Genital itch is a common medical symptom that can occur in anybody. It is a non-discriminative symptom, regardless of your background.
Penile discharge is the fluid that comes out of the urethra when you are not urinating.
The urethra is a tube over the urinary system that allows the flow of urine and semen from the bladder or ejaculatory ducts to the opening of the penis and thus the external body.
Urethral/penile discharge can sometimes be physiological and a normal part of the male body mechanism. However, when should we be alarmed about discharge from the penis? This article aims to educate readers on understanding the possible differentials and red flags that one should be looking out for in penile discharge.
Penile discharge can be completely normal and acts as the body’s mechanism to lubricate the penis. It is normal for the penis to produce discharge when a person is sexually aroused or during intercourse. You may notice penile discharge just before ejaculation or during ejaculation. Occasionally you may notice a white coating overlying the tip of the penis after a long day out or on a hot day.
Types of penile discharge include:
While some types of penile discharge are normal, there are others that are abnormal and may even be infectious.
Examples of abnormal penile discharge include:
Patients with balanitis can present with penis discharge and also associated redness, inflammation or irritation over the head of penis. One may notice odour over the genital region, and in more severe cases, an itch or burning sensation upon urination. The symptoms of balanitis can come and go over time. You are advised to speak to your doctor if you have concerns of balanitis.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) can affect any part of the urinary system including the urethra, bladder, or kidneys. Urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria from the surrounding area (skin or rectum) enters the urinary tract and causes inflammation and infection.
Risk factors for males developing urinary tract infection include:
Patients with urinary tract infection can present with abnormal penile discharge and developing symptoms such as:
Urinary tract infection is not contagious but must be promptly treated so as to avoid complications such as kidney infections or blood infection. Do seek medical attention if you have penile discharge or urinary tract infection symptoms.
Abnormal penile discharge can be due to underlying sexually transmitted infections (STIs) .
Common STIs that can be associated with penile discharge include:
Interestingly some patients with STIs can be completely asymptomatic but it is important to note that asymptomatic individuals can still spread STIs to their sexual partners. Not only is untreated STIs contagious, they are also associated with infertility in both men and women.
If you are experiencing penile discharge with unusual colour and consistency, itchiness, burning sensation over the penis, inflammation,rashes over the penis, and testicular pain or swelling, seek further medical investigation to screen for underlying medical condition.
You are advised to seek advice from your doctor if you notice penile discharge when you are not:
OR if you are experiencing:
While penile discharge can be a healthy physiological part of life, it can also signify underlying infection, inflammation, or medical condition. The silver lining– penile discharge that is abnormal is usually treatable. If you have concerns about penile discharge symptoms, avoid further hesitation, do see your trusted physician early.
During erection, it is common that the penis can be slightly bent to the left or right.
PPPs are tiny raised bumps that appear on the shaft just below your penis’ head.
Balanitis is a type of skin inflammation that occurs over the head of the penis that commonly affects men.
Ejaculation is the release of semen from your penis during an orgasm. When ejaculation happens faster than either you or your partner would like