So, I have finally given in. For too long, my old fashioned nature has been the ball and chain preventing me from engaging in online social interaction, and I have decided to write a blog.
Recently, I have had an experience with a problem known as phimosis, which has been quite stressful and is without doubt a cause of the same stress for countless men worldwide. so I thought that this was a good enough reason to start my first blog. At the end of the blog, I will have either recovered from surgery or I will have resolved the problem without it (I hope for the latter but I will take either route).
What is phimosis?
Phimosis is the name of a specific condition that can affect males who are not circumcised. The Phimosis definition is a particular condition where the individual’s foreskin cannot be retracted, or pulled back, from the tip of the penis. While typically this condition occurs in babies who are not circumcised, it can affect teenagers and adults, at which point intervention may be needed to allow the foreskin to be pulled back through Phimosis stretching or other techniques. In babies, this condition often resolves itself and does not require additional care or medical intervention.
Phimosis can occur naturally in those that are uncircumcised, or it may be the result of injury and scarring. In extreme cases, this condition can make it difficult to urinate, as well as creating a sense of pressure and tightness following urination. Typically, by the age of 18, a male should be capable of retracting their foreskin. Should this not be possible, they may be diagnosed with Phimosis.
Phimosis vs. Paraphimosis
While Phimosis describes a medical condition in which the individual cannot retract their foreskin, Paraphimosis is the definition of a condition where the foreskin is retracted, but then cannot be returned to a normal position. This can lead to reduced blood flow and pain. Typically, if you are experiencing Paraphimosis, it is recommended that you go to the doctor as soon as possible. Some of the treatments for this condition are the same as Phimosis, but stretching isn’t recommended.
What causes Phimosis?
Several different things can cause Phimosis. In many male babies, it is a natural and common side effect of not being circumcised. This is known as congenital Phimosis. Typically, in this type of Phimosis, a separation will occur by three years, allowing for retraction. The other form of Phimosis is known as pathologic Phimosis. This is usually caused by cicatricial scarring on the prepuce, which is characterised by a white appearance.
A sore, inflamed and painful glans in combination with a tight foreskin is known as balanitis, which can be treated using hygiene measures in addition to ointments and creams. Inflammation of the glans and foreskin that can also occur is called balanoposthitis. Phimosis can also result from urine retention within the foreskin, which can be a classic result of Phimosis, leading to a range of infections. In a very rare case, sexually transmitted diseases have been known to cause Phimosis, as well as skin conditions such as psoriasis.
What are the symptoms of Phimosis?
The symptoms related to Phimosis may vary depending on the severity of the condition itself. This condition can vary widely from one person to the next. However, in general, these symptoms can include:
- Inability to retract foreskin
- Inability to properly pass urine, partially or completely
- Itching (if infected)
- Building of thick fluids (in infected)
- Pain when urinating (if infected)
Many of the main symptoms of phimosis apply when an inflammation, known as balanitis, occurs. Balanoposthitis can also occur as a result of phimosis, and a doctor must treat both these inflammations to ensure the area can heal properly. Phimosis is typically diagnosed following a physical diagnosis, and urine tests and swabs may be required to check for the presence of any bacteria.
Phimosis is also considered a risk factor for individuals that may have type 2 diabetes. If a doctor suspects this condition, they may also ask for a urine and blood test to check blood sugar levels.
Is there a cure for Phimosis?
There are many cures for Phimosis, many of which may be recommended by your doctor. But for those without inflammation or infection, at-home methods may prove the best solution. A cure for Phimosis is available whether you are having serious issues or simply would like to resolve the situation yourself.
For some, circumcision is the ideal solution to Phimosis. This requires a general or local anaesthetic, where a surgeon will work to remove the foreskin from the penis. The recovery time for this surgery can be relatively short, but for some, it can result in highly increased sensitivity. It’s essential to speak to a medical professional if you’re considering circumcision, as there are less invasive circumcision alternatives available with short recovery time and less pain or medical intervention involved.
Circumcision can be performed for the entire foreskin or can be completed partially so some remains. There is also an option for surgically release foreskin that is stuck to the glans – however, this surgery generally does not prevent the recurrence of Phimosis.
A practical method, and one of the less-invasive alternatives to circumcision, foreskin stretching allows the individual to slowly and steadily stretch out their foreskin over time, enabling it to be retracted following a period of training. Also known as a Phimotic band stretching, tight foreskin stretching is a recommended option for those with phimosis that is not inflamed, infectious or otherwise in need of surgical treatment.
Many professionals recommend utilising gradual retraction with the hand, in addition to the use of ointments and lotions to soften the skin over time.
As I have read that many men have used stretching to successfully treat their tight foreskin, I will adopt this approach to try to avoid the unpleasant and more invasive methods.
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