Penile discharge should be treated and our same-day GP appointments make it easy to have the right tests done at your convenience, with fast results and immediate treatment.
Discharge is the abnormal loss of fluid – not urine or semen – from the urethra, the duct at the tip of the penis. The fluid produced may be copious, or minimal, and may vary in colour from clear, to yellow, to green. Penile discharge may often be accompanied by other symptoms, such as a burning sensation on passing urine, increased frequency of urination, or a rash or swollen glands in the groin area.
Causes of Penile Discharge
Penile discharge is sometimes caused by gonorrhoea, or gonococcal urethritis, which is a sexually transmitted disease whose symptoms usually peak two weeks after infection. In some rare cases, if not treated, gonorrhoea can cause further infection, or sterility. Another common cause of discharge is non-gonococcal, or non-specific urethritis, an infection caused by a number of bacteria, some sexually transmitted and some not. It is estimated that 6-11% of all sexually active men in the UK carry the chlamydia bacteria in their urethra, often without presenting any symptoms.
Discharge may also be caused by:
- An allergic reaction or chemical irritation
- Balanitis (inflammation of the foreskin, either through infection or poor hygiene)
In cases of infection, a diagnosis will be made by taking a urine sample or urethral swab, and can usually be cleared by a course of antibiotics. In the case of a sexually transmitted infection, it will be recommended that any sexual partners are also treated.