What Is Penile Discharge?
Penile discharge is the term used for any fluid other than semen or urine that passes through the urethra (the duct or tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body, through the penis). Penile discharge is not normal or healthy in men, and it is most commonly caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Therefore, seeking medical care quickly after noticing penile discharge is essential for your sexual and overall health.
Penile discharge can range in consistency and color and may be anywhere along the spectrum of clear and watery, cloudy (containing pus), green, yellow, or brown and may accompany blood. One or more of the following symptoms often accompany it:
- Pain or burning during urination and the sense of urgency to urinate frequently
- Swelling or tender lymph nodes in the groin
- Lower abdominal or testicular pain
What Causes Penile Discharge?
The most common causes of penile discharge are a UTI or an STD. There are many sexually transmitted bacterial or yeast infections that are also associated with penile discharge as well.
STDs that can cause penile discharge include chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and least common, genital herpes (HSV-2).
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that cause penile discharge include mycoplasma genitalium infection, ureaplasma urealyticum infection, and urethritis. These types of infections are very treatable with an antibiotic.
How Long Does Penile Discharge Last?
Penile discharge may be experienced for the duration of the infection. It is important to use and complete medication according to directions, even if the symptoms go away during the treatment period. This will prevent the infection from returning. If an infection returns because the medication was not correctly or completely taken, treatment for the return infection is, often, more difficult.
Any type of penile discharge should be addressed by a medical professional even if it goes away on its own after a period of time. As with any virus, symptoms may come and go.
Testing and Treatment for Penile Discharge
An STD test is recommended for anyone experiencing penile discharge. STDAware provides a full range of STD testing, and a positive test result will qualify customers for a free consultation with a medical expert at STDAware. Click here to find out more about the complimentary consultation offered with every test. Common medications for STDs associated with penile discharge include, but are not limited to Ofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, Cefixime, Ceftriaxone, Metronidazole, Tinidazole, Azithromycin, and Doxycycline. Treatment will be prescribed based on the patient’s personal history.
A negative STD test result with ongoing penile discharge indicates that the condition is likely caused by an STI or bacterial/yeast infection. Fortunately, most of these types of infections are easily treatable with antibiotics and will not cause any damage if diagnosed and treated early. Failure to treat an infection could lead to the spread of the infection to other parts of the genitals and internal organs resulting in fertility issues and other complications down the line.
Risk To Sexual Partners
Avoid unprotected sex while suffering from and during treatment of penile discharge because STDs, STIs, bacterial and yeast infections are transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluid. Individuals with penile discharge are advised to alert and encourage their partner(s) to be tested as a potential recipient of an STD, STI, bacterial, or yeast infection. Failure to alert sexual partner(s) of positive screening results contributes to the ongoing and continued spread of the infection as well as putting their health at risk.