Penis pain: What are the causes?

Penis pain can be caused by a variety of factors and can range from minor to severe. This discomfort can strike at any time of day or night, during sexual activity, or when peeing. People may also experience discomfort in various locations of the penis or different types of pain, such as intense, dull, throbbing, or shooting pain.

While penile pain can occasionally be relieved at home, some underlying causes may necessitate medical attention. If a person has any concerns, they should seek medical advice.

This article goes through some of the possible reasons of penile pain, as well as the associated symptoms and treatment options.

Peyronie’s disease

penis pain

Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which plaque occurs on the top or bottom of the penis due to scar tissue. Peyronie’s disease has no known origin, but experts believe it is caused by scarring of the penis. This scarring could be caused by an autoimmune disease or a severe or repetitive penis injury.

Peyronie’s disease can cause the following symptoms:

  • lumps on the side of the penis
  • the penis becoming narrower or shorter than usual
  • erectile dysfunction or pain during an erection
  • pain during sex
  • a curve in the penis

If you detect any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor. Peyronie’s disease can go away without therapy in certain cases, and if the curvature is not severe, treatment may not be required. Other people with the condition, on the other hand, may require:

If a person’s symptoms are severe and do not improve, surgery may be required.

Priapism

A prolonged and often painful erection that is not related to sexual activity is referred to as priapism. It happens when blood in the penis becomes stuck and unable to drain, causing tissue injury or destruction. The reason of some occurrences is uncertain. Priapism, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of diseases or medications. Possible triggers include, for example:

  • prescription medication, such as blood thinners or erectile dysfunction treatments
  • recreational drugs or alcohol use
  • blood conditions, such as sickle cell anemia
  • trauma to the genitals or spinal cord

Priapism is a significant medical problem, and patients should seek medical attention if they experience a prolonged, painful erection that lasts more than 4 hours without stimulation.  To relieve an erection, a person can attempt peeing, taking a warm bath, drinking water, or doing light exercise. The following medical therapies may be used:

  • aspiration, which involves using a surgical needle to drain excess blood
  • creating a small hole or passage, called a shunt, to allow for adequate blood flow between the penis and the rest of the body
  • pain medications
  • injecting medication into the penis to allow for sufficient blood circulation

Penile fracture

A penile fracture occurs when the erect penis bends, usually as a result of force, causing a portion of it to tear. There are no bones in the penis, hence it isn’t really a fracture. According to some studies, penile fractures are most likely to develop during sexual activity.

The following are signs and symptoms of a penile fracture:

  • bleeding from the penis
  • blood in the urine
  • pain
  • difficulty urinating
  • a popping sound
  • sudden loss of erection
  • bruising and swelling of the penis

A penile fracture necessitates immediate medical treatment. They may also require surgery to remove any blood buildup and repair any damage to the penis.

Balanitis

When the head of the penis gets inflamed, it is referred to as balanitis. The glans penis (or glans penis) is a portion of the penis that affects 3–11 percent of men. This irritation can occur in those who have not been circumcised, especially if the area behind the foreskin is not adequately washed and dried.

Balanitis can also be caused by the following factors:

Other causes of balanitis can include:

  • sexually transmitted infections
  • diabetes
  • using strong soap or chemicals on the penis

Symptoms of balanitis may include:

  • swelling
  • itching
  • a rash
  • discharge
  • tenderness or pain
  • phimosis, or tight foreskin

Treatment options for balanitis can include:

  • a topical astringent solution
  • topical steroids
  • topical antibiotic, antifungal, or antiseptic ointment

Phimosis

When the foreskin tightens to the point where it is impossible to pull back, phimosis occurs. Before the foreskin loosens, it is frequent in young children, but it can also cause unpleasant symptoms in teenagers and adults.

Phimosis is commonly treated by putting a steroid cream to the foreskin on a daily basis. Taking pain medicines may also assist, and a doctor may recommend circumcision in some circumstances.

Paraphimosis

Paraphimosis is a disorder in which persons are unable to move the foreskin forward over the tip of the penis, comparable to phimosis. It’s a critical condition that has to be treated right now.

Additional signs and symptoms include:

  • the head of the penis turning a different color, such as blue or red
  • swelling in the tip of the penis
  • pain in the penis

Paraphimosis is treated by lowering the swelling at the tip of the penis so that the foreskin can return to its proper place. If doctors are unable to achieve this, a tiny incision may be made to minimize swelling. Circumcision may be required in specific instances.

Sexually transmitted infections

Due to a sexually transmitted infection (STI), people may have pain in the penis. This word refers to illnesses that can occur as a result of sexual activity or close physical contact.

An STI can cause a person to have no symptoms at all. Individuals with a penis, on the other hand, may have the following symptoms:

  • burning or itching sensation, such as when urinating
  • pain around the pelvis
  • frequent urination
  • painful ejaculation
  • discharge from the penis
  • sores, lumps, or blisters around the genitals

STI treatments differ based on the underlying cause. Antibiotics for bacterial STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, or antivirals to treat the symptoms of viral STIs like herpes, for example.

Urinary tract infections

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can occur when bacteria invade the urinary tract. Females are more likely to be affected, however males might still be affected. These infections are fairly prevalent in general, with some evidence indicating that they are the second most common type of infection in the body.

Males may experience the following symptoms in addition to penile pain:

  • a frequent urge to urinate
  • blood in the urine
  • pain or a burning sensation when urinating
  • feeling the need to urinate when the bladder is empty

To treat a UTI, a doctor will typically prescribe antibiotics.

  • injury
  • reaction to spermicides or contraceptive lotions
  • bacteria
  • viruses

Symptoms may include:

  • an itchy, tender, or swollen penis
  • a frequent urge to urinate
  • burning sensation when urinating
  • discharge
  • pain during sex or ejaculation

To treat urethritis, a doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics.

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a frequent prostate disease in which the prostate is inflamed. This might cause discomfort in the penis and pelvis. Prostatitis can be caused by bacterial infections, nerve inflammation, or trauma.

The following are some of the symptoms of the condition:

  • pain in the penis, testicles, or bladder
  • painful ejaculation
  • pain or burning when urinating
  • blood in the urine

Treatment will vary depending on a person’s symptoms and the cause of inflammation, however antibiotics are usually prescribed. Medications for pain alleviation, prostate massage, and hot compresses might also assist to alleviate discomfort.

Penile cancer

Penile pain can occasionally be a sign of penile cancer, but it’s more likely to be the consequence of something else. If somebody notices any of the following symptoms, they should consult their doctor:

  • bleeding or discharge under the foreskin
  • swelling at the head of the penis
  • lumps under the skin in the groin area
  • a rash on the penis
  • changes to the color or thickness of the skin of the penis
  • a lump or crusty bumps on the penis
  • bleeding ulcers

Treatment for penile cancer may include:

  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • surgery to remove tumors in the penis
  • circumcision to remove the foreskin
  • radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells

Conclusion

Penis pain can be caused by a variety of factors. By addressing a person’s other symptoms, a doctor can assist in determining the origin of the pain.

People can also reduce their chances of getting a penile health problem by:

  • using a condom during sex
  • keeping good personal hygiene
  • maintaining a healthy lifestyle

If a person has continuous or severe penile pain, he or she should consult a doctor.

Sources:

  • https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/balanitis
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/balanitis/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459233/
  • https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/mens-health/is-it-normal-to-have-a-curved-penis/
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/penile-cancer.html
  • https://www.cancer.gov/types/penile/patient/penile-treatment-pdq
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324608
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324608
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/penile-curvature-peyronies-disease
  • https://urology.ucsf.edu/patient-care/children/phimosis#.YcCn12r7Rb8
  • https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=phimosis-and-paraphimosis-90-P03104
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/priapism-painful-erections/
  • https://www.pcf.org/about-prostate-cancer/what-is-prostate-cancer/prostate-gland/prostatitis/
  • https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/p/prostatitis-(infection-of-the-prostate)
  • https://medlineplus.gov/sexuallytransmitteddiseases.html
  • https://www.cdc.gov/std/general/default.htm
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459178/
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/phimosis/
  • https://bestpractice.bmj.com/topics/en-gb/54

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