For a woman, discharge is considered as normal unless in cases when the discharge is maybe of a different color or smelly. In men, however, penile discharge is not a normal occurrence.
The only fluids that are considered normal is urine and semen. Any other fluid that is not urine or semen is considered as penile discharge and it requires treatment.
What causes penile discharge?
The discharge usually varies in amount, time, as well as color. Some men will release lots of it while other only release scanty amounts. The color varies from clear to yellow and green. The discharge may also contain pus or blood.
More often than not, penile discharge is caused by infections. Although it's usually a major symptom of sexually transmitted infections, it can also be a sign of other infections that are not sexually transmitted.
1. Urinary tract infections
Although they are mostly associated with women, UTIs also affect men. And as we had mentioned earlier, UTIs tend to be more complicated in men. When a man has a UTI such as urethritis, they are more likely to experience penile discharge accompanied by other symptoms such as; frequent urge to urinate, pain, burning when urinating and itching.
This is basically the inflammation of the prostate. The inflammation may be due to bacterial infections or non bacterial causes. One study found that 90% of men had non bacterial prostatitis which is an inflammation of the prostate due to unknown causes. It may also occur due to injury and comes with other symptoms such as foul smelling urine, painful ejaculation, blood in urine and difficulties in passing urine.
3. Uncircumcised penis
When an uncircumcised penis gets inflamed, it becomes painful and leads to penile discharge. This condition which is known as balanitis is caused by fungal and bacterial infections of the foreskin and is accompanied by other symptoms such as odor and redness around the glans.
Another reason why an uncircumcised penis may release discharge is due to the build up of smegma. This is a composition of oils, skin cells and fluids around the foreskin that are supposed to keep the area clean. If the area is not properly cleaned, it encourages bacterial growth which in return cause infections.
Sexually transmitted diseases are usually the major cause of penile discharge. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are mostly associated with penile discharge.
In some cases, gonorrhea and chlamydia go hand in hand. According to a study that involved 200 men with urethral discharge, among the 45 men who were found to have chlamydia, 36 of them were co-infected with gonorrhea.
If you notice some strange discharge oozing from your penis, you should seek treatment soonest possible.