What is Penile Discharge
Penile discharge is the abnormal loss of fluid from the man’s penis that is not urine or semen. Penile discharge has mucus or pus draining from the penis, due to irritation or inflammation of the urethra.It is commonly the sign of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Urethritis is a swelling of the penile urethra that can be symptomatic of many sexually transmitted diseases - most commonly gonorrhea and chlamydia. Men with gonorrhea are more likely to experience discharge than men who are infected with chlamydia, but a large number of men with either condition still experience no noticeable symptoms. That’s why screening is so important. Just because you do not have penis discharge or discomfort does not mean there is no infection. Urethritis is so non-specific type of swelling, redness, or penis discharge may occur must be diagnosed by a doctor. After the diagnosis of penile discharge treatment will be start appropriately.
Symptoms of penile discharge
The discharge can vary in amount from scanty to profuse and in color from clear to yellow or green. The timing can vary in man to man from loss only in the morning or throughout the day. Symptoms that may be associated with a penile discharge are included:
- Testicular pain
- testicular swelling
- pain during urination or burning on passing urine (dysuria)
- Excessive need to urinate at night (nocturia)
- increased urge to urinate
- penile sores
- Genital rash which can be painful or itchy
- swollen lymph glands in the groin
Causes of penile discharge
Usually, penile discharge is caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like gonorrhea and Chlamydia. STDs are not the only cause, urethra irritation, or an inflammation of the prostate causes of penile discharge. Common causes are:
- Gonococcal urethritis
- Non-gonococcal or non-specific urethritis (NSU).
Gonococcal urethritis (gonorrhoea): Gonorrhoea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Urination can make the discharge appear less purulent. When the infection begins to resolve, the discharge changes from purulent to mucoid (mucus-like).
Non-gonococcal or non-specific urethritis (NSU): Men of age 20-35 can develop a penile discharge because of non specific urethritis. NSU is the most common form of penile discharge. There are many causes of non-specific urethritis (NSU).
Diagnosis of penile discharge
Different types of diagnosis may apply, depending on the cause of the penile discharge. Microbiologically penile discharge or urethritis is diagnosed by samples of urethral swab or ‘first catch’ urine sample (urine taken from when you first begin to pass urine) to finding white blood cells (neutrophils) or pus cells. The infecting organism might also be identified from these samples. Gonococcal urethritis is diagnosed in 98% of men by microscopic examination of the discharge obtained from a urethral swab. Other infections are not easily diagnosed. The colour and consistency of the discharge does not help to distinguish NSU from gonococcal urethritis.
Further and more complicated tests may be needed, like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and ligase chain reaction (LCR), if men are sexual contacts of proven infected women. But this is not used routinely.
Treatment of penile discharge
After the doctor diagnoses the cause for the penile discharge, he will start the treatment. The treatment for a penile discharge usually requires oral antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. When the Gonococcal urethritis is the cause, treatments include use of medicines like Ofloxacin and Doxycycline. For non specific urethritis, antibiotic treatment with Doxycycline is also used.
Prevention of penile discharge
The best cure of penile discharge is prevention. The genital area should be kept clean and dry, which can help prevent general infections. So, when you have many sexual partners, it is best to avoid intercourse, and involve in other kinds of activities, such as kissing, masturbation, or oral sex with a condom. Another solution is to have a long term relationship with the same person, situations in which confidence and trust in the other one’s fidelity is a warrant for being healthy. Since the most common cause of penile discharge is infection due to the sexually transmitted disease, always keep safe sex, it is the best way to prevent its occurrence.