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What is frenulum breve?

Frenulum breve

Frenulum breve is a condition that causes a small piece of skin beneath the penis to cover the head of the penis like a cap. Some men with frenulum breve may have difficulty retracting their foreskin completely over the head of their penis during an erection. 

Frenulum breve is a short frenulum. It is a condition wherein the frenulum is short and restricts the movement of the foreskin, which in turn can cause pain and discomfort during erection or intercourse.

Frenulum breve can be detected by the following methods:

  1. While retracting the foreskin, if it doesn't go completely back to where it should have retracted, it indicates frenulum breve.

  2. When erect, if there is a gap visible between the foreskin and the underside of the penis head then it indicates frenulum breve. Also, penile curvature may be present in some cases of frenulum breve.

  3. Pain and tension in the penis during intercourse keep increasing because of the concentration of blood in the area.

The causes of frenulum breve are not clearly known but these could be the possible causes:

  1. Frenulum breve is present at birth.

  2. It may be due to congenital abnormality.

  3. Due to unintentional damage to the frenulum during circumcision.

How can frenulum tear?

Possible reasons for frenulum tear can be many but some common reasons are:

  • Rough sex or vigorous masturbation can create friction around the skin of the penis making it vulnerable to wear and tear. The frenulum can also tear after coming into contact with jewellery, such as a ring.

  • While shaving or trimming the pubic hair using a razor or trimmer, chances are high that a person can get nicks and cuts near the penis or groin area.

  • The penis getting caught in a trouser/jeans zipper can also lead to the tearing of the frenulum.

  • Wearing tight bottom wear and underwear can lead to friction in the groin area making the penis freedom-less and prone to tearing.

  • Intense physical work or accidents could also lead to tearing of the frenulum.

  • Intense sports activities or repetitive cycling can also cause damage to the frenulum. Wearing protection around the genitals during sports can prevent injuries to the frenulum.

How to prevent the frenulum from tearing?

The frenulum is very prone to tearing because of its delicacy so to prevent the frenulum from tearing again, it is necessary to take some precautions:

  • Avoid intense physical workouts for a few weeks after sustaining the tear.

  • Keep the injured area clean and bandaged for protection. Have patience and give your body enough time to heal.

  • Refrain from sexual intercourse or masturbation for a few weeks till the wound has healed because these sexual activities can cause friction which can lead to damage of the frenulum.

  • Wear comfortable and loose-fitting bottom wears to prevent friction around the groin area.

  • Avoid sports activities, including cycling for a few weeks after sustaining the tear.

Does frenulum breve go away?

Frenulum breve is not an acute condition, it won’t go away on its own. So it is recommended to consult a urologist who will examine the foreskin and ask you to take necessary action.

Medical tests for frenulum breve

Frenulum breve is often misdiagnosed as phimosis because of the common symptoms among the two conditions. But they are not the same disease therefore a doctor will perform a physical examination to find the accurate results and the degree of severity.

Treatments for frenulum breve

Depending on the severity of the condition, there could be different treatments for frenulum breve. Steroid creams and stretching exercises are enough to elongate the frenulum in mild cases. In severe cases, surgery may be the best option. 

There are different surgical techniques for treating frenulum breve but the two most common surgeries are frenectomy and frenuloplasty. Both the procedures can be combined with circumcision if desired.

What is a frenectomy?

In this type of surgery, the frenulum is being cut to release the tension on the glans and shaft. 

What is frenuloplasty?

The frenulum is being cut in this type of surgery as well but it also involves remodelling the skin in the local area to provide more appealing results.

How are frenectomy and frenuloplasty performed?

Both these surgeries are performed using local anaesthesia to numb the injured area before surgery. 

A drug can be given to the patient to make him calm and promote a relaxed mind. This action is called Sedation.

The surgery usually takes 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the severity of the injury. 

There are no major side effects after the surgery but one may take two days off from work to get a speedy recovery.

The patient will be asked to refrain from having any sexual activity or sports activity that involves the movement of the penis.

Both the above said surgeries can be conducted with circumcision. They can also be performed on uncircumcised men.

Usually, the surgery period and recovery period are extended when the surgeries are performed along with circumcision.

Take Away 

Consult a urologist in case of any discomfort during sexual activities due to frenulum so that he can do a proper diagnosis of the affected area. Do not try home remedies to treat frenulum breve because this is a very critical and sensitive condition that should only be examined by a specialist.