Paraphimosis or paraphimosis is a condition when the foreskin of the penis that is pulled back cannot return to its original position. As a result, the head of the penis becomes pinched and causes pain. Paraphimosis is an emergency condition that can cause damage to the penis.

Paraphimosis occurs on an uncircumcised penis. This condition is often experienced by children aged 4–12 years and adults aged 16 years and over. Symptoms that arise due to paraphimosis can include pain and swelling in the penis .

Paraphimosis is different from phimosis. In phimosis, the foreskin cannot be pulled back from the head of the penis. Phimosis is a normal condition in babies when the foreskin of the penis has not completely separated from the head of the penis. However, phimosis can become paraphimosis if the foreskin is pulled back.

Causes of Paraphimosis

Paraphimosis occurs when the foreskin of the penis cannot be returned to its original position. Generally, men will pull back the foreskin when doing the following:

  • Have sex
  • Cleaning the penis
  • Urination
  • Undergo a penile exam
  • Undergo urinary catheter insertion

There are several conditions that can increase a man's risk of developing paraphimosis, namely:

  • Age 4–12 years or 16 years and over
  • Has a habit of pulling the foreskin of the penis
  • Experiencing injuries around the genitals
  • Suffering from an infection in the penis
  • Penis piercing

Symptoms of Paraphimosis

The main symptom of paraphimosis is that the foreskin does not return to its original position after being pulled back. In addition, sufferers can experience complaints of pain and swelling at the tip of the penis.

Obstructed blood flow to the tip of the penis can cause discoloration at the tip of the penis to dark red or blue. People with paraphimosis can also have difficulty urinating .

If not treated immediately, paraphimosis has the risk of causing tissue death (gangrene) in the penis. Gangrene is a serious condition and requires emergency treatment.

When to go to the doctor

Immediately consult a doctor if the foreskin that is pulled back cannot return to its original position. Examination and treatment need to be done immediately to relieve pain and overcome blood flow disorders so that damage to the penis can be prevented.

Diagnosis of Paraphimosis

To diagnose paraphimosis, the doctor will simply examine the penis. The doctor will look at the condition of the patient's head of the penis, foreskin, and scrotum, to assess how severe the paraphimosis is.

In addition, the doctor will ask about the symptoms you are experiencing and a history of diseases that can cause paraphimosis. The doctor will also ask about the history of circumcision .

Paraphimosis Treatment

Age and severity of paraphimosis will determine the treatment steps taken by the doctor. The main treatment that can be done is generally to relieve inflammation that occurs, including the following efforts:

  • Cold compresses on the swollen parts
  • Removing a collection of blood
  • Inject hyaluronidase medication

With these methods, it is hoped that the position of the foreskin of the penis can return to normal. As long as penile swelling is treated, the doctor can prescribe pain relievers in the form of ointments or tablets.

If the patient has severe paraphimosis, the doctor will treat it with the following procedures:

Penis injection

Penile injections aim to remove fluid trapped in the head of the penis. This method can reduce the size of the head of the penis, making it easier for the foreskin to return to its original position.

Incision of the foreskin

An incision will be made on the stuck foreskin to relieve pressure and relieve swelling. This method involves making a small incision in the foreskin and returning it to its normal position. The foreskin resection procedure can be combined with penile injections.


Circumcision is performed by cutting and removing the entire foreskin from the penis. Circumcision is done to treat paraphimosis which is very severe. Aside from being a treatment, circumcision is also performed as a prevention of paraphimosis in the future.

Patients may still be given pain relievers after undergoing treatment for paraphimosis. In addition, the doctor will also teach you how to clean the tip of the penis to keep it clean and avoid infection.

Paraphimosis complications

Paraphimosis that is not treated immediately can cause serious complications. This occurs due to impaired blood flow and oxygen to the head of the penis. These complications include:

  • Gangrene at the head of the penis
  • Infection on the head of the penis
  • Disruption of the head of the penis

Prevention of Paraphimosis

Circumcision is the main way to prevent paraphimosis. In men who have not or are not circumcised, there are several efforts that can be made to prevent paraphimosis, namely:

  • Do not pull on or open the foreskin of an infant or toddler 's penis
  • Wash the penis area regularly with warm water and soap that does not contain fragrance
  • Returning the foreskin to its original position after urinating, cleaning it, or having sex
  • Ensure that the foreskin has been returned to its original position after undergoing a medical examination or insertion of a catheter
  • Do not open or pull back the foreskin for a long time
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