Penis pain is a condition that generally arises in one of two ways: obviously, as when you are kicked in the groin or sustain an injury while riding a bicycle; or insidiously, as when the pain develops gradually and may not seem to have any apparent cause. In either situation, penis pain is something that needs to be addressed.
What are the causes of penis pain?
In addition to two obvious causes of penis pain—a direct sports or athletic injury to the groin and priapism (a four-hour erection, which is a medical emergency), other situations or conditions can cause or be associated with penis pain as well.
- Urinary tract infection
- Infection under the foreskin (balantis)
- Urethritis (inflammation of the urethra)
- Reiter syndrome (arthritis of the urethra)
- Sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis)
- Bladder stones
- Penile cancer
- Bites (human or insect)
- Peyronie’s disease (curved penis)
- Swollen or excessively tight foreskin
- Allergic reaction to soaps, spermicides, or detergents
- Mondor’s disease (rare; penile vein blood clot)
- Penile acne
- Fractured penis
- Poor hygiene
- Sickle cell anemia
If you are experiencing penis pain, it’s definitely worth a visit to your doctor to uncover the reason so a cause can be identified, the pain can be treated, and you can breathe a little easier knowing you have managed the situation. Sometimes penis pain can be serious, and if it is ignored or neglected, it may lead to serious infection, erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, or other life-altering conditions.
What are the symptoms of penis pain?
Although the answer to this question may seem obvious, especially after taking a baseball to the groin, there are variations of penis pain. For example, the pain may be
- Located in the shaft
- Isolated to the glans penis (head)
- In the area of the penis that connects to the abdominal wall (root)
- Confined to the urethra (the tube that runs through the penis and transports urine and semen)
Other symptoms that may accompany penis pain are serious and should be addressed immediately by a healthcare provider. They include:
- Priapism, or an erection that lasts for four hours or longer. Seek emergency medical assistance if this occurs
- An inability to urinate
- Sounds or cracking or popping when you have an erection or are engaging in sexual intercourse
- A sports injury to the groin area
Similar to other types of pain, penis pain may be throbbing, dull, sharp, or stabbing, and it may continue for only a few minutes or for hours or days. Frequently penis pain is accompanied by itching or a burning sensation. Penis pain can be a minor inconvenience in a man’s life or as critical as making it impossible to continue with normal daily activities.
What other symptoms and signs may accompany penis pain?
It can be challenging to recognize whether a symptom is a cause or result of penis pain. However, if you experience any of the following events along with your pain, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible:
- Inflamed penis
- Swelling or lumps in the groin area
- Blood semen
- Urethral discharge
- Bruised or discolored penis
- Erectile dysfunction (especially if sudden onset)
- Abdominal, testicular, prostate, or bladder pain
- Premature ejaculation
- Penile rash
- Urinary difficulties, such as dribbling, painful urination, burning sensation when urinating, urinary frequency
- Penile lesions or sores
- Accumulation of a thick secretion under the foreskin