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Adult phimosis and circumcision - somebody talk sensibly to me

(8 Posts)
CurrentlyAnonymous Tue 22-Jan-13 14:54:35

I've NC'd for this as my DH would be mortified if he knew I was talking about this in public.

DH has had phimosis (tight and unretractable foreskin) for as long as I've known him. Since we've been TTC (2 years now) this has been an increasing problem as sex is very painful for him without condoms, which has led to us really not doing all that much of it and unsurprisingly not much occurring in the baby line.

Anyway, he has now seen two doctors and a consultant about this and having looked at other options the net result is that in his case (which is apparently quite severe), full circumcision is the only way to go as there isn't enough foreskin there to try any of the other surgical methods, and there isn't enough flex to try the non-surgical methods. It's a 20 minute op under general anaesthetic. He's been warned to expect 2 weeks off work for recovery, stitches, pain, cracking of the head of the penis (boak) as this is the first time it's ever been exposed to the air, and discomfort for some time afterwards.

So I'm now feeling like the worst wife ever for suggesting that he see a consultant in the first place, I'm panicking over the (absolutely negligible) risks of him having a general anaesthetic for the first time in his life and terrified that our pretty hopeless sex life now is just going to be completely destroyed. I've told him that we can cope and he doesn't have to get it done but he says he's come this far and he might as well. Somebody talk nicely and sensibly to me about this - the op isn't til April FFS so I can't spend the next 3 months worrying like this...

narmada Tue 22-Jan-13 15:01:12

DP had it done at age 30 for exactly the same reasons and is so glad he did. It was uncomfortable and did look pretty bad while tge stiches healed but he deffo didn't have 2 weeks off work - more like a few days.

Worst thing he found was night- time erections - v uncomforrable.

It will be so worth it and is a very quick op.

TheFarSide Tue 22-Jan-13 15:04:00

It sounds like something that needs sorting out and will benefit him hugely.

TLCTugger Tue 22-Jan-13 22:05:41

It defies belief that a solution for a situation where there is not enough skin would involve removing any skin.

The appropriate remedy for foreskin that does not retract is 3-6 months of gentle finger stretches with steroidal ointment (Betamethasone). He'd just set his alarm 10 minutes earlier and use that time, and also exploit every trip to the toilet and time in bed waiting to fall asleep.

If that fails or the patient can't manage it, the surgical quick fix is "bi-lateral dorsal slit with transverse closure" which destroys very little sensual tissue.

Circumcision is simply bad medicine unless something else has been diagnosed and verified by biopsy. If he was formerly retractable and has now gotten tight and hardened skin, that is a situation where some degree of amputation may be appropriate, but only after trying some powerful steroids (Protopic) which relieve the symptoms 2/3 of the time.

The foreskin contributes to sexual pleasure in important ways which he may not realize until it's gone. Amputation must always be a last resort.

CurrentlyAnonymous Wed 23-Jan-13 09:24:41

Thanks TLC. I'm presuming from the fact that every single post you have ever made on MN is an anti-circumcision one that you have a fair amount of medical experience in this area. Strangely enough, DH wasn't ecstatic about the idea of chopping lumps off his penis, but given that his foreskin's current contribution to his and my sexual pleasure ranges from significant discomfort to extreme pain, he's willing to take the risk. We have only reached this point after 6 years of exploring other options, and our current consultant believed that in DH's case the bi-lateral slit option would be ineffective, and in any case it routinely fails in 30-40% of patients. However, if you can recommend a consultant with a proven track record in the Devon/Cornwall area, please do let me know and we'll get another opinion.

SantasHairyBollock Wed 23-Jan-13 10:10:37

DH was circumcised when he was about 40. Due to rips and tears every time we were ahem intimate.

He recovered quickly and while he was not at all keen to have it done, things have been great since. No noticeable sensation loss AFAIK and while it's the only circumcised penis I have been up close and personal with grin things seem fine.

I doubt he would need a full 2 weeks off work TBH but a week certainly a good idea. Hope it improves things for him. FWIW he said he would get any boys done as babies as he was mortified and generally urgh about it but when DS was born he never suggested it again! I am not in favour of it unless for medical reasons, if it matters.

SantasHairyBollock Wed 23-Jan-13 10:12:36

Oh and we are up north so I can't recommend anyone sorry.

Sparkleandshine Wed 23-Jan-13 10:19:24

DH has just had this done. Frankly it is absolutely fine... it is different after but not in a bad way. He is please he did it.

2 bad bits - it is painful and definitely 2 weeks recovery is needed. You need loose or no trousers for at least a week. Also would say i takes 3-6 months for it to be fully healed and s ex to be not tentative IYSWIM. Also the general anesthetic did knock my DH for six and he got a bit depressed, I have since heard of it happening to a lot of people.

I would ignore TLC, as can imagine you have not got to this stage as it is minor issue hmm

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