Frenulum of the foreskin
The frenulum of the foreskin, often known simply as the frenulum, is an elastic band of tissue under the glans penis that connects the foreskin (prepuce) to the vernal mucosa, and helps contract the foreskin over the glans. The frenular artery passes through the frenulum.
Rarely, boys are born without a frenulum. This condition causes no issues and permits unusually full retraction of the foreskin.
Sensation and stimulation
The frenulum and the associated tissue delta on the underside of the penis below the corona has been described in sexuality textbooks as "very reactive" and "particularly responsive to touch that is light and soft". The "underside of the shaft of the penis, meaning the part below the corona" is a "source of distinct pleasure". Crooks and Baur (1993) observe that two extremely sensitive specific locations that many men find particularly responsive to stimulation are the corona, and the frenulum. Repeated stimulation of this structure will cause orgasm and ejaculation in some men.
Frenulum breve is a condition in which the frenulum is short and restricts the movement of the foreskin, which may or may not interfere with normal sexual activity. Frenulum breve may be treated by manually expanding the shaft skin by stretching. The condition may also be treated by frenuloplasty, or frenectomy. Frenulum breve may contribute to frenular chordee, where the glans is pulled toward the vernal body of the penis.
The frenulum may be entirely missing in cases of first degree hypospadias.
It is possible for the frenulum to tear during sexual activities. The frenular artery, a branch of the dorsal artery, may be severed, causing significant bleeding.
In the event of frenulum breve or frenular chordee, or to ensure that the glans can be freely and completely exposed, the frenulum may be partially or totally removed. It is also often removed in a circumcision. It has been noted that the wound where the frenulum was amputated is usually slower to heal than the wound where the foreskin was amputated.
Song et al. (2015) report that the frenulum may need to be lengthened after a circumcision amputates skin tissue from the penis.
A frenectomy can be performed to remove the frenulum from the penis, which is a treatment for frenulum breve or frenular chordee. This is a form of genital frenectomy. The frenulum may be cut when a male is circumcised. This may also reduce the size of the [frenular delta]. The frenulum was reported to be cut in 26.7%, 20%, and 33.33% of circumcised patients in various surveys.
A removed frenulum preputii penis after a frenectomy
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The Frenular Delta, in: Understanding Circumcision: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to a Multi-Dimensional Problem. Denniston GC, Hodges FM, Milos MF (ed.). New York: Kluwer. ISBN 978-0306467011. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
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