Pent up in an area that gets a lot of moisture and not a ton of ventilation, penises often carry a smell. But if that smell has changed or gotten more pungent, it may be a sign there's something foul afoot. Most reasons for penis odor can be easily easily and all can be prevented. Let's learn a little about the most common causes of penis smell and how to prevent funky smells from invading the area.
# 1: Smegma
Smegma brings the funk like nothing else and is generally the first thing that pops into mind when the subject of penis smell comes up. Smegma is the buildup of moisture, oils, and skin cells around the shaft of the penis and under the foreskin in uncircumcised men. When it builds up, it can manifest as a chunky, off-white paste which leads to infection and inflammation.
The best way to combat smegma is a thorough washing. Using a gentle cleanser and warm water, retract the skin from the foreskin and delicately wash the area. Then rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a soft towel. Repeat daily until smegma disappears.
If foreskin will not retract or the infection and irritation does not subside, see a medical professional.
# 2. Yeast infection or Thrush
Yeast infections occur when Candida fungus on the penis grows out of control. This overgrowth gives the penis a moldy smell. Yeast infections can also include redness, itching, burning, and white chunky discharge. It can be caused by lax hygiene or be contracted from a partner.
Men having these symptoms will need to see a doctor for diagnosis and medication. The most common medication prescribed is Diflucan.
# 3: Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) which is contracted by having vaginal, oral, or anal anal sex with someone who's already infected. Chlamydia is a tricky one because it does not always cause symptoms but, in some cases, people experience penis odor, a burning sensation during urination, discharge, and testicle swelling.
Treatment requires a trip to the doctor for an antibiotic. Treatment can take seven days so be sure to refrain from sex while undergoing diagnosis and treatment.
# 4: Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is also an STI and is spread through intimate contact with the vagina, anus, or mouth of an infected partner. Like Chlamydia, it does not always present symptoms; however, for those who are symptomatic a penis odor presents as well as a burning feeling when urinating, soreness, bleeding, itching, pain while defecating, and green, yellow, or white discharge.
Treatment for Gonorrhea also requires a doctor's visit for diagnosis and treatment. The most common method of treatment is an injection of Rocephin and a round of oral medications. The course of treatment runs at least seven days, so refrain from intimate contact while being diagnosed and treated.
# 5: Non-gonococcal urethritis
Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU) occurs when the urethra gets inflamed. It's called "non-gonococcal" because it is caused by something other than gonorrhea. Symptoms include a sour odor, soreness, and irritation at the tip of the penis, cloudy discharge from the penis, and a burning sensation when urinating.
It's important to seek medical treatment immediately as NGU can lead to infertility when untreated. A doctor will prescribe antibiotic to fight the infection and the normal treatment time is seven days. Since NGU is able to be spread through intimate contact, refrain from sex during diagnosis and treatment.
How to Prevent Penis Smell
There are a few ways to prevent penal odor from ruining a romantic night or leading to more serious medical issues.
– Cleanse the penis regularly – daily is preferred but be sure to bathe after sex and working out as well, in addition to any extra sweaty days.
– Wear loose, cotton underwear to give the genital area a more breathable environment.
– Sleep in the nude to give the genital area circulation.
– Keep pubic hair trimmed as longer pubic hair can retain smells and hold in dirt, moisture, and bacteria.
– Practice safe sex by using condoms and having frank discussions about sexual history and health prior to having sex.
– Use a specially formulated penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) daily in the genital area. These crèmes are created especially for the area and contain key nutrients to not only hydrate the penis but also reduce bacterial and promote cellular function.