anonymous on September 1, 2011

Could my recent circumcision decrease feeling in my penis?

I am an 18-year-old male and I was recently circumcised to fix a deformed foreskin. About a month ago, I had sex for the very first time and I couldn’t feel a thing – no pleasure, no pain – even though my partner was into it. I wasn’t able to ejaculate and haven’t had sex since, although I’m able to masturbate. Is it related to my circumcision?

answered by David Sobel, MD, JD on September 1, 2011

You asked a great question, and I’ll do my best to help.

First, it’s rare for a circumcision to cause any nerve damage, or problems with sensation or numbness in the penis.Sensation may, of course, be different without the foreskin…so it may take some time to adjust.

More commonly, for the first three months after circumcision, the tip of the penis (or glans) can be hypersensitive (or overly sensitive). For some men, it’s even uncomfortable wearing underwear during this time. So, again, you may need to allow a little time for your body to heal and adjust.

You said you’re able to masturbate…that’s a good sign. That tells me that you have enough sensation in your penis to orgasm, so there’s a good chance that your numbness isn’t a physical problem.

But if you’re still concerned after a few months, I would encourage you to see a doctor who specializes in sexual medicine and who can test the sensation of your penis throughbiothesiometry.

Finally, keep in mind that – for men and women alike – the first time you have sex usually generates a lot of excitement, as well as anxiety. Not to mention, most people’s first experience with sexual intercourse is different than expected. So your first time isn’t necessarily the best way to predict what your future experiences may be like.

That said, your doctor or a sexual medicine specialist will be able to help you identify exactly what’s going on, and what your next move should be.

Thanks again for coming to us, and I wish you good health.

Related Info:

David Sobel, MD, JD

Dr. Sobel is a Colorado-based urologist and Director of the Denver Center for Men’s Health. His areas of expertise include men's sexual health and all areas of urology, including urologic oncology, treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy, stone disease and incontinence. Dr. Sobel was educated at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and completed his residency at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

Related Q&A's

How do you give oral sex to a man who’s uncircumcised?