Phimosis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 3/24/2020

Phimosis is a condition of the penis in which the foreskin is too tight to be retracted and reveal the glans, or head, of the penis.

Phimosis may not cause any symptoms or signs. In other cases, associated symptoms and signs can include

Other symptoms can include pain with erection and soreness. In contrast to phimosis, paraphimosis is a condition in which the foreskin is retracted and cannot be returned to its position. In this case, the foreskin is stuck behind the head of the penis and may interrupt circulation, requiring urgent treatment.

Causes of phimosis

Phimosis can occur as an inborn condition in young males, or it may develop as a result of inflammation (balanitis), infection, or scarring in older, uncircumcised men.

Other phimosis symptoms and signs

  • Difficulty or Pain With Urinating
  • Obstruction of Urine Flow Causing a Weak Urinary Stream
  • Pain With Erection
  • Sore Penis


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.