Managing penis health is important for a man, and while it generally is not something that is especially time-consuming, it pays off. As every man knows, one of the most common issues involves penis odor. When the odor is especially strong and unpleasant, it can create problems with partners and potential partners; it can also simply be embarrassing to a man in social situations if a fishy penis odor wafts out from underneath his clothing.
There can be multiple factors behind a persistent penis odor; one of the lesser-known of these is a disorder called trimethylaminuria.
What is trimethylaminuria?
The word “trimethylaminuria” is a daunting mouthful. Perhaps for that reason, the condition is often commonly referred to by the (very appropriate) name “fish odor syndrome.” As one might surmise, a person with trimethylaminuria emits an odor with a pronounced fishy smell to it. This smell is not restricted to the penis but can in fact be a total body odor situation. But in men, it’s often stronger when emanating from the penis.
Trimethylaminuria is a genetic disorder, which means it is something a person is born with rather than something he catches from someone or something else. Typically, a person inherits this disorder when both of his parents carry the gene for it. However, that does not mean that every person born from two carriers will have the condition.
When a person has trimethylaminuria, their body lacks the ability to properly convert a compound called trimethylamine into something called trimethylamine oxide. Trimethylamine is a naturally-occurring compound that comes from the food we eat. In most people, when trimethylamine enters the digestive process, it gets converted into trimethylamine oxide and is dispersed that way. When it does not get converted, it builds up in the body. As it does so, it releases the strong, fishy odor that gives the condition its nickname. That odor can be found on the skin (thanks to sweat) and often in the breath, urine and semen.
Fortunately, trimethylaminuria is a rare condition – and it is even rarer among men than among women. But some men do have it, and it can make for a decidedly unpleasant penis odor situation.
What to do
While the odor associated with trimethylaminuria is unpleasant and problematic, the condition does not cause any damage or true health concerns. There is no cure for it, so people with this disorder must learn to manage it as well as possible.
Typically, management concentrates on making sure hygiene is maintained at an appropriately high level. This might include numerous baths or showers each day. Often, individuals will utilize perfumes, colognes or other scents to help mask the odor. This can be very problematic when the odor is penis-based, as the delicate penis skin can be damaged by exposure to such chemicals.
Some doctors recommend treatment via antibiotics (in low doses). Other treatment options include making dietary changes that help reduce the odor. One study recommends supplements of activated charcoal and copper chlorophyllin to help manage the issue.
Even men without trimethylaminuria may suffer from a significant penis odor problem, so utilizing a first rate penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) regularly is advised. A crème with vitamin A can supply anti-bacterial properties that reduce the odor-causing impact of some bacteria in the penile area. In addition, the crème should contain a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen the skin and therefore make it resistant to other odor-causing topical issues. Alpha lipoic acid, which battles oxidative stress, is an excellent antioxidant to look for in a crème.