Penile discharge is any substance (other than urine) that comes from the urinary tube, also known as the urethra.
Normal discharge includes pre-ejaculate, or pre-cum, and semen ejaculate. These are usually produced during sexual stimulation.
Abnormal discharge can range from clear to pus-like and usually produced in the presence of an infection. In males, the infection is usually due to a sexually transmitted infection.
This may be accompanied by symptoms such as pain on the passing of urine, ulcers, urinary frequency and urgency.
Non-STI organisms that cause urinary tract infections can also present with discharge. These are usually accompanied by urinary frequency, urinary urgency and foul-smelling or cloudy urine.
Similar organisms may infect the prostate causing prostatitis which may present with discharge, fever, urinary symptoms, pelvic pain and even blood in the semen.
If there has been any instrumentation of the urethra, for example with a catheter or after a procedure at the urologist, a discharge may also be produced due to the trauma.
Balanitis is inflammation of the foreskin and head of the penis that can cause some discharge under the foreskin. It may present with a rash, itching or pain, a foul smell and ulcers. The inflammation may be due to infections or irritation. While it is not a true penile discharge as it does not come out of the urethra, it may be confused with true penile discharge by some people.
If you do not clean your foreskin and head of the penis regularly, a layer of dead cells and sebum may build up. This is known as smegma and may also be confused with true penile discharge. While this is not harmful, it is advised to wash this area properly so smegma does not build up as a dirty head of the penis predisposes you to balanitis.
If you do have any of the symptoms that we have mentioned, please visit us at DTAP clinic so we can evaluate your condition.