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Penis infections frequently occur on the skin or in the urethra.
A penile infection can be caused by bacterial, fungal, and sometimes viral organisms. These may be transmissible infections (e.g. STIs/STDs), or due to poor hygiene or underlying conditions.
The foreskin is more susceptible to infections as urine is often trapped under the foreskin, making it an environment that bacteria and fungus can easily grow in.
Infections within the urethra of the penis are usually sexually transmitted (STDs like Gonorrhoea or Chlamydia).
Symptoms of a penis infection
Balanitis is a common condition that may affect as many as 1 out of 10 males and can occur in males at any age.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I SEE THE DOCTOR?
We will start with a consultation for your symptoms to assess the severity of the problem as well as determine if there is an underlying cause. This discussion will include questions on your past medical history, potential sexual exposures, and other risk factors for infection.
The doctor will perform a physical examination as appropriate – this may be to check for any tenderness or swelling in the genital area, enlarged lymph nodes, prostate enlargement, or skin changes like ulcers or rashes.
We will then advise you on the appropriate testing, which may include swabs or a urine sample, and blood testing if we are concerned about other associated infections or diseases.
PENIS INFECTIONS OCCUR FREQUENTLY?
Speak to our doctors – there can be many reasons that you are getting these infections, including commonly missed diagnoses like diabetes.
It is best to start treatment early as chronic Balanitis can lead to scarring, adhesions, and possibly phimosis (tightening of the foreskin making a retraction of the foreskin difficult or painful).
If you are getting recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI’s), we would need to evaluate for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which are commonly missed on regular urine testing at GP’s, and if these tests are clear we would assess for any other underlying problems with the urinary system such as kidney stones, urinary reflux, and prostate enlargement.
CAN THIS CONDITION BE CURED?
Yes, most penile infections are readily treatable. Depending on the type of infection, medication may either be topical creams or oral tablets, ranging from a single dose to a few weeks in complicated cases.
In STI cases, it would also be recommended that your partner gets tested and treated as well. In non-STI case, we would hope to address the underlying condition or risk factor – for instance, if you are found to have diabetes or kidney stones, these will need to be treated as well to reduce the risk of recurrent infection.
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