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Frenulum

From Academic Kids

A frenulum (or frenum) is a small fold of tissue that prevents an organ in the body from moving too far. There are frenula at several points of the body, including several in the mouth (frenulum linguae, f. labii superioris, f. labii inferioris of the tongue, upper and lower lips respectively), some in the digestive tract, and some connected to the external genitalia. In the female these include the frenulum clitoridis of the clitoris and the frenulum labiorum pudendi (aka. fourchette) where the labia minora meet at the back.

The word frenulum on its own is often used for the frenulum preputii penis, which is an elastic band of tissue under the glans penis that connects to the prepuce, or foreskin, and helps contract the prepuce over the glans. It may be partially or totally removed during the style of hospital circumcision practised in the United States.

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Frenulum.jpg
Human frenulum preputii penis and frenular delta location.


Frenulum breve is the condition in which the frenulum of the penis is short and restricts the movement of the prepuce, and may or may not interfere with normal sexual activity. The condition can be treated by frenuloplasty, frenectomy, or circumcision, but recently, frenulum breve has been treated with the use of corticosteroid creams and manual stretching of the frenulum.

It is possible for the frenulum of the penis to tear during sexual activity. This does not necessarily cause a great deal of pain (especially if accompanied by significant sexual pleasure) but can cause an alarming amount of blood loss. Typically, this is not a medical emergency and the frenulum will heal by itself once the initial bleeding has stopped.

The word frenulum also refers to a bristle present at the root of the hindwing of most moths which engages with a small hook on the forewing to join the wings together.

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