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What Causes Penis Discharge?

March 19th, 2020

What Causes Penis Discharge?

Leaking of fluid or discharge from the penis can be normal, or it can be a symptom of a more serious underlying medical condition. The causes are very treatable, many curable, but all require a physical examination by a doctor to determine the underlying cause for the ailment. Other symptoms to be concerned about are itching, swelling, rash, or irritation around the penis. The severity varies from person to person along with if it is constant or if it comes or goes. Always seek treatment and testing if you feel anything out of the ordinary. 


Causes of Penis Discharge – Not an STD

Can you have a penile discharge without having an STI? ABSOLUTELY! There are several causes of penile discharge including medical causes and STDs. The best thing to do when anything appears abnormal is to call your doctor and have an exam. The following are some examples of conditions that cause discharge along with other symptoms. 

  •  UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) is a cause of the discharge. Urethritis, also known as NSU- nonspecific urethritis, is an inflammation of the urethra and it can be caused by the infection (or an STD), mechanical manipulation or trauma, or chemical irritation (like from your soap) and can cause discharge. 
    • The discharge can be a yellowish or greenish color from the puss or it can even be a clear and milky color. 
    • Other symptoms include pain, difficulty/frequently urinating, burning when you pee, itching, fever, stomach pain, headache, and penis pain. 
    • These can be caused by an injury, an infection, a catheter, irritation from soaps/detergents or contamination during masturbation or intercourse with bacteria from the GI tract. 
    • This is the most common cause of discharge not caused by an STD in men.
  • Prostatitis is when the prostate, a small nut sized gland that wraps around the ureter, becomes infected or swollen. It can have a discharge as well that can be bloody, white, or clear color. 
    • Other symptoms can include foul-smelling urine, blood in urine, trouble urinating, weak streams, difficulty ejaculating or pain when you do. 
    • This requires antibiotics and can be diagnosed from a physical exam and/or bloodwork at your doctor. 
  • Smegma is when there is a buildup of a white, thick fluid (made of skin cells, oil from the skin, and dead skin cells) under the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis. This can make many men believe they have discharge when it is, in fact, a normal function. 
    • It can make you more likely to develop infections. 
    • Good hygiene and cleaning can correct the buildup.
  • Balanitis is swelling at the foreskin. It causes the area to be red, painful and can have discharge. 
    • The discharge is a slow ooze and can be different colors depending on if there is an underlying cause such as infection. 
    • Other symptoms include an odor, discomfort, itchiness or pain in the genitals. 
    • This can be caused by infection, skin irritation, or skin conditions. 
  • Pre-ejaculate and Ejaculation are both types of normal discharge. The clear, mucus-like fluid that comes during sex before the big event is a normal fluid secretion that happens during sex. Ejaculation is the white, slimy fluid that comes when you reach your peak. Both of these are normal and should be a clear or white color with no strong odor or smell. 

Sexually Transmitted Infections and Penis Discharge

STDs are the most common cause of the penile discharge. These infections are caused by unprotected sex with a partner that has the condition. These have a variety of symptoms and treatments that are available. The following are the 3 STDs known for discharge. 

  • Gonorrhea is an STD known for causing a yellowish, greyish or green colored discharge. 
    • Other symptoms of this infection are painful testicles and pain when urinating.
    • This is a curable infection that requires antibiotics for you and any partners that you have had. 
    • If left untreated, it can spread throughout your body and cause damage to other organs such as your eyes, throat and even lead to sterility. 
  • Chlamydia can cause a white or cloudy discharge that can be slimy. 
    • Other symptoms include pain in the testicles, abdominal pain, itching, burning with urination, rash and may not even show symptoms. 
    • Chlamydia requires treatment with antibiotics for you and your partner and is curable. 
  • Trichomoniasis can cause a green and frothy discharge. 
    • Other symptoms can include irritation, burning with urination, discomfort with sex and itching. 
    • This infection is curable with antibiotics for you and your partner. Not seeking treatment places you at a higher risk for HIV and women, preterm and low birth weights. 

Are Natural Remedies Helpful in Managing Penis Discharge?

As mentioned above, penis discharge is usually a result of sexually transmitted infections or treatable medical condition which means that an antibiotic course is necessary to adequately treat these infections. You should always check with your doctor and receive medical clearance before trying any alternative medicine or natural approaches. Treatments can cure STDs or infections and can cause life-threatening illnesses if not addressed. If you have been ruled out of any medical cause, then you can try the following or relief. 

  • Switch soaps. Sometimes the body soap or detergent is irritating and can cause a discharge. 
  • Try to supplement with Vitamin C. Doing this can help increase the effectiveness of antibiotics and your body’s ability to kick out the infection, thus ridding you of discharge. 

Preventive Steps

The best way to prevent abnormal penis discharge is to eliminate all the sources of sexually transmitted infections. Some helpful tips are:

  • Maintaining a monogamous relationship with an uninfected person.
  • Make sure to use protection every time you have a chance sexual encounter (or random sexual intercourse) because no matter how much you wash your penis after sex or apply creams/ointments, the risk of STI and contamination from other natural bacteria of the vagina and rectum remains high with unprotected sexual relationships.
  • Many men don’t even like talking about their manhood problems but they should consult a doctor if they are experiencing penis discharge.

In conclusion, penis discharge is one of the common and most concerning male sexual health issues, which requires active management. Therefore, it is highly recommended to investigate every case of penile discharge with care and caution.

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