Prashanth Fertility Research Centre

Does Phimosis affect fertility

Does Phimosis Affect Fertility

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Does phimosis affect fertility? This is one of the major questions men ask when they are diagnosed with this condition. Before learning whether this condition causes infertility, we’ll first understand what a phimosis is.

A phimosis is a medical condition where the foreskin surrounding the penis doesn’t pull back from the head of the penis. Normally, the foreskin can be pulled back during urination or erection. But for men with this condition, their foreskin becomes too tight and doesn’t pull back.

This condition might seem serious, but does it affect a man’s fertility? Continue reading this article to know more about phimosis and if it affects a man’s ability to achieve pregnancy.

Does Phimosis Cause Infertility?

No, phimosis does not cause infertility. As discussed above, phimosis is a condition that affects the foreskin of the penis. It does not have any effect on the quality of the sperm.

However, it might have other effects on the man’s sexual life. Here are some ways in which phimosis can directly and indirectly affect a man’s fertility.

Direct Impact

Difficulties with ejaculating

A man’s foreskin usually pulls back from the head during erection and ejaculation. It might be painful to maintain an erection if the skin doesn’t pull back from the head. The foreskin might also obstruct the flow of semen into the vagina if it remains covering the head.

Might cause infections

Phimosis, if left untreated for longer periods, can lead to conditions like orchitis and epididymis, affecting the quality of the sperm.

Affect sexual activity

Phimosis can cause pain and discomfort during erection. This can decrease sex drive in men and affect ejaculation.

Indirect Impact

Psychological effects

Pain during erection or inability to ejaculate can be embarrassing for most men. This can affect them psychologically and reduce their sex drive.

Affects hygiene

Phimosis increases the risk of smegma accumulation. Smegma is a thick, creamy substance secreted by the genitals when you don’t wash them properly. This increases the risk of bacterial infections that can affect the man’s reproductive health and the quality of the sperm.

Increases risk of injuries

Phimosis can cause some tears in the foreskin during forced erection. This can lead to injuries and infections that can potentially affect the man’s reproductive health.

Increases risk of contracting STIs

The tears in the foreskin also increase the risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) that can affect sperm production and sperm health.

Types of Phimosis

There are two types of phimosis based on how a person gets the condition. They are physiological and pathological phimosis.

Physiological Phimosis

This type of phimosis is more common in children who are born with a tight foreskin. This condition usually resolves on its own as the foreskin loosens and separates from the head as the boy grows older.

This is a natural condition and resolves when the boy reaches 5 or 7 years of age. Some might take longer to cure, but they eventually become normal on their own.

Pathological Phimosis

This condition is somewhat serious and occurs due to some injury or infection in the foreskin. This can happen in men of any age. Forceful retraction or erection can cause tears and bleeding in the foreskin. This can lead to further complications. It is best to visit a doctor to rectify the issue.

Why does Phimosis Occur?

The exact reason why men have phimosis is unknown. It might happen naturally in uncircumcised babies whose foreskin and glans (tip) of the penis get fused together when they develop in the uterus. This is normal in kids and usually resolves itself as the kid grows older.

Phimosis can also occur in grown men due to scarring due to injury, inflammation, or infection. This is a serious issue and can be resolved by medical intervention. Some skin conditions like lichen sclerosis (balanitis xerotica obliterans) can also cause phimosis.

How can I Prevent Phimosis?

Phimosis can be prevented by following some hygienic and preventive measures. Below are some of the measures that doctors recommend their patients to follow. 

  • Keeping the foreskin and the skin beneath it dry and clean can prevent the risk of bacterial infections or smegma. 
  • Using mild soap and lukewarm water instead of harmful and scented products can prevent allergies and irritation. 
  • Reducing forced erection and following safe sex measures can help prevent foreskin tears and injury. 
  • Talcum powder, deodorants, and other cosmetic products can cause irritation in the penis. So, it is best to prevent using them.

Last but not least, men with this condition to consult a doctor and undergo medical treatments to prevent it from causing further complications.

Treatment Options for Phimosis

Below are some treatment options that men can choose from to treat phimosis.

Topical Steroid Creams

This is a steroid cream that can be applied to the phimotic foreskin to make it more elastic and allow some degree of retraction. This is often the first line of treatment for men with phimosis to avoid the need for circumcision.


It is a minor surgical procedure where a small incision is made on the foreskin to widen it. This procedure involves only widening the foreskin and not removing it.


Unlike preputioplasty, this procedure involves removing the foreskin entirely from the pernis. This is usually the last line of treatment for phimosis and is only done when the other treatment options don’t work.


While phimosis might seem like a serious issue, it is usually treatable if men take the necessary preventive measures and consult a doctor on time. It does not directly affect a man’s fertility.

However, the underlying complications that may arise due to the condition can affect fertility and make it difficult to achieve pregnancy. So, it is best to consult a doctor and treat this issue.


Phimosis is usually caused due to natural circumstances and disappears gradually over time. It only becomes an issue when it is caused due to external factors like injury or infection and causes pain and discomfort. This condition is most common in adults and might need medical assistance.

There are some preventive measures you can follow to take care if yourself if you have or are about to have phimosis.

Keep the foreskin and the skin beneath it dry and clean to prevent the risk of infections.
Use mild soap and lukewarm water instead of harmful and scented products.
Reduce forced erection and follow safe sex measures to prevent foreskin tears and injury.
Avoid using talcum powder, deodorants, and other cosmetic products.

Phimosis is mostly common in newborn babies, and the condition resolves as they grow older. However, it is not common in adults and is often caused due to injury or infections.

Phimosis is mostly common in newborn babies, and the condition resolves as they grow older. However, it is not common in adults and is often caused due to injury or infections.

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