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Penile discharge: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About penile discharge

Penile discharge is a term used for seepage of fluid from the urethral opening located at tip of the penis. This discharge may be clear or pus-filled or even sticky depending upon the underlying cause of leakage.

Penile discharge: Incidence, age and sex

Penile discharge is commonly encountered among young men and there is no affinity to any race. It is generally seen in sexually active men.

Signs and symptoms of penile discharge: Diagnosis

Penile discharge is itself a symptom of other disorders. The affected individual may complain of pain or burning, along with discharge in cases of local infection. The discharge may be clear if the underlying cause is inflammatory. The quantity of penile discharge may vary from scanty to profuse. The affected individual may also experience increased frequency of urine, especially at night.

The diagnosis of penile discharge is established by urine analysis which may reveal white blood cells (pus cells) if there is an infection. Physical examination of the affected individual may reveal enlargement of the inguinal lymph nodes. A urethral swab may be able to identify the infectious agents like gonococcal bacteria.

Causes and prevention of penile discharge

The cause of penile discharge is either due to infection or inflammation. Localised inflammation may occur due to irritation by soaps or detergents. The infectious causes include both gonococcal and non-gonococcal urethritis. Gonococcal urethritis is caused by bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae and non-gonococcal urethritis may be caused by various organisms namely Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium andTrichomonas vaginalis.

It is important to keep the urethra and surrounding area clean. People should avoid multiple sex partners. It is advisable not to indulge in oral or anal sex, which carry increased incidence of sexually transmitted infections, which may in turn result in penile discharge.

Penile discharge: Complications

Penile discharge may cause localised irritation of the surrounding skin. Other complications may arise from the underlying sexually transmitted disease.

Penile discharge: Treatment

Penile discharge is treated according to its cause. Efficacious antibiotics like ceftrioxone, cefixime or doxycycline are generally prescribed for bacterial infections. Sexual partners of the affected person should also be treated in order to prevent re-infection.