International Phimosis Awareness Group

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International Phimosis Awareness Group – raising awareness of phimosis in our communities and educating people about the simple treatment options now available & avoiding circumcision wherever possible.

The International Phimosis Awareness Group is a collective of like minded healthcare technology professionals who are deeply concerned at the lack of awareness about phimosis and simple treatment options.

IPAGs mission is simple – we seek to raise awareness of phimosis and simple treatment options. Our Vision is ethical – a healthy foreskin for all men.

Our group works from the ethical premise that the male foreskin is an integral part of the male anatomy and plays a vital role in the health of the glans penis, in sexual sensation, in protecting the man and his partner during sexual intercourse and in a mans general well-being. Fortunately in most countries the rate of forced infant circumcision is in decline as parents are better informed of the important role the foreskin plays in the boy and then the mans life.

The IPAG collective opinion is that circumcision should only be indicated for the treatment of a medical emergency involving the foreskin that has not responded to more conservative treatments. It is our opinion that non medical emergency indicated  circumcision of the infants foreskin amounts to genital mutilation and is an unethical practice by a decreasing number of doctors.

It is not the role of IPAG to carry the work load of the anti circumcision lobby, as that work is being carried out by a dedicated group of doctors and healthcare enthusiast via the various national Intact groups and we encourage thees groups to keep up the education-campaigns.

All that being said, IPAG recognizes that from time to time the human body  requires certain interventions as biological and physiological  processes occur that result in diseases such as phimosis. Adult Phimosis is an abnormal  tightening of the foreskin which results in either the inability if the foreskin to retract over the glans or where it retracts over the glans it can get stuck around the penis shaft causing a risk of severe compression and loss of blood flow to the glans itself.

The incidence of phimosis is rising and it is now believed to affect between 1 in 20 and 1 in 30  intact men (men with a foreskin).

If left untreated, PHIMOSIS can contribute to a range of subsequent preventable health problems in men, including:

  • Tearing, scarring or irritation of the sufferer’s foreskin or their sexual partner’s  genitalia
  • Infection or hardening of sensitive tissues
  • PARAPHIMOSIS – a medical emergency condition where the foreskin becomes stuck around the penile shaft requiring urgent surgery
  • Diminished self esteem and deterioration of personal relationship
  • Anxiety, depression and fear of intimacy.

Four positions of phimosis

Whilst younger doctors are now being trained with the knowledge of the importance of the foreskin, many doctors have been trained to think of the foreskin as a vestigial an unnecessary piece if skin that should be removed at the slightest hint of trouble. Sadly, the reality is that over 95% of all foreskin problems can be treated with simple and conservative treatments. Hundreds of men who have been questioned after adult circumcision have in almost all cases reported problems with scarring, redness, loss of sexual sensation, and problems with their partner getting increased pain and discomfort during intercourse.

The loss of the foreskin in adult male can be devastating and that is why IPAG seeks to raise awareness of Phimosis and the simple treatment options that are available. Patients must be made aware by their physician of the risk of paraphimosis (where the  tight foreskin gets caught along the shaft of the penis cutting of normal flow of blood and lymph fluids, this requires urgent medical attention.

Simple Treatment Options for phimosis that has been diagnosed by a doctor include:

  1. manual stretching of the foreskin with high quality water based lubricant – where the man gentle tries to massage the foreskin back and forth over the glans, although this is restricted to mild phimosis and the risk of paraphimosis must be considered
  2. application of a steroid prescribed by a doctor
  3. use of a foreskin stretching balloon where the balloon is carefully placed under the foreskin and then inflated to trigger a skin stretch response leading to more foreskin cells growing and increasing the circumference of the foreskin
  4. combination of topical steroid and a gentle foreskin stretching balloon
  5. use of foreskin springs or re-tractors to forcibly pull foreskin wider, however, the physician must be sure to inform the patient of the risks associated with this abrupt technique
  6. insertion of flesh tunnels under the foreskin which when the pressure is released push the foreskin circumference wider, however, the efficacy of this option has not been clearly established in the medical literature.

The most important consideration when stretching the foreskin is to ensure that the patients feels no discomfort and that is why option 2 and 3 are most commonly prescribed by physicians surveyed recently by a manufacturer of the gentle foreskin stretcher balloon medical device.

Phimosis image

Phimosis is the inability to safely retract the foreskin over the glans

For more information about phimosis readers can contact Mr Andrew James – Chairman of the International Phimosis Awareness Group via email

Remember – Always see your doctor for a diagnosis of phimosis before considering any treatment option.