Discharge from the penis can be watery and clear, or opaque and cloudy containing pus and even blood. Penile
discharge can vary a lot: It can be thin, thick and a range of colors from clear to white, yellow, or tinted with
blood. It can be hardly noticeable or impossible to ignore. It can be odorless or have an unpleasant odor.
Some causes of penile discharge include urinary tract infections (UTIs) and some STDs.
What causes non-sexual penile discharge?
Urinary Tract Infections - Infections that involve the part or parts of the urinary system:
bladder, urethra, ureters and/or kidneys. A UTI is accompanied by pain or burning sensation during urination
and/or penile discharge.
Which STDs cause penile discharge?
Chlamydia - A sexually transmitted disease that can result in
similar symptoms to a urinary tract infection: painful urination and discharge from the penis.
Gonorrhea - An STD that can cause discharge to leak from
the penis. This STD is also known as “The Drip” for this very reason.
Trichomoniasis - Trich is an STD that can cause an irritated or itching sensation inside the
penis, burning during urination and/or discharge from the penis.
Mycoplasma genitalium - A sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria that affects the
epithelial cells of the urinary tract. It can lead to urethritis (swelling and inflammation of the urethra) and
result in penile discharge.
Ureaplasma - An STI, similar to mycoplasma genitalium, that can cause symptoms like penile
discharge, the feeling of needing to urinate frequently, and painful or burning urination.
When is penile discharge abnormal?
While discharge from the penis is not considered typical or normal for men, cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia are
very common, especially in men. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause serious health problems when left untreated,
including infertility, so it is important to get tested for any instance of penile discharge. Like most STD cases,
many STDs frequently are not accompanied by any signs or symptoms, so getting tested if you are sexually active is
crucial to knowing whether or not you are carrying an infection.
Manhart, Lisa E., Jennifer M. Broad, and Matthew R. Golden. "Mycoplasma Genitalium: Should
We Treat and How?" Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious
Diseases Society of America 53, no. 3. doi:Oxford University Press. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3213402/
Khosropour, Christina M., Lisa E. Manhart, Catherine W. Gillespie, M. Sylvan Lowens,
Matthew R. Golden, Nicole L. Jensen, George E. Kenny, and Patricia A. Totten. "Efficacy of
Standard Therapies against Ureaplasma Species and Persistence among Men with
Non-gonococcal Urethritis Enrolled in a Randomized Controlled Trial." PubMed Central.
National Institute of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509962/