Understanding Your Penis Foreskin
The foreskin, also known as the prepuce, is the fold of skin that normally covers and protects the glans of the penis. The foreskin’s inside fold is mucous membrane, like the inside of the mouth, and keeps the surface of the glans soft, moist, and sensitive. The foreskin contains a rich supply of blood vessels and a dense concentration of specialized sensory nerve endings. Specialized erogenous tissue, the ridged band, encircles the foreskin at the mucocutaneous junction (where the inside and outside of the foreskin meet). The frenulum, the fold of tissue on the underside of the penis, secures the foreskin in its forward position.
Remember the following about your foreskin
The foreskin is not a “flap” of skin, but a double-layered fold of skin.
It is an integral part of the penile skin system.
It is a continuation of the shaft skin which extends forward over the head (glans) of the penis, and then folds back under itself to attach to the shaft in the groove (sulcus) behind the glans.
Functions of penis foreskin
On the basis of its importance and the function it performs, the functions of foreskin can be divided into the following main categories:
Serves as erogenous tissue, especially via the ridged band and Meissner's corpuscles
Acts as a rolling bearing in intercourse and masturbation, decreasing comfort for both partners
Facilitates intromission (insertion of the penis)
Stimulates partner's genitalia, giving erotic pleasure
Allows for motions of intercourse to be shorter and gentler, and pro partner’s pubic mound
Supplies sufficient skin to comfortably cover the shaft during erection
Stores and releases natural lubricants
Helps retains natural lubricants within vagina on the outstroke
Makes the glans a visual signal of sexual arousal
Provides a seal against the vaginal wall to contain semen
Protective functions of foreskin
Prevents the glans becoming keratinized, keeps glans soft and moist
Protects the glans against injury
Protects the nerves of the glans, maintaining their erotic function
In infancy, protects the glans and urinal opening from contamination
Protects the glans against sunburn
The foreskin is highly vascular (rich in blood vessels that bring warmth to the tissues), and protects vascular glans against cold and frostbite
What is phimosis?
Phimosis is a term, from the Greek expression for “muzzling,” used to describe difficulty or inability to retract the foreskin, which can be observed because of the following reasons: too small of a foreskin opening restricting retraction or persistent adhesion between the foreskin and penis.
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