Rupture of the frenulum: Cause, Risk Factor

Rupture of the frenulum is the unfortunate injury that involves tearing the frenulum of the penis .
In most cases, it is too vigorous sexual intercourse that causes the frenulum to break; more rarely, a too vigorous act of masturbation , an unsuccessful penile surgery or a damaging trauma to the penis are responsible for the injury.
Breakage of the frenulum does not require any particular therapy; in fact, the lacerations of the penile frenulum heal spontaneously.
The prognosis in the event of a broken frenulum is generally excellent.

Brief review of what the penile frenulum is

Also known as the foreskin frenulum or penile frenulum, the penile frenulum is the thin band of stretchy tissue that connects the underside of the glans penis to the foreskin in the male reproductive organ.
Visible only when the penis goes into erection , the frenulum plays a role in the sliding mechanics of the foreskin with respect to the glans and a role in sexual dynamics:

  • As regards the first role, it limits the distension of the foreskin, when the penis goes into erection, and allows the correct sliding of the foreskin over the glans, when the penis becomes flaccid again;
  • As far as the second role is concerned, it is an area rich in nerve endings, which allow the man to feel pleasure during sexual intercourse or to feel pain if the penis is subjected to violent maneuvers.

Figure (of the penis): Anatomy of the penis ; glans and foreskin are, respectively, the head of the penis and the sliding fold of skin, which covers part or all of the glans when the penis is flaccid.

What Is A Frenulum Tear?

Frenulum rupture is tearing of the frenulum of the penis.
The laceration of the penile frenulum is an unfortunate injury, which affects a not negligible number of men.
From the breaking of the frenulum derives the condition which, in slang language, takes the name of broken frenulum .

Brief Clarification

In anatomy, the term ” frenulum ” without any specification indicates a thin flap of tissue that fixes or limits the movement of some mobile organs or some of their parts. The human body includes several examples of the frenulum; in addition to the frenulum of the penis, in fact, it includes the lingual frenulum , the upper labial frenulum, the lower labial frenulum, the clitoral frenulum , the labia minora frenulum , the upper medullary veil frenulum and the ileocecal valve frenulum .
In the light of this brief anatomical elucidation on the concept of frenulum, the wording “rupture of the frenulum” with reference to the laceration of the penile frenulum could be improper and above all imprecise. However, it is still well accepted and widely used, even among members of the medical community, as the type of frenulum most prone to tearing and the one that arouses the greatest interest – especially from the male population – is the penile frenulum.


A broken frenulum is the result of medical activities or procedures involving the penis.
In most cases, too vigorous sexual intercourse is at the origin of the frenulum breaking episodes ; more rarely, there are excessively vigorous acts of masturbation, medical-surgical procedures (in which the penis was the object of the intervention) or completely accidental harmful traumas.

Risk factors

The main risk factors for breaking the frenulum include:

  • The practice of too vigorous sexual activity;
  • The presence of the so-called short frenulum . With short frenulum doctors mean the anatomical anomaly for which the penile frenulum is shorter than normal;
  • The presence of a particularly thin frenulum;
  • Accidental injuries to the penis;
  • Penile surgery.

Symptoms And Complications

Symptoms and signs resulting from a broken frenulum are:

  • Pain in the penis ;
  • Bleeding where the penile frenulum resides.

Why Is A Broken Frenulum Painful?

The rupture of the frenulum produces considerable pain, since – as stated at the beginning of the article – the penile frenulum is an anatomical area rich in sensitive nerve endings.

Why Does A Broken Frenulum Cause Blood Loss?

The rupture of the frenulum is responsible for blood loss that is by no means negligible, as the frenulum of the penis is a flap of highly vascularized tissue , i.e. it has a vast network of blood vessels .


The diagnosis of broken frenulum is based on a simple and quick visual examination of the penis , particularly the area where the penile frenulum takes place.

The rupture of the frenulum is an event that lends itself very well to the so-called self-diagnosis .


The breaking of the frenulum does not require any specific therapy , as the laceration of the penile frenulum is the subject of the same spontaneous healing process, which most normal skin wounds undergo .
The only precaution that the patient must have, during the period of healing of the wound on the penile frenulum, is to abstain from sexual activity and masturbation , to avoid relapses or a slowing down of the healing process.

The healing of a broken frenulum occurs spontaneously, i.e. without the practice of any specific therapy.

Healing times

Healing times from a broken frenulum depend on the severity of the laceration: minor lacerations heal within 1-2 weeks, while more serious lacerations take at least a month.

Does Failure To Abstain From Sexual Activity Have Serious Consequences?

Failure to observe abstinence from sexual activity does not have serious consequences; therefore, as stated earlier, it only leads to relapses or a slowing down of the healing process.
Clearly, any relapses or slower-than-normal healings coincide with a persistence of painful and haemorrhagic symptoms.

What If The Healing Process Is Abnormal? The Frenuloplasty

In some very unfortunate cases, the healing process from a broken frenulum takes place incorrectly and the laceration heals “badly”, to the point of altering the normal anatomy and normal functionality of the penile frenulum (the sliding mechanism of the foreskin does not occur more adequately).
The incorrect healing of a laceration of the penile frenulum, followed by a profound alteration of the anatomy and functionality of the latter, requires the use of frenuloplasty , i.e. a surgical intervention for the remodeling of the penile frenulum (when it is clearly not functional to its purposes).

During sexual activity, a penile frenulum whose anatomy is altered, due to an anomalous healing process, can be a source of pain, sometimes even very intense.


Frenuloplasty is a safe and effective intervention; it is, in fact, at a low risk of complications and ensures, in most cases, the desired results.
Performed under local anesthesia, frenuloplasty essentially involves the transversal incision of the penile frenulum, followed by its longitudinal suture.
The duration of a frenuloplasty can vary from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of the remodeling.

In the period following the execution of the frenuloplasty (post-operative phase), the patient must apply some specific ointments on the surgical wound , prescribed by the attending physician and essential for correct healing; moreover, he must strictly abstain from sexual activity for at least 6 weeks.


The prognosis in the event of a broken frenulum is generally excellent, provided that the patient takes care to abstain from sexual activity or other similar practices.
Fortunately, improper healing of a penile frenulum tear is a very rare occurrence.


Without a doubt, the most important rule of prevention against breakage of the frenulum is to avoid sexual intercourse that is too energetic and masturbation that is too vigorous.

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