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Penile Discharge

Penile discharge

Penile discharge, an abnormal fluid expelled from the male urethra, is usually a symptom of several underlying health conditions. Understanding why you experience penile discharge and its potential causes is the first step to addressing the issue.

Symptoms of penile discharge

The symptoms of penile discharge include:

Abnormal discharge

The most common and obvious symptom is an unusual fluid coming from the tip of the penis. The discharge's colour, odour and consistency vary depending on the underlying cause.

Discomfort or pain

Some people with penile discharge may experience burning, discomfort or pain while urinating, resulting from irritation or inflammation of the urethra.

Itching or irritation

Irritation or itching around the genital area may occur with penile discharge, especially if sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the cause.

Frequent urination

Sometimes, penile discharge may be due to an increased urge to urinate more frequently than usual.

Swelling or redness

Redness and swelling of the area around the urethral opening or penis can occur in certain conditions if penile discharge is due to infections.

Lesions or sores

Certain STIs, such as syphilis, may lead to lesions or open sores on the genital area, alongside penile discharge.

Painful ejaculation

Discomfort or pain during ejaculation may indicate symptoms common with underlying conditions causing penile discharge.

Enlarged lymph nodes

If certain STIs cause penile discharge, the lymph nodes in the groin area may become tender and swollen.

General flu-like symptoms

STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea may cause flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, body aches and fever, alongside penile discharge.

Common causes of penile discharge

Several conditions, including non-infectious and infectious conditions, can cause penile discharge.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Gonorrhea – This bacterial STI often causes a thick, green or yellow discharge from the penis.

Chlamydia – A bacterial infection that may cause a cloudy or clear discharge

Trichomoniasis – An STI caused by a parasite that leads to a greenish-yellow or a frothy discharge.

Syphilis – Usually causes rashes or sores but may also cause penile discharge.

Non-specific urethritis (NSU)

NSU is an inflammation of the urethra without a specific cause of the infection. It may result in a clear or white discharge.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

UTIs may cause penile discharge, alongside frequent urge to urinate and painful urination.


The inflammation of the prostate gland may cause a white or milky discharge and other urinary symptoms.


Urethritis caused by non-infectious factors such as trauma or irritation may cause penile discharge.


An inflammation of the epididymis, a structure close to the testicles, can cause cloudy or clear penile discharge.

Urethral strictures

Narrowing of the urethra resulting from scarring or other factors can cause difficulties urinating, leading to discharge.

Irritants or allergic reactions

Exposure to some soaps, allergens or soaps may irritate the urethra and cause discharge.

Urethral trauma

Trauma or injury to the urethra can cause discharge or bleeding.

During your appointment, the healthcare professional will ask about your symptoms, including when you started experiencing them and possible causes. A physical examination is necessary, and if the healthcare professional suspects you have an infection, they may take a swab of the discharge to have it tested at the lab.

What to expect at our clinic

Informed patients are empowered to make the right choices, so we ensure you are informed about what to expect during your consultation.

The diagnostic process

When you visit the clinic, you will undergo a comprehensive diagnostic process. This may include taking your detailed medical history, a physical exam and specific tests and procedures to diagnose the cause of the penile discharge.

Procedure and test explanations

Our healthcare professional will explain why you need the test and the process of any procedure or test recommended. You can ask any questions at your appointment and have any concerns addressed.

Treatment options and plans

Once we've diagnosed the cause of your penile discharge, we will discuss your treatment options. Our healthcare professional will discuss your preference to customise a suitable treatment plan and explain the recommended treatments and the expected outcomes.

What to do next

Our well-trained and experienced professional can help you with any concerns about your sexual health, diagnose the cause of your health issue and provide treatment for any existing conditions or symptoms.

We provide confidential and discreet care, with fast appointments and results delivered by STI diagnosis and treatment experts. Call Medical Express Clinic today on 0207 499 1991 to book an appointment or speak to a healthcare professional about your sexual health concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you experience symptoms of an STI or bacterial infection, consult one of our doctors about undergoing tests and a physical examination for a diagnosis and possible treatment. Most penile infections are easily treatable with medications, such as antibiotics, corticosteroids and antifungal creams. In some cases, if your symptoms result from skin irritation, avoiding certain soap brands may be necessary.

Yes, it does. Always keeping your penis clean by washing it regularly using warm water and avoiding irritants such as soap, particularly soap containing deodorants or scented soap. A regular personal hygiene routine helps prevent the build-up of unhealthy bacteria and balanitis.

If your penis infection results from bacteria, your doctor may prescribe a course of oral antibiotics tablets, such as metronidazole or flucloxacillin, which you will take for seven days, depending on your symptoms.

If an STI is the cause of your penile discharge, your partner needs to get tested and receive treatment as soon as possible to prevent the risk of re-infection.