For most men, life comes with a certain number of aches and pains. Most of them are minor and more of an annoyance than anything else, but some conditions, such as a painful penis, can be downright distressing and may even require medical intervention. Some common and lesser-known sources of penile pain are described here, along with some tips for ongoing penis care.
Causes of a painful penis
More things can go wrong with a penis than most men are aware. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms overlap, so it the actual underlying condition may not be readily obvious. While some sore penis issues may clear up on their own in a short time, other may require medical intervention. A good rule of thumb when it comes to a sore penis is, when it doubt, get it checked out. More serious conditions of the penis exist and can cause sterility or even require surgery, if not treated in a timely manner. A quick trip to the doctor can give a man peace of mind that everything is A-OK.
Some top causes of penis pain include:
- Acne – yes, the penis can be inflicted with acne, much like the face;
- Infected hair follicles or ingrown pubic hairs;
- Bladder infection, bladder stones, kidney stones or kidney infection;
- Urinary tract infection;
- Urethritis – inflammation of the urethra;
- Epididymitis – infection of the epididymis;
- Prostatitis – infection of the prostate gland;
- Phimosis – pain caused when the foreskin doesn’t retract over the head of the penis;
- Paraphimosis – pain caused when the foreskin is stuck in a retracted position;
- Priapism – pain caused by an erection that lasts more than 4 hours in the absence of physical or psychological stimulation;
- Peyronie’s disease – painful curvature of the penis caused by the buildup of scar tissue and plaque;
- Balanitis – infection located under the foreskin;
- Sexually transmitted infections – such as herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, warts and gonorrhea; will often present with sores, bumps or bleeding;
- Prostate cancer.
When does a man need to go to the doctor?
It is always the best policy to see the doctor for a sore penis that lasts more than a day or two, or for any condition that seems out of the ordinary. For example, a red bump on the penis may be a pimple or an ingrown hair and could go away in 3 or 4 days, or the bump could be caused by the herpes virus and need ongoing treatment. If a man has reason to suspect his penis pain is caused by something serious – such as finding a mass or lump with it, or having recently engaged in unprotected sex – an appointment should be made immediately. Any recent trauma to the area such a sports injury, serious sexual mishap or a persistent erection that lasts for more than 4 hours warrants a trip to the ER. Additionally, if there is bleeding, oozing, or discharge, or the sore penis brings a fever or nausea with it, going to the doctor is necessary.
Tips to keep the penis healthy
Any man who has experienced a seriously sore member will be willing to take the extra steps to avoid a relapse. Here are a few tips that will help keep the penis doctor away:
- Use a condom – Condoms are up to 99% effective in stopping the transmission of STIs when used properly. Not dealing with an infection for years to come is reason enough to wrap it up!
- Practice good hygiene – There are several conditions of the penis caused by bacteria making its way up the urethra, which can later develop into a painful infection. Keeping the penis clean and free of bacteria can reduce the chance of infection. Good hygiene goes doubly for men who are uncircumcised, as the foreskin really traps bacteria and contributes to the dreaded smegma.
- Self-inspect – A monthly self-inspection of the entire region can help catch problems before they become a serious issue. Self-inspection can spot an STI right at the start, and find lumps that could indicate testicular cancer.
- Nourish – Just like the rest of the body, the penis performs better and stays healthy with a good dose of vitamins. Eating healthfully is one way to nourish the penis; using a daily penis vitamin formula (most professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) is another. A daily vitamin formula delivers the specific vitamins and minerals the penis benefits most from directly to the penis skin, where they can be efficiently absorbed. Select one containing vitamin A for the added bonus of fighting pesky penis bacteria.