Penile Discharge – What does It Mean?


Penile discharge is a collective term which may designate secreted substance of sebaceous glands accumulating in foreskin, and urethral remains that are to be found among every man. The emergence of such discharge can be regarded as a variant of norm, or it may testify to the development of serious inner disorders and point to changes in the condition of genitourinary system. In order to prevent dangerous complications, men should pay attention to the nature of substance discharging from penis. Excretion of liquid or mucus from men’s urinary meatus may be, as has been mentioned, a usual phenomenon; yet, it should be borne in mind that such a case can appear on account of various pathological processes.

Physiological Norm

If during 30-40 minutes after a coitus or masturbation there is a discharge of turbid color, it is regarded as norm.

Transparent moisture from the head of the penis which flows out of urethral canal is the first instance of normal secretion (physiological urethral discharge). The cause of this type of excretion is the necessity of lubricating the yellow discharge from penile headurethra so that the sperm can pass freely. The amount of discharge fluctuates from small to considerable, depending on frequency of sexual activity and the individual peculiarities of an organism.

The second type of penile discharge being considered norm is smegma (preputial lubricant). It is produced by glands located in the skin integument of glans penis and foreskin. The main function of this substance consisting of fat and remains of bacterial flora is lubrication and the reduction of friction between a glans and foreskin. The excessive activity of preputial glands is observed in puberty and hormonal imbalance. To avoid an inflammatory process, men should thoroughly take care of their penis hygiene, that is, regularly wash the organ moving off foreskin and elaborately eliminate all the discharge. It should be noted that smegma is sometimes confused with male thrush since these phenomena are alike. The latter is certainly to be treated.

To the examples of normal penile discharge belongs, naturally, sperm, as well as pollutions – an involuntary excretion of seminal fluid which is not concerned with coitus (or masturbation). It is commonly observed in boys that hit puberty and in men who have rare sexual activity.

Symptoms of Pathologies

To know the difference between norm and pathology, one is to consider the following criteria:

  • white discharge from penile headamount (abundant, small, moderate)
  • color (transparent, white, yellow, greenish, etc.)
  • presence of impurity (balls of mucus, pus, blood)
  • consistence (sticky, thick, liquid)
  • smell (fishy, sour, putrefactive)
  • periodicity of secretion (permanent, episodic, day, night, morning)
  • correlation to attendant processes (urination, alcohol ingestion, nutritional disorder, sexual excitement).

The nature of secretion may vary according to:

  1. a causative agent
  2. condition of immunity
  3. severity of inflammation
  4. extent of neglecting the problem
  5. presence of attendant disorders.

That is why it is impossible to diagnose pathology by oneself – outer features of secreted substance are not enough for this. The following maladies may emerge as the causes of the appearance of pathological discharge:

  • Venereal infection. Purulent secretion is usually a symptom of gonorrhea. Apart from plenty of yellow discharge from penile head (usually with greenish tinge) patients have the itch as well. While urinating, they suffer lancinating pain. Stringy, transparent mucous substance is observed when a patient has Chlamydia infection, mycoplasma urethritis, and ureaplasmosis. Such secretion may contain some amount of pus. As far as white discharge from penile head is concerned, such a phenomenon is generally the characteristic of such diseases as Chlamydia infection, trichomoniasis, ureaplasmosis. As one can see, different maladies may have the same white penile dischargesymptoms. Besides, patients suffering from venereal maladies usually have combined infections, which can considerably alter the symptoms of pathology. It means that the analysis of discharge nature is not a reliable means to diagnose the cause. It is only modern methods with the high level of confidence that can be of real help.
  • Non-specific inflammations. Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, E. coli, fungi of the genus Candida in the small quantities present on skin and mucous layers of the human body. But owing to such factors as immunity reduction, undercooling, stresses, or abundant use of antibiotics, pathogenic flora begins impetuously multiplying and that induces inflammatory process. It may result in idiopathic urethritis, candidiasis, gardnerellas urethral, balanoposthitis, prostatitis, which in their turn may lead to sterility. These diseases are usually accompanied by pain, burning sensation in urethra, itch, and penile discharge.
  • Non-inflammatory processes. Chronic disorders of genitals, injuries of urethra, permanent stress, imbalance of nervous system can provoke the emergence of abnormal secretion.

Man must be fully aware that it is only a doctor who can diagnose the cause of penile discharge. Self-treatment via empirical and alternative methods is fraught with aggravation of the problem and the onset of serious complications.

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