This site discusses phimosis in its specific forms of phimotic ring, frenulum breve, adhesions or skinbridges. During erection these conditions inhibit the relationship between foreskin and glans. This functionally restricts the erection, and thus has an effect on the sexuality. With our culture's attitudes on health care, it would be appropriate to monitor boys before puberty and encourage early prevention.

2012 : note from author: My previous idea of monitoring boys before puberty is impractical, unecessary and now only of historical interest. please see Postscript.

updates and supporting education on new site : Phimosis.cloud

THE COMPLETE FRENULUM STUDIES

Part One:
Introduction (Grewel)
Basic Human Studies
Part Two:
Modern Treatment (Z plasty etc.)
Ancient treatment (Bryk, Luo Rites)
The Animal Studies

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PART ONE

Introduction

There is very little recorded on frenulum breve (itals. mine)
F. Grewel
The Frenum Praeputii and the Defloration of the Human Male
Folia Psychiatrica, Neurologica et Neurochirurgica Neerlandica 61(2) p123-126 1958
"Exact inspection shows that at each side of the frenum a small fold can be seen between the radix of the prepuce and the proximal side of the corona glandis ... These folds are nameless; they may be called alae freni praeputii ..."

"It is as remarkable that a part of the surface anatomy of the man received no name, as that the phenomenon of the erosion or laceration of the frenum and its alae, though not unknown, receives so little attention, and is even manifestly neglected in medical literature."

"The psychiatric aspect of this little known symptom, repressed as it has been by the medical profession itself, has never been mentioned. That excoriation of the frenum praeputii has also been neglected by psychiatrists and psychoanalysts is even more remarkable."

"The psychodynamics of this repression on the part of the physicians is a striking phenomenon in itself. It cannot be masculine pride alone ... which has caused the phenomenon to be neglected by male physicians and psychoanalysts, and caused it to be forgotten in dermatological literature. ... resulting in a general or collective repression of the phenomenon."

Since Grewel little has changed in the world of research on this subject,
LTC Edward J. Pienkos, MC USAR
Circumcision at the 121st Evacuation Hospital:
Report of a Questionnaire with Cross-Cultural Observations
Military Medicine Vol 154, 4:169 (April 1989) p.170
"The request ... to alleviate painful erections and intercourse and frenular tears is not widely appreciated in the urological literature. Being unpublished, these complaints can easily be ignored or discounted for reasons of secondary gain."

Whelan confirms the general picture
P. Whelan
Male dyspareunia due to short frenulum: an indication for adult circumcision.
Br Med J 1977 Dec 24-31;2(6103):1633-4
"The existence of a short frenulum is noted in few urological text books" Whelan cites numerous examples of male dyspareunia from Masters and Johnson from their chapter on the subject; and then notes: "They do not mention the problem of a short frenulum." (Masters, W.H. and Johnson, V.E. Human Sexual Inadequacy, p 289. London, J. and A Churchill Ltd. 1970.)

The CUMULATIVE INDEX MEDICUS between 1920 and 1967 lists several older medical studies on frenulum breve, unfortunately most of these publications were unavailable after repeated attempts by the excellent German library system.

Herr Papke, the medical librarian responsible for DIMDI searches performed a search in November 1997 (Key words: freno* frenu*). I checked this with MEDLINE in Oct. 1999 (Key words: freno* frenu* freni* fraenum frein)

Some studies merely mention the frenulum in passing, I believe even the smallest reference has been included in this present file. I would welcome any info leading to further contributions.

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Why has so little been recorded?

Grewel is apparently the only author who has questioned this. As was current in 1958 he interpreted much in terms of the castration complex. His full paper is a treasure chest of speculation. See Grewel
F. Grewel
The Frenum Praeputii and the Defloration of the Human Male
Folia Psychiatrica, Neurologica et Neurochirurgica Neerlandica 61(2) p123-126 1958
"One is tempted to assume that psychological factors must play a part ...: not primarily prudery, but the castration complex of the physicians."

"Prudery and anxiety on the part of the "patient" is another, and probably an even stronger factor. A lesion of the penis during coition causes feelings of shame and self-reproach because of the supposed uncouth and aggressive behavior, resulting (in the opinion of the man) in an unheard of trauma; guilt feelings produce a resuscitation, the "wound" itself a revival of the castration complex."

"... Men are manifestly proud of the penis ... When this important organ, this source of masculine pride, is menaced, fear and anxiety arise."