Penis pain is any pain or discomfort in the penis.
Pain - penis; Priapism
- Bites, either human or insect
- Cancer of the penis
- Erection that does not go away (priapism)
- Genital herpes
- Infected prosthesis of the penis
- Infection under the foreskin of uncircumcised men (balanitis)
- Inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis)
- Peyronie's disease
- Reiter syndrome
- Sickle cell anemia
- Urethritis caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea
How you treat penis pain at home depends on its cause. Talk to your health care provider about treatment. Ice packs may help ease the pain.
If penis pain is caused by a sexually transmitted disease, it is important for your sexual partner to also be treated.
An erection that does not go away (priapism) is a medical emergency. Get help immediately. Ask your health care provider about getting treatment for the condition causing priapism.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you notice any of the following:
- An erection that does not go away (priapism) -- seek immediate medical attention
- Pain that lasts for more than 4 hours
- Pain with other unexplained symptoms
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your health care provider will do a physical examination and take a medical history, which may include the following questions:
- When did the pain start?
- Is it always present?
- Is it a painful erection (priapism)?
- Do you feel pain when the penis is not erect?
- Is the pain in all of the penis or just one part of it?
- Have you had any open sores?
- Has there been any injury to the area?
- Are you at risk for any sexually transmitted disease?
- Have you been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease?
- What other symptoms do you have?
The physical exam will probably include a detailed examination of the penis, testicles, scrotum, and groin.
The pain can be treated once its cause has been found. Treatments may include:
- Infection -- antibiotics, antiviral medications, or other medications (in rare cases, circumcision is advised for long-term (chronic) infection under the foreskin)
- Priapism -- the erection needs to diminish, a urinary catheter is inserted to relieve urinary retention, and medications or surgery may be given if needed
Burnett AL. Priapism. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 26.
Frenkl T, Potts J. Sexually transmitted diseases. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 11.
Pettaway CA, Lunch DF, Davis JW. Tumors of the penis. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 31.
Jordan GH. Peyronie's disease. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 25.
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.