Male Penile Discharge

What is male penile discharge?

Male penile discharge refers to any discharge apart from urine exits through the urethra (a fine tube within the penis) to the tip of the penis.

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Is male penile discharge normal?

Penile discharges are considered normal during pre-ejaculation and ejaculation. This occurs during sexual activity and periods of sexual arousal. Smegma, especially in uncircumcised men where the foreskin of the penis is not removed, is also common. Smegma however is made up mostly of dead cells of the skin and oil and is considered more as a skin condition than abnormal penile discharge.

Why is there penile discharge?


Pre-ejaculation (also commonly known as precum) is a clear fluid that is secreted through the urethra during sexual arousal. This is completely normal and a common occurrence during periods of sexual activity. The pre-ejaculation produced by men may range from a few drops to a teaspoon, although some men may produce more than the stated average.

Pre-ejaculation basically helps in lubricating the penis before penetration. It also aids in purging the acids present in urine from the penis. This process in turn aids in increasing sperm survival rates in a less acidic environment.


Ejaculation is a white, mucous fluid that exits the penis upon the man achieving orgasm. The fluid contains sperm and other substances produced by the prostate, male glands and testicles.

Only approximately 1 percent of ejaculation is sperm. The rest consists of a mixture of substances like water, protein, enzymes and sugar.

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What then is considered abnormal penile discharge?

Penile discharge resulting from the following conditions are considered abnormal. They may include:


Urethritis is the inflammation of the urethra. It is often accompanied with a yellowish-green penile discharge and burning sensation during urination. The frequency and urgency of urination may also increase with urethritis. In less common cases, no symptoms may appear at all.


Balanitis is a more common condition among men, affecting around 3 percent of the male population. It is the inflammation of the glans of the penis and may occur to both circumcised and uncircumcised men. Balanitis may be accompanied by a red, botchy rash that itches. Discharge may occur from under the foreskin. It may also be painful during urination.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

While UTI may be more common in women than in men, bacteria may also sometimes reach the male urinary tract and cause an infection. Symptoms of an UTI include clear or pus-tinged fluid discharged from the penis, urgency to urinate, pain during urination and urine that is cloudy and/or foul smelling. Sometimes a fever may also accompany an UTI.

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

Some sexually transmitted disease may also cause abnormal penile discharge. These include but are not limited to chlamydia, a bacteria caused infection that may show no symptoms at all, or gonorrhea, another common STD that again may show no symptoms. When symptoms are present, they are often pain during urination, swollen testicles and white, yellowish or even greenish discharge from the penis.

When is it necessary to consult a doctor?

If the discharge has been established to not be urine, ejaculation or pre-ejaculation, consult a doctor at the soonest. The underlying cause may be something more severe that requires medical attention and treatment.

During diagnosis, a doctor will typically examine your medical and sexual history, your symptoms and test samples of the discharge using lab techniques.

Appropriate treatment will follow if necessary. The types of treatments involved is dependent on the underlying cause of abnormal penile discharge. Treatments may include antibiotics for bacterial infections, antifungals for fungal infections and steriods for allergic reactions.

In Conclusion

Penile discharge that is urine or resulting from ejaculation and pre-ejaculation is normal and should not be cause for worry. There should not be pain or irritation arriving from such discharges.

Visit a doctor immediately, however, if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • redness or irritation of the penis
  • discharge that is oozing, abnormally colored or foul smelling
  • discharge not resulting from sexual activity or urine

The signs and symptoms may be indications of more severe conditions that require immediate attention.

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If you are experiencing any worrying symptoms or signs, please call or visit any of our Men’s Health Clinics or drop us an email at for an appointment for a proper evaluation and treatment.

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  • Prostate Cancer Screening
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  • Tight Penis Frenulum (Frenulectomy)
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  • Male Urinary Tract Infection
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