What is a Frenulum Breve?
The glans of the penis has something called a frenulum – a thin elastic band of skin – similar to that which is found under the tongue. It connects the underside of the head, or glans of the penis, to the penile shaft. Similar to the tongue, this section of tissue may be too short and thick. In the mouth this is called a tongue-tie, with the penis it is called a Frenulum Breve.
The penile frenulum functions to help the foreskin stay over the glans (head) of the penis and enables the foreskin to contract comfortably, as required. If it is too short, it may restrict movement and prevent the foreskin from retracting, which may or may not interfere with normal sexual activity. For some guys, a Frenulum Breve will cause a number of problems during an erection or sex, including
The glans of the penis will be restricted and pulled/curved downwards making the penis shorter;
Soreness or bruising; and
Repeated tears causing bleeding and pain.
Pain in the penis may be misdiagnosed and is often a psychological problem for guys so it’s important to have a good examination to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment.
Because the frenulum is often removed during circumcision, it is much less common for circumcised men to suffer from this condition. Approximately 5% of uncircumcised men will suffer from Frenulum Breve, however, it is generally not necessary to have a circumcision to repair a short frenulum, as it is only the frenulum itself that needs to be released. In some cases, there may also be associated phimosis – narrowing of the opening of the foreskin, such that it cannot be retracted easily over the glans of the penis. In such circumstances, a circumcision combined with Frenuloplasty may be necessary.