Am I Allergic to My Husband's Foreskin?

Judy Dutton
Photo from Judy Dutton
A CafeMom had a question about sex, pain, and her husband's penis. He's the only guy who's ever caused her pain -- and there's just one thing different about him:

Is it possible that my husband's foreskin irritates me? I've only had sex with two men, and my husband is the uncircumcised one. After about five minutes, it feels like I'm being pulled and pinched inside. We've tried lubrication. Why would his uncircumcised penis cause me so much pain?

Judy Dutton, author of How We Do It: How the Science of Sex Can Make You a Better Lover, had this to say about foreskin friction. 


Judy Dutton says: "Since the foreskin is an extra layer of skin around the head of the penis, it's possible that it could cause friction inside the vagina, resulting in discomfort for you and him. Using lubrication is certainly a step in the right direction, but you could also consider holding off on intercourse for longer and spending more time on foreplay. As a woman becomes aroused, her vaginal walls loosen somewhat and become more flexible. So holding off on intercourse until you’re good and ready can help.

"Another tactic he can try is to vary his thrusting technique. Rather than thrusting deep, he can try shallow thrusts, so that only the top half of his penis enters your vagina. This has the added benefit of focusing stimulation on the most sensitive areas of your anatomy. The head of a man’s penis and the outer one-third of a woman’s vagina contain many more nerve endings than other parts of the genitals."

I'd suggest also trying some different tactics: Try having him wear a condom and see if you have the same issue. If so, it's not his foreskin -- and may be his technique, in which case the above advice still might work.

Maybe you need a better lube, or maybe your estrogen is low? Breastfeeding and post-menopausal women get something called "vaginal atrophy" (isn't that a lovely term?) that can be treated with a prescription estrogen cream.

Have you experienced irritation from a foreskin? Got other thoughts for this mom? Tell us in the comments!

Got a question? Ask me in a comment below or send an email here, choosing Love & Sex as your subject. I'll work on getting an expert answer.

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