Understanding the anatomy and function of the foreskin makes it possible to assess its importance for the normal functioning of the penis.
The foreskin, or prepuce, is essentially a "flap" of skin, a two-layer fold that covers the head of the penis.
Figure: Development of prepuce in the prenatal period
Before birth, the foreskin is soldered to the glans penis a layer of epithelial cells called synechiae (black lines in the figures). By the twenty-fourth week of intrauterine development, the formation of the foreskin ends. However, the leading edge continues to grow forward and after the baby is born.
Gradually, in the first years of a child's life, the foreskin is separated from the glans penis... The duration of this process is extremely variable and may end before the birth of the child or continue up to adolescence... And if this did not happen naturally, we recommend separating the foreskin from the glans penis no later than 5-6 years of age, in order to avoid infectious complications.
In adulthood for sexual intercourse the penis should become erect. In this case, the penis increases in length by fifty percent. Since the foreskin is a double fold of skin, this allows the penis to lengthen freely during an erection.
Microscopic examination confirms the fact that the foreskin is not only skinparticipating in erection, it is also richly innervated and supplied with blood.
During sexual activity, the tissues of the foreskin respond to stimulation. Sliding the prepuce over the scalp activates the nerve endings, increasing sexual arousal and contributing to an erection. In addition, the mucous membrane of the inner layer of the foreskin has a specific function during masturbation and sexual activity.
The structure of the foreskin
In the structure of the foreskin, there are:
- Outer leaf foreskin;
- Inner leaf foreskin;
- Preputial ring - elastic tissue, the junction of the outer and inner sheets of the foreskin. Outside of an erection, the preputial ring narrows and allows the prepuce to remain over the glans. Many men note that this area of the foreskin is the most erogenous.
- Coronal groove of the penis - located immediately behind the crown of the glans, at the junction of the glans and the shaft of the penis. The inner prepuce sheet is also attached here.
- Preputial space - the space between the foreskin and the head of the penis.
- Penile frenulum - a fold of skin located on the lower surface of the penis under the head and joining the inner foreskin. Penile frenum - highly erogenous zone... When circumcising, the bridle is also resected, in whole or in part. For the best aesthetic effect, we prefer to shape a new bridle when cutting. There are situations when the length of the frenum is not enough for normal exposure of the head, which can lead to its ruptures or regular micro-tears with subsequent scarring of the skin. Such situations require plastic surgery of the frenum of the penis. Frenulum surgery or circumcision in some patients is the only a way to treat premature ejaculation allowing you to achieve good results.
Preputial space normally always a little damp... Scientists have discovered in the composition of the foreskin apocrine glandsthat produce cathepsin B, lysozyme chymotrypsin, elastase, cytokines and pheromones, for example, androsterone, etc.
Sensitivity of the foreskin
We will pay special attention to the sensitivity of the foreskin, since it is a large number of nerve endings located in the prepuce that provide sensations during intercourse.
The most sensitive areas of the penis:
- Comb ring, also called the Taylor ring (named after the scientist who first described it). Taylor's ring is an area of highly wrinkled mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of the prepuce apex.
On the lower surface of the penis, the ring passes into the frenum of the penis. The Taylor ring contains a huge number of receptors that respond to stretching, which are the trigger of the sexual reflex and are responsible for erogenous sensitivity.
When the preputial ring is stretched as it passes through the head of the penis, the receptors are stimulated, resulting in a feeling of satisfaction.
- Penile frenulum provides a man with a sense of pleasure due to her stretching during intercourse. The frenum is also known throughout the world as the "sex nerve".
There are more nerve endings in the frenum than in the head; these nerve endings are called Meissner's little bodies.
- Coronal groove the penis is well innervated, and stimulation of this area can be a trigger for ejaculation.
The glans penis has a more meager innervation, and, therefore, less sensitivity, in contrast to the above structures.
Dimensions of the foreskin
The absolute size of the foreskin in children is small; during adulthood and puberty, the prepuce gradually increases in size. The size of the foreskin is highly variable. In adult men, it is 96.7 square meters. centimeters or more. In Taylor's studies, it was found that the length of the foreskin in an adult male varies from 4.8 to 9.3 cm (average size 6.4 cm). The prepuce may partially cover the glans or, on the contrary, protrude beyond the boundaries of the penis glans.
Protective mechanisms of the foreskin
The foreskin is equipped with a number of defense mechanisms against infection. Firstly, this is achieved due to the sphincter, which provides a snug fit to the glans penis and prevents foreign bodies from entering the preputial space. The secret of the preputial space contains lysozyme and other substances that destroy pathogens. On the other hand, the bridle is a place of accumulation of Langerhans cells, which can serve as a gateway for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, to enter the body.
In fact, in modern worldwhen men practice hygiene on a daily basis, the defense mechanism has lost its acute relevance.
1st picture. The area between the upper and lower lines is the outer foreskin. The outer prepuce is about the same length as the skin covering the shaft of the penis. The internal prepuce is equal in length to the external foreskin and is not visible.
2nd picture. The foreskin is shifted by the hand by about 2 cm. The zone between the upper and lower lines is represented by the outer foreskin. The area under the lower line is the internal prepuce (about 0.5 cm).
3rd picture. As in the previous pictures, the area between the upper and lower lines is the external prepuce. Between the head and the bottom line is the inner foreskin, gathered behind the crown of the head.
4th picture. The foreskin is drawn even more. At the same time, the folds of the inner foreskin were straightened.
5th picture. The foreskin is maximally drawn out. The area between the line and the glans penis is a fully extended internal prepuce. The entire body of the penis is covered with the foreskin, with most of it being an internal prepuce. The picture clearly shows the veins, arteries, capillaries and the smooth head of the penis.
Foreskin movement during erection
During an erection, the penis increases in size by 50%. The movement of the foreskin is similar to that described above.
Functions of the foreskin
1. Functions associated with sexual activity
- The foreskin functions as erogenous tissue, especially through the sensitive Meissner corpuscles and Taylor's ring.
- Due to sliding reciprocating movements during intercourse, the foreskin helps to reduce friction, thereby increasing comfort for both partners.
- The foreskin facilitates penetration (insertion of the penis).
- During intercourse, the foreskin allows for shorter and smoother movements, and contributes to closer contact with the pubic cape of the woman.
- The foreskin is involved in the release of lubricants during intercourse.
2. Protective functions of the foreskin
- Protects the glans penis from injury and damage.
- In early childhood, the foreskin protects the glans penis and the external opening of the urethra from contamination and infection.
- In early childhood, the foreskin prevents inflammation, ulceration, and stenosis of the external urethra.
- By producing lysozymes and other immunoglobulin factors, the foreskin has a bacteriostatic effect on microorganisms that enter the head.