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Frenular Tears – Scary but common!

A frantic phone call. A plea for help. A male in distress. This calls for the Metro Male SWAT team to get into action pronto. A newly-wed couple arrives at the clinic with a lot of trepidation. The couple walk into my office and the man says that he is experiencing bleeding from the penis. The episode started with the couple having sex and the male experiencing sharp pain and sudden bleeding from the penis. On examination, the prepuce appears swollen with blood collecting around the head of the penis. A frenular tear is seen.

Frenular Tear - Tearing of Skin near the penis head
The frenulum is a highly sensitive band of tissue which connects the prepuce to the mucosa of the head (glans) of the penis. It helps contract the prepuce over the glans. When the penis is erect and filled fully with blood, the frenulum is taut. In a male with a short frenulum with the penis taut and the vagina dry, a tear of the frenulum can happen during sexual intercourse. As the frenulum carries the frenular artery there maybe torrential bleed which may cause a scare.

Treatment is essential and needs to be planned on an emergency basis if the artery is involved. Compression may suffice sometimes. In others the bleeding vessel needs to be tied down or cauterized. The most important thing is adequate recuperation. If sex is attempted too soon, there maybe another tear which results in anxiety, stress and fear of intercourse. Adequate counseling is of paramount importance in this regard.

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