskin In Children
Some of the complications that can arise from phimosis are: Difficulty in ejaculation as the opening is small. This may lead to infertility and lack of interest in sexual activity in adult male. Sometimes it is embarrassing for the male when he is close to his partner. There may be scaring around the opening of penis.
When a boy or a man suspects of having phimosis, he should consult his health care professional for examination. In many cases where phymosis is symptomless, person may not require any treatment. The management of Phimosis involves prescription of antibiotics to control bacterial infection.
To soothe the inflamed foreskin, use a damp wet cloth. Over the counter medicated creams help to lubricate the area and allow gentle retraction as far as possible. Circumcision is an alternative which involves pulling the foreskin as far back as possible and slitting open the upper surface of the foreskin. This procedure is conducted under general or local anesthesia.