Our expert says:
I am assuming you are male. One of the most common causes of painful intercourse in men is a condition called phimosis. With phimosis, the foreskin is too tight to be completely retracted (pushed back) over the glans (head of the penis). The majority of uncircumcised infants cannot have their foreskin fully retracted because of natural, connective tissue between the foreskin and the glans, but this similar, non-phimotic condition typically resolves in early childhood. By adolescence, most uncircumcised men can fully and painlessly retract their foreskin. Occasionally, penile infections, or forced retraction of the foreskin (either during bathing or sex), can cause scar tissue to develop in the foreskin. Tight bands of scar tissue do not stretch easily and can prevent full retraction of the foreskin.
Depending on the severity of the problem (some men with phimosis cannot retract their foreskin at all, while others have problems with difficult or painful retraction only when their penis is erect), there are a few solutions, including:
gentle stretching of the foreskin, sometimes with the help of creams or steroids to provide extra lubrication and relieve inflammation, that can relieve mild cases of phimosis
making a slit in the dorsal (top) side of the foreskin, a medical provider's procedure that allows the foreskin to be more easily retracted
circumcision, the surgical removal of the foreskin (typically done with a local anesthetic), that cures phimosis
Dr Elna McIntosh
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