What is Frenulum (on penis)?
Frenulum is an elastic band like skin that connects the foreskin on the penis to the glans of the penis. It is similar to the elastic skin that exists under the tongue and the lower jaw in a person’s mouth. Frenulum is also called as ‘banjo string’ by some medical professionals.
The purpose of this elastic band is to facilitate smooth movement of the foreskin on to the glans and behind it. This allows the foreskin to retrace when the penis is erect.
What is a short frenulum?
Typically, this frenulum is long enough to allow the movement of the foreskin without causing any pain but when the frenulum is small, movement of the foreskin will be restricted. Severe pain can be experienced when the foreskin tries to go behind the head of the penis. Such a condition is called Short Frenulum or Frenulum Breve
What causes tearing of frenulum?
Most often having rough sex or masturbation results in tearing of your banjo string. Very rarely it is self inflicted or by an accident.
What are the problems caused by Short Frenulum?
- As mentioned, the foreskin fully doesn’t retract behind the penis, causing difficulty in having normal intercourse.
- Frenulum may tear causing bleeding and severe pain if the foreskin is retracted forcefully while masturbating or having sex.
- This also affects the male mentally causing erectile dysfunction. The fear of having pain when the penis is erect might result in acquiring erectile dysfunction.
Important point to note is – pain during sex can be caused due to phimosis too. However, these 2 are different conditions. If the pain is caused due to short frenulum, one can feel the pain only near the frenulum joint. But in the case of phimosis, the pain will be felt around the penis.
Healing of torn frenulum:
If the tearing is not severe, the broken skin heals itself. Typically in 3 to 4 weeks, the injury will be completely healed.
In some cases, this might result in 2 scenarios:
- The frenulum length doesn’t change and the possibility of breaking still remains.
- The length of frenulum may get extended during the healing process that might get rid of the short frenulum problem forever without the need of any medical treatment.
However, that may not be the case for everyone. You may have to see a good sexologist near you to treat the problem.
Treatment for Short Frenulum Problem:
There are multiple treatment options for fixing a torn frenulum:
- Threading – threading a suture and tying a knot on the broken skin, so that once the injury heals, the broken frenulum falls off. This is a non-invasive technique.
- Surgical techniques include frenuloplasty and circumcision.
Frenuloplasty: This procedure usually involves removing the frenulum or lengthening it, depending on the case. Removal of frenulum may be done using typical surgical methods or by advanced laser technique which involves minimal blood loss.
Lengthening is done by making an incision in the frenulum, then stretched to length and then stitched to close. After healing, frenulum will be long enough to accommodate easy movement of the prepuce of the penis. (foreskin). This is an outpatient procedure usually involving 30 minutes and performed under local or general anaesthesia.
Circumcision: The process of removing the foreskin on the penis. There are several techniques used to perform this procedure including famous stapler or laser circumcision.
Recurring Frenulum Tear:
A torn frenulum may heal on it’s own, however, it may tear again in the same place. In such cases, you need to see your andrologist/ sexologist / urologist for either removal or lengthening of frenulum by surigical procedures.