The Intact Penis


Review of Foreskin Anatomy, Function, Development, and Care



  • Circumcision Information and Resource Pages literature reviews:

  • Cold CJ, Taylor JR. The prepuce. BJU Int 1999;83 Suppl. 1:34-44.

  • Taylor JR, Lockwood AP, Taylor AJ. The prepuce: specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision. BJU Int 1996;77:291-295

  • Scott S. “The Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Prepuce.” In: Male and Female Circumcision. Edited by. Denniston et al. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York , 1999, pp.9-18.

  • Sorrells ML et al. Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis. BJU Int 2007;99:864-869.

CONCLUSION: The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis.

  • Northrup C. How circumcision may be affecting your love life. Mensight Magazine, 2004.

  • Frisch M, Lindholm M, Grønbæk M. Male circumcision and sexual function in men and women: A survey-based, cross-sectional study in Denmark. Int J Epidemiol 2011;40(5);1367-81.

From the Abstract: Circumcised men were more likely to report frequent orgasm difficulties, and women with circumcised spouses more often reported incomplete sexual needs fulfillment and frequent sexual function difficulties overall, notably orgasm difficulties, and painful sexual intercourse.

  • Fleiss P, Hodges F, Van Howe RS. Immunological functions of the human prepuce. Sex Trans Inf 1998;74(5):364-7.



  • Circumcision Information and Resource Pages literature reviews: (Care of the intact penis) (Development) (Conservative treatment of foreskin problems)

  • NOCIRC Pamphlet #4 “Answers to your questions about your young son’s intact penis” (English) (Spanish)

  • NOCIRC Pamphlet #6 “Answers to your questions about premature (forcible) retraction of your young son’s foreskin”

  • NOCIRC Pamphlet #8 “Answers to your questions about care of the intact penis is the geriatric/disabled population”

  • “Protect your uncircumcised son” by Paul Fleiss MD.

Lists many of the reasons why a doctor might sometimes say an intact boy “needs to be circumcised” and why it’s almost never so. Common sense understanding of normal variations in development of the intact penis, and how to handle minor problems of the foreskin. A must-read for parents of intact boys, and a great resource for informed health professionals.

  • “Only clean what is seen – reversing the epidemic of forcible foreskin retractions” by John W. Travis MD and John Geisheker JD (of Doctors Opposing Circumcision).

Many health professionals have not been well trained in the development and care of the intact penis, and may cause harm to intact boys through forcible foreskin retraction. This article covers the scope of this problem in depth.

  • Camille CJ, Kuo RL, Wiener JS. Caring for the uncircumcised penis: What parents (and you) need to know. Contemp Pediatr 2002;11:61.

  • McGregor TB, Pike JG, Leonard MP. Pathologic and physiologic phimosis. Can Fam Physician 2007;53:445-448.

  • Simpson ET, Barraclough P. The management of the paediatric foreskin. Aust Fam Physician 1998;27(5):381-3.

“There are many conflicting opinions among health professionals and parents regarding care of the normal foreskin in young boys as well as the highly controversial subject of circumcision. Minor foreskin related complaints are very common in the first few years of life. Most of these can be managed conservatively with advice and reassurance, or with medical treatment alone. Circumcision is very rarely indicated in young boys, particularly under the age of 5 years.”



Pre-recorded Webinar: “The Foreskin: Anatomy, Function, Development, and Care” by Gillian Longley RN, BSN, MSS – 90 min. web seminar – nominal fee.


“Sex Education 101”, Marilyn Milos RN talks about how circumcision affects sexuality


“Anatomy of the Penis: Penile and Foreskin Neurology” by New Zealand anatomist Ken McGrath.