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Worried I Have a Case of Phimosis

Published: February 07, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Hello. I am a 14 year old male and I've recently noticed something strange about my genitalia. It seems that the front the gap in my head is connected to my foreskin by a red strand of skin, making it harder to retract the skin to expose the head. So I've never really tried to retract the foreskin, but I'm worried I have a case of phimosis. But my real concern is that recently I've tried to retract the foreskin, and I can almost get it to the bottom of my head; but there I noticed this white substance which at first I thought was sperm, but later discovered was "smegma". I attempted to very slowly clean parts of it every 15 minutes or so with a handkerchief. I managed to get some out, but the rest is all on the head and inside the foreskin, and it really hurts trying to clean it out. I retracted it even a few millimeters further, discovering there were 2 big chunks of "it" on the front, furthering my worries. I am afraid to clean it in the shower because it kinda hurts, and I don't want to stretch the strand of skin connecting my head and foreskin. I'm worried I might have phimosis, and the smegma might give me an infection. And I'm kind of afraid to see a doctor for this, because I'm underaged and a very shy person sexually. What should I do? And is there even anything to worry about? Please let me know!
Signed: Worried I Have a Case of Phimosis

Dear Worried I Have a Case of Phimosis,

TeenHealthFX cannot make any definitive diagnosis over the web, so we cannot know for certain if you do have phimosis or not. However, since you are in pain trying to clean your penis, you are wondering if you have phimosis, and you are worried about possible infection, then it is very important for you to meet with your primary care physician, pediatrician or an adolescent medicine specialist.

FX can appreciate that as a shy person it might feel a bit uncomfortable to talk to a doctor about these kinds of issues. But rest assured that primary care physicians, pediatricians and adolescent medicine specialists deal with these types of problems all the time. They are very comfortable talking about and treating sexual health issues and will do their best to help you feel as comfortable as possible. What you might consider is what would help you to feel most comfortable. Would you prefer a doctor of the same gender if you do not already have one? Would you prefer a new doctor, such as an adolescent medicine specialist, if you feel uncomfortable continuing with the same doctor you have had since you were younger?

While this is not an emergency situation that you need to be overly stressed out, it is still important to schedule an appointment with a doctor. So please speak to your parents about it so they can schedule something for you soon. For more information on visiting the doctor, read the TeensHealth article, Talking to Your Doctor.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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