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I am 16 (nearly 17) and suffer from tight foreskin. I cannot retract the foreskin over the head either when the penis is flaccid or erect which makes it hard to clean and id imagine uncomfortable during sex. I have researched into tight foreskin and found it is often called phimosis but i also saw that tight foreskin may be due to a short frenulem which i think i may have. If i do have a short frenulem then what can i do to solve my tight foreskin as i do not want it to come to circumcision. Will normal strectching techniques for phimosis work if the frenulem is too short? Any help would be appreciated as this affects my confidence and general life, thanks.


Hi JB,

Work on stretching first.  If you can't pull back your foreskin you really can't tell if you have a short frenulum.

Stretch as often and as much as you can.  Take your time with it.  It may be easier in the shower under warm water.  You don't have to hurt yourself but there may be some discomfort. 

If your frenulum is short, a frenuloplasty or frenulectomy may be options.  They are NOT a circumcision.



If it is my frenulem will stretching still work or would surgery be the only option. I have briefly seen people mention an operation involving a small V shaped cut but i havnt really considered or researched into it. Thanks for the reply.


You are normal for your age. Do not worry.

If you cannot retract your foreskin at all, then you cannot know if you have a short frenulum.

You should work on stretching your foreskin manually.

You are blessed with a protective, highly-innervated, erogenous full-length foreskin. Many unforeskinned guys would envy your foreskin. You display great wisdom in wanting to avoid circumcision.

You should thank your parents for protecting your physical integrity. Because of your physical integrity you will be able to have sex the way nature intended it. Every male starts life with a tight, non-retractable foreskin. Some get looser automatically and some need a little help.


The foreskin is supposed to be tight and non-retractable in childhood, but it is supposed to retract and glide back and forth in adulthood. Teens are in transition between childhood and adulthood so frequently the foreskin is still non-retractable. It is easy to make your foreskin wider and looser by manual stretching. Almost all boys are born with a foreskin that does not retract. This is normal. It takes years for the ability to retract to develop. About ½ of boys have a retractable foreskin by 10.4 years of age. Many adolescents still have foreskins that have tips that are too narrow to pass back over the penis head. These foreskins may be gently stretched over a period of time to cause them to widen.

It is not necessary to have a foreskin that will retract. Some men live their entire lives with a non-retractable foreskin. They can masturbate, have penetrative sex, get married, and father children with a foreskin that does not retract.



When your penis is erect, gently pull your foreskin back against the head of the penis. As the head attempts to pass through the foreskin it will stretch the skin a little. Do this every day and in a few weeks or months your foreskin will widen and you will be able to retract your foreskin. Do NOT force retraction. Do NOT cause yourself pain. It works by tissue expansion. Stretching skin induces “mitosis” which is a word that means “division of cells”. New skin cells are formed and the skin expands but it takes some time. The increase in size is permanent. Be patient and give mitosis time to work. The important thing is to put the skin under tension every day so that it will grow wider.