Phimotic ring : Everything you need to know- Phimostretch
In order to fully understand foreskin stretching and phimosis treatment, it is helpful to learn some basics about your phimotic ring first! If you have a tight foreskin, that means your foreskin has what is commonly known as a “phimotic ring” or a “phimotic band”, which prevents your foreskin from retracting back and forth freely over the glans and corona. The phimotic ring essentially acts as a bottleneck and is constricting your foreskin from opening further beyond its surface area.
What exactly is a Phimotic Ring?
Phimotic ring is a thin but tight non-elastic stenotic ring in your foreskin that prevents its full retraction in individuals who have phimosis. It is essentially what is resulting in your phimosis and is the root cause of your tight foreskin.
You can only retract your foreskin to the extent of the surface area covered by the phimotic band. Anything beyond that, and you will feel pain and discomfort. If you try to forcibly retract your foreskin beyond your phimotic ring surface area, it may result in what is commonly called paraphimosis (which you should avoid at all costs) or at the very least, cause small tears on your phimotic ring (If you try to retract forcibly) which when healed will contract further, and hence prove to be counter-productive to your goals.
Another way to look at your phimotic ring is that it is the meeting point between your inner foreskin tissue and your outer foreskin tissue. In a normal foreskin, that meeting point is called ridged band or preputial band which has a lot of sensitive nerve endings (which makes the gliding action of the foreskin over the glans pleasurable). But unlike your tight phimotic ring, this ridged band is fully retractable over the glans in a normal foreskin (when phimosis is absent).
How can you locate your Phimotic Ring?
If you have mild to medium severity phimosis, you can find your phimotic ring by inserting two fingers or even one finger inside your foreskin. As you insert your fingers, try to look for a tight inelastic ring. If you try to stretch it, it would feel as if you are trying to stretch an inelastic thread in opposite directions.
If you have pinhole phimosis or severe phimosis, it is pretty easy to figure out where your phimotic ring is. In this case, as you try to retract your foreskin over the glans, the edge of your foreskin opening itself is your phimotic ring which you are trying to stretch and expand.
What does phimotic ring feel like upon touch?
It can be initially tricky to visually figure out your phimotic ring if you haven’t felt it or seen it before. It basically looks like a small circle or a tight rubber band (except that it is inelastic and doesn’t stretch).
If you tie a thread in a knot in a circle and try to stretch it, the phimotic ring pretty much feels like that. The good news is that this tight phimotic ring is quite thin and hence it is easy to increase its surface area over time. (Using Phimostretch rings accompanied by stretching techniques).
Is Phimotic Ring present in normal foreskin?
Phimotic ring is not present in normal foreskin. A normal foreskin can retract freely over the glans because of the absence of an inelastic phimotic ring. In a normal foreskin, in place of a tight stenotic phimotic ring, we have something called a ridged band, which basically consists of a few nerve endings (They actually help with sensitivity and make the sexual intercourse pleasurable through its gliding action over the glans).
This ridged band is the meeting point of your inner foreskin tissues and outer foreskin tissues. If you try to retract your foreskin, this ridged band rolls freely back and forth over the glans, head and shaft of your penis even on an erect penis.
It is important to note that this ridged band is unique and can not be restored as a skin tissue if you decide to undergo circumcision.
For folks with phimosis, if you manage to successfully increase your phimotic ring size enough, to fully cure your phimosis, your phimotic ring in essence, behaves similar to a ridged band as it would in a normal healthy foreskin. Thus, your goal with stretching your phimotic ring is basically to increase it to a size that is greater than your erect penis max circumference (which is at the corona).
Why do you have a phimotic ring?
A small but substantial percentage of men have a tight stenotic phimotic ring while most males have a normal ridged band. There is not a lot of scientific consensus on the reasons why some male adults still have a phimotic ring.
Almost all babies are born with tight foreskin and in most cases where foreskin is adhered to the glans. By the age of 1, 70% of babies still have tight foreskin. Generally, by the age of 10, 50% of children can retract their foreskin. By the age of 17, 99% of men can retract their foreskin. If you have a phimotic ring after the age of 18, that means you are in the minority 1 percent of men who have phimosis.
There can be multiple factors that could contribute to phimosis but here are some reasons to consider-
- Forcible retraction during childhood
- Hygiene/cleanliness- Fungal Infection
- Outside infection caused by soap, cream etc.
- Prone masturbation
- BXO/Lichen Sclerosus
- Didn’t get used to retracting foreskin during teenage years
Classification of phimotic ring sizes
Your phimotic ring size determines the severity of your phimosis. If your phimotic ring is small, that means you have severe phimosis and you have some work ahead of you in your phimosis stretching journey. If your phimotic ring is pinhole size, that means you have pinhole phimosis. If the phimotic ring size is large, that indicates you only have mild phimosis.
Phimosis severity can be classified into these 5 categories based on the diameter of the phimotic ring :
- Level 1- Phimotic ring upto 3 or 4 mm in diameter. At this stage, you only have your meatus partly visible and your glans is not exposed yet since your phimotic ring size is too small to allow any further retraction. This stage is also known as pinhole phimosis as your phimotic ring size resembles the size of pinhole. If this is you then you have some good amount of stretching journey ahead of you. But the good news is that you can keep working on increasing your phimotic ring diameter through stretching.
- Level 2- Phimotic ring diameter from 4 mm to 16/18 mm. At this level, your phimotic ring diameter allows you to see and feel the glans if you retract it enough. But, even over a flaccid penis, your phimotic ring may not allow you to pull your foreskin back over the corona.
- Level 3- Phimotic ring diameter from 18 mm to 26 mm. Most people who have phimosis start with a phimotic ring diameter in this range. Chances are that your phimotic ring will allow you to retract your foreskin fully on a flaccid penis over the corona but on an erect penis your corona doesn’t get exposed, and you can only see your glans to a certain extent.
- Level 4- Phimotic ring diameter from 26 mm to 34 mm. This is the stage where you start to see the finish line in terms of how much stretching work is ahead of you as you only have a few Phimostretch rings to get through. On an erect penis, may find that your phimotic ring diameter may allow you to see your corona to an extent but still for most people, it will be a struggle to expose the corona at this stage until you are close to transitioning to level 5..
- Level 5- Phimotic ring diameter from 34 mm onwards. This is mild phimosis and is the easiest form of phimosis to resolve, with just a few larger Phimostretch rings to go through in your stretching journey. You may find that your phimotic ring allows you to retract your foreskin till your corona, or behind it (on an erect penis) but it is still tight and doesn’t retract back and forth freely as a normal foreskin should. Just going up a few rings will help you get through that final hurdle of retracting over foreskin back and forth freely over the corona and glans.
Why do you need to fix it?
Phimotic ring can be frustrating since it is hindering free movement of your foreskin. You will find that in some cases this is a minor to a non-existent inconvenience while in some cases, it is clearly affecting your sexual health and happiness. There are some people who clearly don’t mind a tight foreskin and are not hampered by it.
For most people however it presents discomfort during sexual intercourse. It can be painful since you have an oversensitive glans. There is also risk of cuts on on foreskin or even paraphimosis during sexual intercourse. If your foreskin completely covers the glans, climaxing can be tough. It can also cause added anxiety during sex which presents its own problems. Even with condom, things can be tough. Having a foreskin that fully retracts eliminates these issues.
How do you cure it?
The simple answer is by applying gentle consistent stretching to your phimotic ring to increase its surface area over time. Technically, there are only 2 ways you can solve your phimosis.
First is surgery, or more specifically- Circumcision. However, this is a sledgehammer approach to your problem and circumcision is unnecessary for 99% of men who have phimosis. Cutting off your foreskin is too drastic of a solution for a problem as simple to solve as phimosis.
A much more reasonable cure is through stretching. It doesn’t matter how big your phimotic ring size is. It may be small if you have severe phimosis. It may be big if you have mild phimosis. However, if you apply gentle consistent stretching to your phimotic band, it is bound to increase in surface area.
Phimostretch rings need to be the backbone of your stretching routine and you won’t get anywhere close to solving your phimosis without using the rings that help with passively stretching your foreskin. All you will need to do is figure out which stage of your phimosis you have currently, then use the right sized ring for your condition. Each ring comes labelled with size. Your goal should be to move up ring sizes over time until you reach the largest phimostetch ring. Once you have gone through the largest ring that is applicable to you, you would reach a stage where you can now retract your foreskin fully. At this stage, you would have solved your phimosis!