Smegma lubricant by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Feb 11 2014

Smegma lubricates the cavity between the foreskin of the penis and the glans, thus allowing smooth movement between them during intercourse. The glands that make smegma reach their largest size and greatest number in men between ages 20 and 45. Thereafter, these glands shrink until, in elderly men, they can hardly be detected.
   Smegma has antibacterial and antiviral properties keep the penis clean and healthy.

Questions
Q. I am 70 yrs old, uncircumcised and have not produced smegma for a long, long time which is normal as the body ages. However, after 1 to 1/2 weeks of taking Prostate Power Rx, I started producing smegma again. I took 1 capsule per day for 6 days out of 7. At first I couldn't figure out what I had changed that might have caused this but then related it back to this product. I continued the product for another week and the smegma continued. To test that Prostate Power Rx was causing this I stopped taking it for 1 week and the smegma production was reduced and finally stopped. I am now taking the product again to see if the production starts again. Can you tell me what ingredient might have triggered these glands to become active again? I have taken 'Saw Palmetto' for years, usually about 340 mg per day, so I wouldn't think that just an increase in mg of this would cause this. I'm not alarmed by this development but really more curious to find out your opinion on this smegma phenomena.
   A. This is interesting. We don't know which of the herbs, or perhaps the combination, increased the smegma production. There are small glands in the prepuce of the uncircumcised penis that produce smegma, and perhaps one of the herbs, or the combination, is stimulating these glands or perhaps the herbs are stimulating certain hormone secreting centers in the brain that are involved in stimulating the glands that make smegma.

I am a 23 year old male, and I have an uncircumcised penis. Recently I noticed my penis stopped producing smegma. Is this a sign of a disease or disorder?
    It's difficult to say without a full examination and evaluation but it is rare to have any such problems in a healthy 23 year old.

Int J STD AIDS. 2012. Biological basis for the protective effect conferred by male circumcision against HIV infection. Here we provide an up-to-date review of research that explains why uncircumcised men are at higher risk of HIV infection. The inner foreskin is a mucosal epithelium deficient in protective keratin, yet rich in HIV target cells. Soon after sexual exposure to infected mucosal secretions of a HIV-positive partner, infected T-cells from the latter form viral synapses with keratinocytes and transfer HIV to Langerhans cells via dendrites that extend to just under the surface of the inner foreskin. The Langerhans cells with internalized HIV migrate to the basal epidermis and then pass HIV on to T-cells, thus leading to the systemic infection that ensues. Infection is exacerbated in inflammatory states associated with balanoposthitis, the presence of smegma and ulceration - including that caused by infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 and some other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A high foreskin surface area and tearing of the foreskin or associated frenulum during sexual intercourse also facilitate HIV entry. Thus, by various means, the foreskin is the primary biological weak point that permits HIV infection during heterosexual intercourse. The biological findings could explain why male circumcision protects against HIV infection.

J Surg Res. 2012. Microbiology of smegma in boys in Kano, Nigeria. The objective of this study is to document the common bacteria found in the smegma in the subpreputial space of asymptomatic boys in our environment, their antimicrobial susceptibility pattern, and to determine if they differ from those commonly isolated from children with established urinary tract infections in our sub-region. Between May 2009 and January 2010, smegma swabs were collected from asymptomatic boys who presented for circumcision in our institution. This was done using aseptic techniques in the theatre, following retraction of the prepuce. The swabs were immediately sent to our microbiology laboratory for microscopy, culture, and sensitivity tests. Bacteria were isolated, identified, and confirmed by standard bacteriological techniques, and antimicrobial sensitivity pattern was determined using the disc diffusion method. A total of 52 boys, with an age range of 7 d to 11 y (median 138.7d), were recruited into the study. A total of 50 bacterial isolates were made. There were 29 gram-positive bacteria (58%) and 21 gram-negative ones (42%). A single isolate was found in 34 boys (65.4%), eight had a mixed isolate (15.4%), while no bacteria was isolated in 10 boys (19.2%). The most commonly isolated gram-negative bacteria was Escherichia coli (90.5%), while the commonly isolated gram-positive bacteria were Staphylococcus epidermidis (44.8%) and Staphylococcus aureus (41.4%). Most of the bacterial isolates were multi-drug-resistant. Smegma in the preputial space of children may be colonized by drug-resistant organisms, the antimicrobial sensitivity pattern of which must be determined for an effective treatment of any infection arising in the region.