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Pain in Penis: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

6 min read
Pain in Penis: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Men can experience penis pain while urinating or during sexual intercourse. It is important to identify and address the cause of penis pain.

Penis Pain Causes

There are several conditions that can result in penis pain. Sometimes penis pain can be managed at home. However, some conditions may require medical attention.

These are some penis pain causes that can lead to discomfort:

1. Peyronie's Disease

The exact cause behind this condition is unclear, but experts believe that Peyronie's Disease may be caused by scarring to the penis. The scar tissue results in plaque that builds upon the bottom or top part of the penis.

You can develop scarring on the penis due to an autoimmune disease or repeated injuries to the penis. A few symptoms of Peyronie's Disease include pain during sex, pain during an erection, developing a curve in the penis or the presence of lumps on the side of the penis.

2. Priapism

Priapism is a condition in which the individual suffers a prolonged erection even in the absence of sexual stimulation. This condition can result from trauma to the penis, Sickle Cell Disease (a blood condition), or pelvic health conditions. Priapism can be quite painful and requires medical attention.

Initially, you can try applying an ice pack or climbing stairs to relieve the erection. However, consult a doctor if your erection lasts for more than four hours without stimulation. Your healthcare provider can provide  pain relief and inject medication into the penis to relieve the erection and restore normal blood circulation.

3. Sexually Transmitted Infections

Some symptoms of STIs include painful ejaculation, experiencing pain during sex, itchiness, lumps around genitals and yellow or clear discharge. Sexually transmitted infections can be treated by taking prescription antibiotics or antivirals. Using protection such as condoms prevent the transmission of STIs during intercourse.

4. Urinary Tract Infections

Sometimes bacteria can enter the urinary tract and cause a urinary tract infection (UTI), a primary reason for pain in penis. This condition is more common among females since they have a shorter urethra, but men can also experience it.

UTIs are pretty common and can result in penis pain, increased urge to urinate, blood in the urine, and feeling the need to urinate even if the bladder is empty. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to treat UTIs.  

Causes of Pain in Tip of Penis

The head of the penis is called glans, and several conditions can affect this part. Infections or certain medical conditions can result in a combination of symptoms such as pain in the head of the penis, itchiness, redness, inflammation, pain while urinating, and dry or blistered skin.

You can be experiencing pain in the tip of the penis due to the following reasons:

1. Eczema

Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis and can be triggered by several factors, such as coming in contact with an irritant. It can cause blisters that can pop and increase the chance of developing infections. Some common irritants that can cause eczema are soaps, sweat, latex or a chlorinated pool.

2. Thrush

Thrush is a yeast infection caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Thrush can lead to redness, irritation and pain around the penis tip. Itching due to thrush can be quite intense, leading to extreme discomfort. You can also experience pain in the penis head or discharge.

Consult your doctor if you have these signs. Your doctor will prescribe you antifungal medications to clear out the thrush and provide relief.

3. Balanitis

In this condition, the penis head and foreskin are irritated. Circumcised men can also develop balanitis, leading to penis pain, redness, and swelling. You can also experience painful discharge and itching.

Consult your doctor to rule out other conditions and get a proper diagnosis. It is important to maintain proper hygiene to prevent irritation of the penis head.

Causes of Pain in Penis After Masturbation

An injury during masturbation can result in pain in the penis. Masturbating too frequently or vigorously is one of the most common reasons for pain in the penis after masturbation. This can lead to a sore and red penis.

Masturbating too often in a short amount of time can result in the build-up of fluids in the penile tissue that can cause oedema (swelling in the penis). Your penis also has lymph vessels that carry the fluid around the genital.

If the lymph vessels are blocked, there is an increased risk of developing lymphocele, a temporary hard lump. This lump is usually painless but requires medical attention.

Why There Is a Burning Sensation in Penis

You can experience a burning sensation in penis due to infections or sexually transmitted infections, including a urinary tract infection (UTI), yeast infection, gonorrhoea, prostatitis, or urethritis.

Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethral tract that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of your body. It is typically caused by a bacterial infection that can result in a burning sensation during urination, redness around the opening, penile itching and yellow discharge.

Penile yeast infection is usually caused while engaging in unprotected sex with a person who has a vaginal yeast infection. This can result in a rash on the penis, burning sensation and itching.

Prostatitis is a medical condition that results in the inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland. This is usually caused by bacteria in the urine that leak into the prostate. You can experience a burning sensation while urinating, discomfort in the genital area, penis pain and painful ejaculation.  

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection that usually causes no symptoms. It's entirely possible that a person who has gonorrhoea does not realise they have the condition. Some signs that you can experience in gonorrhoea are pain or swelling in the testicles, pain in penis while urinating and a pus-like discharge.

Treatment Options for Pain in the Penis

Pain in the penis can resolve on its own sometimes. However, you should consult a doctor to know the precise cause of the pain. Your doctor will prescribe you medications to address the cause and relieve pain or inflammation.

The treatment for pain in penis depends on the underlying cause of the disease.

Plaques caused by Peyronie’s Disease can be removed by a surgeon or softened through injections. A prolonged erection due to priapism can be relieved by draining the penis with a needle or taking medications that can reduce the amount of blood flow to the penis.

Taking medications for infections like UTI or STIs like chlamydia, syphilis, or gonorrhoea will help relieve penis pain and other associated infections. Balanitis is treated with antifungal medication and antibiotics.

Phimosis is a condition in which the foreskin that covers the head of the penis can not be retracted. It prevents full retraction and can cause penis pain. Stretching the foreskin with your fingers can help in loosening it. Some steroidal creams can also help in reducing phimosis. Some men may require surgery.

Penis pain due to contact dermatitis usually resolves when the responsible irritant is removed. Identifying the trigger can help prevent recurrent episodes. If you have recently changed your soap, detergent, intimate wash, or used a new condom, try discontinuing it to identify the trigger.

Also Read: How to Give A Penis Massage: A Medically Approved Guide for All Men

Preventing Pain in the Penis

You can prevent pain in penis by following a few simple steps:

  • Avoid having sex with someone with an active infection. It is always advisable to ask your partner about their sexual health if you plan on having unprotected sex. Always use protection such as condoms or vaginal dams while engaging in sex with a new partner to prevent the risk of transferring STIs or other infections. If you notice pain or irritation of the penis after using a condom, switch to latex-free condoms as that can indicate an allergy to latex.
  • Maintain hygiene around your genitals and wash your penis with warm water daily by gently pulling back the foreskin. You can develop penis pain and irritation due to infections caused by poor hygiene. Change your underwear after coming back from the gym, as the accumulation of sweat and dampness can cause fungal infections.
  • Avoid rough sex that can injure your penis, and talk to your partner about avoiding movements that bend your penis. Use a lubricant or lotion to prevent injuring your penis during sex or masturbation. This will reduce friction and reduce the chances of tearing or bruising your penis with vigorous movements.

Summing Up on Pain in Penis

If you experience chronic penis pain, consult your doctor, who will identify the underlying cause and help you with the right treatment plan. If you have penis pain due to an STI, inform your sexual partners to prevent the infection spread.

Practising basic hygiene and using protection can go a long way in preventing infections that cause penis pain and itchiness. Diagnosing the underlying cause behind penis pain and treating it early results in a positive outlook and increases the chances of quickly resolving the issue.


Penile Curvature (Peyronie's Disease) - https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/penile-curvature-peyronies-disease

Michael Silberman, Gavin Stormont, Eugene W. Hu., June 2021; Priapism - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459178/

Anton A. Wray; James Velasquez; Shailesh Khetarpal, August 2021; Balanitis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537143/

Urinary Tract Infection - https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/uti.html

Bradley N. Bragg; Erwin L. Kong; Stephen W. Leslie, August 2021; Paraphimosis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459233/