Q. I cannot retract my foreskin, and it hurts when I have sex. Is it phimosis?

Answered by
Dr. Shahil Khant
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 28, 2017 and last reviewed on: Sep 29, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am having an issue with my foreskin, it does not retract and it hurts whenever I have sex. I do not have pleasure during sex, and it is also difficult to keep personal hygiene in those areas. I am a bit afraid that it can be phimosis. It is not from when I was born but happened suddenly and unexpectedly just a few months ago. What should I do in this situation? Where shall I go? Do you think I will need to have a surgery? Please help.



Welcome to

Relax and do not worry. Please send me images if it is possible.

Yes, it is phimosis. And from what you are describing, it sounds like severe phimosis.

You will have to get a circumcision done. So, please consult a nearby urologist.

Revert with more information to a urologist online -->

Hello doctor,

Thank you for replying. I have attached a photo of my problem. This is the maximum that I can retract my foreskin, after this, it hurts a lot and small cuts appears. Hopefully, that will help you more to diagnose my problem. Thank you.



Welcome back to

I have seen the picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity) sent by you.

  • You definitely have tight phimosis. This will not go with conservative treatment. You require circumcision by a urologist.
  • It is a minor surgery to remove the penile foreskin and there are no side effects. If you keep it untreated, then you will have pain while intercourse, recurrent infections. etc.


For more information consult a urologist online -->

Hello doctor,

Thank you for all these information. Although, I have a few questions about it. As you said, it is a minor surgery, does it mean, that I would go home at the same day or I would have to stay at the hospital or clinic for some time? Would I have to go under anesthesia? If so, does it change anything, that I had an operation a month and a half ago for a hernia? Shall I wait a bit longer? How long would it take to recover? When can I go back to the gym and have sex again? How much does the surgery cost roughly? Before this surgery, will I need to provide something to the urologist? Would you be able to do this kind of surgery and if so, when would you be available? Hopefully, you do not mind those questions. I just would like to know.



Welcome back to

Yes, you can go home on the same day of the surgery.

You will be given a short general anesthesia so that you sleep completely during the surgery. You will not be given a spinal anesthesia as in the case of a hernia surgery. So with general anesthesia, you will recover within two hours, after which you can go home.

Inguinal hernia surgery does not have any problem. You need not wait for circumcision, in fact, your doctor should have identified this problem at the time of hernia repair. Circumcision should have been done at the same time.

Recovery usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. You can walk around and resume your work in 3 to 4 days. Gym and sexual activity will be permitted after 4 to 5 weeks.

I am not sure about the cost of the surgery in your country. But where I am from, circumcisiom is done as a minor surgery and any urologist will do it. You do not require any more investigations before consulting a urologist.

Hope I cleared all your doubts. Thanks.

For further queries consult a urologist online -->

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