Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can my phimosis improve so that I don't need to get surgery?"

ZocdocAnswersCan my phimosis improve so that I don't need to get surgery?


I'm 31 and I think I have phimosis. Will this problem fix itself with time? I am single at the moment, but it will keep me from entering into a relationship unless it goes away. I do not want to get circumcised.


The decision to circumcise or not circumcise newborn males is a personal matter that should be considered carefully. Some degree of phimosis (an inability to fully retract the foreskin) is present in many if not most infants, and this will usually resolve with time (often with complete resolution during the growth and erectile periods common during adolescence). Things that would be concerning would be pain with urination, pain with an erection, bleeding, or an inability to retract the foreskin after a period of time where it was possible to retract the foreskin. As you seem to indicate that this problem is new, seeking professional medical guidance and an examination is warranted. Pathologic phimosis can increase the risk of other medical complications, including urinary tract infections. There are many options to consider prior to circumcision, including stretching and the application of topical steroid creams. Additionally, surgical procedures to release the scarring can be performed, and are not synonymous with circumcision. Finally, circumcision is an option if you are at risk for other medical conditions and your phimosis remains problematic. Please speak to your primary care doctor or seek referral to a urologist for further treatment options.

Need more info?

See an urologist today

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.