What is abnormal penile discharge?
The urethra is a tube which runs through the penis. Urine from the bladder, as well as pre-ejaculate fluid (pre-cum) and semen produced during sexual activity, pass through the urethra to exit the body.
Abnormal penile discharge is any fluid which comes out of the urethral opening that is not urine, pre-cum or semen.
Penile discharge can be watery or thick and pus-like. It may range from clear fluid to whitish, yellow or even blood tinged fluid. This may often be accompanied by pain, discomfort or a burning sensation during urination and an increased urge to urinate.
This is never normal and essentially indicates you likely have some form of infection, usually sexually transmitted, or ongoing inflammation. (Read: Penile Infection)
In more serious infections, you may even notice testicular pain or a deep-seated pelvic pain- both of which indicate that certain important glands such as your epididymis (a tiny little gland that sits alongside each testicle) or prostate may be involved.
|Abnormal penile discharge|
(anything that isn’t urine, pre-cum or semen)
|It may be…||It may also be associated with…|
What could be causing your abnormal penile discharge?
If you are experiencing abnormal penile discharge, chances are, you have a sexually transmitted infection. If you think back, you may recall having had some sort of sexual exposure over the last few days to weeks. This could range from just oral intercourse (a blowjob) to penetrative vaginal or anal intercourse.
Yes, one can indeed get STDs from just oral- something which people may not realise until they develop symptoms.
Here are the main STDs that cause penile discharge:
Chlamydia is a common bacterial STD that can be transmitted through oral or penetrative intercourse. The discharge caused by Chlamydia tends to be watery and may be associated with urinary discomfort or pain. But do note that not everyone with Chlamydia experiences abnormal penile discharge! Up to half of the males may feel entirely fine.
Gonorrhoea is also a fairly common bacterial STD transmitted similarly. The classic description of Gonorrhea-related penile discharge is a thick, pus-like, yellowish discharge with pain on urination.
We Provide Rapid Chlamydia & Gonorrhea PCR Screening (Next Day Result) in any of our clinics in Singapore
Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU)
This is a nonspecific umbrella term which is used to describe other infections caused by various sexually transmitted organisms including Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasma urealyticum and trichomonas.
A urine STD screen is usually performed in order to determine what the offending organism is. Sometimes, a person may have multiple infections at the same time and the results of the urine screen will determine the best or most appropriate antibiotic choice(s).
Prostatitis is another cause of abnormal penile discharge. Prostatitis refers to inflammation of the prostate gland, which is a small, walnut-shaped gland located just in front of your rectum or anal canal. It encircles part of the urethra and is also responsible for producing some of the secretions that go into semen.
With prostatitis, one may experience not just abnormal penile discharge but even other worrying symptoms like bloody semen or an unusual deep ache or pain in their pelvis (“worse when I sit down”).
Prostatitis can be due to a bacterial infection. This includes the abovementioned STDs and also bacterial that tend to be found in the gut region such as E. coli. However, some people may have inflammation of their prostate even without any evidence of a bacterial infection – a condition known as “chronic prostatitis” or “chronic pelvic pain syndrome”.
Prostatitis is usually diagnosed through a urine screen and possibly an ultrasound scan of the prostate. Treatment of prostatitis includes antibiotics to target the underlying infection as well as anti-inflammatory medicine for pain relief. For cases of prostatitis not due to infection, shockwave therapy (extracorporeal shockwave therapy; ESWT) can be helpful.
Remember, aside from urine, pre-cum and semen, any other sort of penile discharge is NEVER normal. Of course, safe sex practices including using condoms/barrier protection and knowing your partner’s infection status can help reduce the chances of you running into this problem, but if you do find yourself in this uncomfortably sticky situation, then you most definitely should get it checked out.
Join our Health Forum Discussions with our Doctors for more Penile Discharge & STD! Screening and Treatment for Abnormal Discharge is available in all our clinics, you can walk-in or call us or email us for an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe, stay healthy