Penile discharge is quite broad; it covers every leaking or issuing out of fluid-like or mucous substances from a man's penis. The penis is an external male organ that serves as both a copulation and urinary organ. It sends semen and urine out from the body of a man, respectively. The penis delivers sperm during the act of sexual intercourse.
When a man is sexually excited, the arteries of the penis fill up with blood and the penis becomes erect and hard to the touch. The semen or seminal fluid collect in the part of the body called the urethral bulb. The semen eventually becomes ejaculated from the penis.
Before the actual ejaculation of semen from the penis, though, it is normal for mucous-like fluid to ooze out from the penis when it is erect or sexually excited. Apart from arousal from sex, natural emission (wet dream), and urination, most penile discharges are abnormal and require medical attention.
One of the most common symptoms of STDs in men is discharge from the penis, sometimes accompanied with a foul odor and pus.
In the United States, the most common STDs that could cause penile discharge are gonorrhea, chlamydia, mycoplasma species, and trichonomiasis. These STDs are health conditions that are products of the activities of certain bacteria that were contracted sexually. Any of the above-listed STDs could be suspected when a penile discharge is observed. Also, the color as well as the smell can aid the diagnostic testing for a specific STD.
Penile Discharge In Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is commonly known as the sexually transmitted disease that is plaguing the young. It is one of the oldest known STDs. Neisseria gonorrheae is the bacterium that causes gonorrhea.
Men who are infected with gonorrhea usually show no symptoms. For the few that show symptoms, there is the presence of a yellowish discharge from the penis. This discharge is thick and appears as pus. It is localized or located around the tip of the penis once emitted.
The penile discharge in a gonorrhea infection is contagious. Men suffering from gonorrhea find it difficult to release urine and when they do, it is accompanied by a burning sensation.
Penile Discharge In Chlamydia
Chlamydia is another common STD in the United States – and many other places too. It is a disease condition of the body whose pathogen is also contracted and transmitted sexually.
Penile discharge in men suffering from chlamydia could be milky in some and cloudy, watery and clear, or yellow-white in others. Most often, the discharge is yellowish or milky. There is a feeling to suddenly urinate which comes frequently in men infected with chlamydia. When they do urinate, they have this burning sensation, as though their penis is lit on fire.
Penile Discharge In Trichonomiasis
Trichonomiasis vaginalis is a protozoan infection that affects both men and women. Even though its name ends with a term associated with women, this protozoan is one of the leading causes of abnormal penile discharge in sexually active men. It is usually harbored in the urethral tissue of a man.
One of the symptoms of Trichonomiasis in men is a penile discharge (coming from the urethra) which is colored milky, white, or yellowish. It is also fluid-like and without pus. Men suffering from Trichonomiasis usually experience painful difficulty in urinating or in ejaculating.
Mycoplasma and Penile Discharge
There are many types of Mycoplasma species, each with a different mycoplasma bacterium. Few of them are:
- Mycoplasma pneumoniae (causes lung infection),
- Mycoplasma hominis (friendly when you are healthy),
- Ureaplasma urealyticum (present in a man's urethra),
- Mycoplasma genitalium (one of the causes of urethritis in men),
- and Ureaplasma parvum (friendly when you are in good health).
These kinds of mycoplasma infection are worrisome and can cause serious health complications if they are not treated on time.
Many men suffering from a mycoplasma infection do not show symptoms. Those that show symptoms complain of watery discharge from the penis and a stinging sensation when they urinate. Those are common symptoms of Mycoplasma genitalium infection in men. Mycoplasma genitalium is a kind of mycoplasma bacterium contracted through sexual intercourse.
Men who are infected with Mycoplasma hominis, also a sexually transmitted infection, experience difficulty in passing urine. Urinating almost always followed by a burning sensation; the discharge from the penis is often foul-smelling in this condition.
Management of Penile Discharge
In managing penile discharge, it is important to seek medical attention. A smear of the discharge will be collected and examined under a microscope to check for the disease-causing organism. When the actual organism is detected, treatment could commence. Smear culture test works best for detecting gonorrhea.
Apart from the smear of a penile discharge, a doctor could have your urine sample tested for the presence of chlamydia if it is suspected to be giving you abnormal penile discharge.
Drugs given for the management of penile discharge include:
- Metronidazole (for trichonomiasis)
Penile discharge could be completely treated within two weeks after treatment commenced.
Prevention of Penile Discharge
STDs are linked to abnormal penile discharge. Do not manage any abnormal discharge on your own. Delaying treatment could make you worse off.
Abstinence from sex and maintaining a monogamous sexual relationship with an STD-free partner will keep you free from contracting STDs.
Sexually active persons should take routine testing for STDs very seriously. Practice safe sex with the use of latex condoms.