Penis Pain


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By Medicover Hospitals / 12 Jan 2021
Home | symptoms | penis-pain
  • Penile pain involves any pain or discomfort, internally or externally, the penis. If you experience aches and pains in the penis, either during sex or at other times, you should schedule a visit to your doctor or urologist if signs persist or are severe.
  • Article Context:

    1. What is Penis Pain?
    2. Causes
    3. Diagnosis
    4. Treatment
    5. When to visit a Doctor?
    6. Prevention
    7. FAQ's

    What is Penis Pain?

  • Penis pain may affect the base, stem, or head of the penis. It can also affect the foreskin. A sensation of itching, burning, or throbbing may accompany the pain. Penile pain can be the result of an accident or an illness. It may affect men of any age.
  • The pain can vary depending on the underlying condition or disease that is causing it. If you have an injury, the pain can be severe and come on suddenly. If you have any illness or condition, the pain may be mild and gradually get worse.
  • Any kind of pain in the penis is a concern, especially if it occurs during an erection, prevents urination, or occurs with discharge, sores, redness, or swelling.
  • Causes:

  • Causes of penis pain include:
  • Peyronie's disease:

    • Peyronie's disease happens when scar tissue creates plaque that accumulates on the top or bottom of the penis.
    • The cause of Peyronie's disease is still unclear, but doctors believe it to be scarring of the penis. Scars can be due to an autoimmune disease or a severe or repeated injury to the penis.
    • Signs of Peyronie's disease include:
      • erectile dysfunction or pain during an erection
      • pain during sex
      • a curve in the penis
      • bumps on the side of the penis
      • the penis becomes narrower or shorter than usual
    • A person should see a physician if they notice any of these signs.


    • Balanitis refers to when the head of the penis becomes swollen. This inflammation can occur in people who haven't had a circumcision, especially if they don't wash or dry the area under the foreskin properly.
    • Other causes of balanitis can include:
      • using heavy soap or chemicals on the penis.
      • diabetes
      • obesity
    • Signs of balanitis include:
      • a rash
      • dump
      • swelling
      • itch
      • tenderness or pain


    • Priapism causes an erection for a long time without any sexual stimulation. It can be very painful.
    • In some cases, the cause is unknown. In other cases, however, it may be due to other conditions. These conditions can include trauma to the genitals or spinal cord, sickle cell anemia, or pelvic health problems.
    • Priapism can be a serious medical condition and people should see a doctor if they have a prolonged, painful erection without sexual stimulation or an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours.
    • A person can try taking a cold shower, applying a pack of ice, or climbing stairs to facilitate early erection.

    Sexually transmitted infections (STI):

  • People may experience pain in the penis because of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Signs of an STI can include:
    • painful ejaculation
    • yellow, white, or clear discharge
    • lumps around the genitals
    • pain or burning sensation when urinating
    • pain during sex
    • a rash or itching

    Urinary tract infections (UTI):

    • If bacteria get into the urinary tract, they can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). They are more common in women, but they can also affect men. In general, these infections are quite common.
    • In addition to penile pain, signs of a UTI in men can include:
      • pain or burning sensation when urinating
      • feel the urge to urinate while the bladder is empty
      • a frequent urge to urinate
      • blood in the urine


    • Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate that can cause pain in the penis and pelvis. Bacterial infections, nerve inflammation, and injury can all cause prostatitis.
    • Signs of prostatitis include:
      • difficulty urinating
      • pain or burning sensation when urinating
      • pain in the penis, testicles, or bladder
      • painful ejaculation


    • Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, which is the tube that transports urine from the bladder across the penis.
    • Causes of urethritis include:
      • bacteria
      • virus
      • injury
      • reaction to spermicides or contraceptive lotions
    • Signs may include:
      • an itchy, tender, or swollen penis
      • a frequent urge to urinate
      • burning sensation when urinating
      • small bumps in the groin area
      • pain during sex or ejaculation


  • The phimosis occurs when the foreskin tightens so much that it's too tight to pull back. It is common in young children before the foreskin relaxes, but it can also cause painful signs in adolescents and adults.
  • Paraphimosis:

    • Paraphimosis is a condition in which individuals are not able to pull the foreskin forward at the tip of the penis. Paraphimosis is a serious illness that requires immediate medical attention.
    • Additional signs include
      • pain in the penis
      • swelling of the tip of the penis
      • the head of the penis takes on a different color, such as blue or red

    Penile fracture:

    • A penile fracture occurs when an erect penis is bent, causing part of it to tear. It is not technically a fracture, as there is no bone in the penis.
    • Fractures of the penis are most likely to occur during sex.
    • Signs of a penile fracture include:
      • booming sound
      • sudden loss of erection
      • bruising and swelling of the penis
      • bleeding from the penis
      • blood in urine
      • pain
      • difficulty in urinating

    Penile cancer:

    • Pain in the penis can sometimes be a symptom of penile cancer, although it is more likely to be the result of another condition.
    • People should see their physician if they notice any of the following signs:
      • changes in the color or thickness of the skin on the penis
      • a crusty lump or bumps on the penis
      • bleeding ulcers
      • bleeding or discharge under the foreskin
      • swelling at the head of the penis
      • lumps underneath the skin in the groin area


  • Your provider will conduct a physical examination and obtain a medical history, which may include:
    • When did the pain start? Is the pain still present?
    • Is it a painful erection?
    • Do you experience pain when the penile is not erect?
    • Is the pain all over the penis or just part of it?
    • Have you had any open wounds?
    • Have there been any injuries in the area?
    • Are you at risk of being exposed to sexually transmitted diseases?
    • What other symptoms do you have?
  • The physical exam will most likely include a detailed examination of the penis, testes, scrotum, and groin.
  • Treatment:

    Peyronie's disease:

  • Peyronie's disease can sometimes go away without treatment. Other people with Peyronie's disease may need:
    • oral medication
    • the drug injected into the plaque
    • ultrasound or radiation treatment to break scar tissue and reduce plaque
    • shock wave therapy, which uses electric shock waves to break up scar tissue and reduce plaque
  • If the signs are severe and do not improve, a person may require surgery.
  • Balanitis:

    • If a person does not seek treatment for balanitis, it can cause phimosis, in which the foreskin becomes too tight to pull back from the head of the penis.
    • Treatment options for balanitis include:
      • topical antibiotic, antifungal or antiseptic ointment
      • topical steroids
      • a topical astringent solution


  • Medical treatment may include:
    • pain medications, such as opiates
    • inject medicine into the penis to allow normal blood flow
    • create a small hole or passage, called a shunt, to allow normal blood flow between the penis and the rest of the body

    Sexually transmitted infections (STI):

  • Treatment for STIs can include:
    • antibiotics for bacterial STIs, include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis
    • medicines to treat signs of viral STIs, such as herpes

    Urinary tract infections (UTI):

  • A physician will usually prescribe antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin, and others, to treat a urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Prostatitis:

  • People can take antibiotics to treat prostatitis. Pain relievers, prostate massage, and warm compresses can also help relieve signs.
  • Urethritis:

    • A physician will usually prescribe antibiotics to treat urethritis.
    • Antibiotics such as:
      • Adoxa, doxycycline (Vibramycin), Monodox, Oracea
      • Azithromycin (Zmax), Zithromax
      • Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
      • Metronidazole (Flagyl)
      • Tinidazole (Tindamax)
      • Azithromycin (Zmax), Zithromax
      • Acyclovir (Zovirax)
      • Famciclovir (Famvir)
      • Valacyclovir (Valtrex)


  • Treatment for phimosis usually involves the daily application of steroid cream to the foreskin. Taking pain relievers can also help.
  • Paraphimosis:

    • The treatment for paraphimosis is to decrease the swelling at the end of the penis to allow the foreskin to return to the correct position.
    • If physicians are unable to do this, they may make a small incision to reduce the swelling. Sometimes, individuals may need a circumcision.

    Penile fracture:

  • Anyone with a broken penis needs urgent medical attention. They may need surgery to drain an accumulation of blood and fix any damage to the penis.
  • Penile cancer:

  • Treatment for penile cancer may include:
    • surgery to remove tumors from the penis
    • circumcision to remove the foreskin
    • radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells
    • chemotherapy

    When to visit a Doctor?

  • Seek immediate treatment for penile pain in the emergency room if you have:
    • A painful erection that lasts 3 to 4 hours
    • Extreme difficulty urinating
    • Received a hard blow to the groin: either from an accident or a sports injury
    • A fracture of your penis


  • There are things you can do to reduce your chances of developing pain, such as using condoms when you have sex, avoiding sex with anyone who has an active infection, and asking your sex partners to avoid sudden movements. that bend your penis.
  • If you have repeated infections or other problems with your foreskin, circumcision or cleaning under your foreskin every day may help.
  • Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Penis pain or penile pain may last for 3-4 hours or last more than 4 hours. If you experience more than 4 hours with severe signs, then seek immediate medical care.
  • Penile pain can be the result of an accident or an illness. It can affect men of any age. The pain can vary depending on the underlying condition or disease that is causing it. If you have an injury, the pain can be severe and come on suddenly.
  • In some cases, penile pain may go away on its own after a few days. If the pain persists, it may be the result of an underlying infection. Other symptoms may include, pain in the lower back or abdomen.
  • The tip of your penis may itch if you have a foreskin, and a mild non-sexually transmitted infection is causing inflammation in that area. This can be common if there is a lack of hygiene or an increase in secretions to cause the growth of bacteria or fungi, which can be itchy. If you experience profuse genital itching, please contact your doctor and request an evaluation.