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Synechia is the medical name for an adhesion between body parts in any area of the body that are not normally adherent . The plural is synechiae. The word comes to us from Greek (συνέχεια).[1]

There are some synechiae that are natural. Baby boys are born with the inner foreskin fused with the glans penis by a synechial membrane that is common to both parts,[2] which is called the balanopreputial lamina.

Penile synechia in childhood

Øster (1968) was a school physician in Denmark where boys are not usually circumcised. Øster conducted regular examinations of school boys from age 6 through age 17 and recorded his results. Øster reported that 63% of 6-7 year old boys; 48% of 10-11 year old boys; and 3% of 16-17 year old boys had a prepuce that was not fully separated.[3] The separation and breakdown and the synechia is natural, normal, spontaneous, and requires no special care. Thorvaldsen & Meyhoff (2005) report about 50 percent of boys can retract their foreskin by age 10.4, thus confirming Øster's report.[4]

Synechia destruction prior to infant circumcision

When an infant boy is to be circumcised, as remains a practice in the United States, in preparation for the circumcision, the preputial synechia must first be forcibly separated by passing a blunt probe under the foreskin in an intensely painful procedure.

Premature forcible foreskin retraction

Premature forcible foreskin retraction (PFFR) of a boy's foreskin will rip the boy's synechia apart and cause severe pain and injury to the boys.[5] [6] Unfortunately, many American physicians are ignorant of normal penile anatomy and cause severe pain and grave injury to boys whom they examine in their practice. The first person to retract a boy's foreskin should be the boy himself.[7]

Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.) offers information and aid to parents of boys who have been injured and/or traumatized by PFFR.[8]

Spontaneous disintegration of the synechia

The synechia spontaneously disintegrates to release the foreskin.[2] The disintegration usually occurs in childhood but will persist into adolescence in a few cases.

Some intact boys will report pain when they urinate during the period in which separation is occurring. The condition is temporary and will end when separation is complete.

See also

External links


  1. REFweb Synechia, The Free Dictionary, The Free Medical Dictionary. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  2. a b REFjournal Deibart GA. The separation of the prepuce in the human penis. Anat Rec. November 1933; 57: 387-99. DOI. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  3. REFjournal Øster J. Further fate of the foreskin: incidence of preputial adhesions, phimosis, and smegma among Danish schoolboys. Arch Dis Child. 1 April 1968; 43: 200-3. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  4. REFjournal Thorvaldsen MA, Meyhoff HH. Phimosis: pathological or physiological?. Ugeskr Læge. 2005; 167(17): 1858-62. PMID. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  5. REFjournal Narvaez DF, Geisheker J. What Is the Greatest Danger for an Uncircumcised Boy?. Psychology Today. 23 October 2011; Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  6. REFjournal Narvaez DF, Geisheker J. Doctor Ignorance of Male Anatomy Harms Boys. Psychology Today. 30 October 2011; Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  7. REFjournal Wright JE. Further to the "Further Fate of the Foreskin.". Med J Aust. 1994; 160: 134-5. PMID. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  8. REFweb (1 April 2016). Wrongful Foreskin Retraction, Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.). Retrieved 9 October 2019.