If a man is sexually aroused, he may secrete discharge in the form of pre-ejaculate or ejaculate through his urethra. Make no mistake, this is a normal aspect of male functioning and is not a cause of concern.
However, there are times when discharge may occur even when a man isn’t aroused. In worst case scenarios, the underlying reason as to why this takes place could be sexually transmitted diseases or sexually transmitted infections.
If you suspect that you’re experiencing worrying symptoms, seek treatment. Changes in the amount, color, consistency, odor, and frequency of penile discharge may be a sign of underlying sexually transmitted infections, which can have life-changing consequences.
That said, is male discharge normal? Let’s learn more about the process of sperm secretion and the types of penile discharge.
The Science Behind Sperm Secretion
Every day, millions of sperm cells are produced in a region found in the testicles called the seminiferous tubules. These sperm travel through tubes called the vas deferens to the seminal vesicles. The seminal vesicles produce a sugar-rich fluid (semen) that nourishes the sperm and helps transport it outside the body.
When a man is aroused, the penis becomes hard and rigid enough to form an erection. During sexual intercourse, the semen mixed with sperm gets expelled through the urethra, the same tube that urine passes through.
As a man reaches the height of sexual climax, this fluid then makes its way to the tip of the penis where it promptly gets discharged.
Characteristics of Penile Discharge
It’s important to be informed about the quality of your penile discharge. Not only does this help doctor’s come to an accurate diagnosis, but it may also rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms.
Here are some questions to ask when determining the status of your penile discharge:
- How much penile discharge gets expelled? Do you get a stain in your underwear after a few hours, or do you frequently have to change undergarments due to too much flow?
- How long have you been experiencing penile discharge? Has it been a few days, weeks, or months? Is it consistent, or does it appear at random times? It’s important to note that the absence of discharge doesn’t mean it’s completely absent; it may have just gone to remission.
- Does the discharge have a foul odor? Foul-smelling discharge can be a sign of infection in the urethra.
- Do you have mucus in the urine? Get a urinalysis to determine whether your urine has mucus or bacteria in it. While it’s fine to have small amounts of it, too much mucus can be a sign of STIs.
With all that said, getting in touch with a sexual health doctor can help you treat your condition.
Types of Penile Discharge
Let’s take a look at the six varieties of penile discharge: two fairly normal, and four that are cause for concern.
Pre-ejaculate is a seminal, clear fluid that’s created in the Cowper’s Glands and expelled during sexual arousal. It’s typically discharged before the height of ejaculation, acting as a natural lubricant during sexual intercourse.
Pre-ejaculate (or precum) helps neutralize the acidity in the urethra so that semen and sperm can safely pass through. The fluid is composed of enzymes, mucus, and proteins. By reducing the acidity of the urethra, sperm will be able to survive in an environment outside the penis, increasing their chances of successfully entering the uterus.
Pre-ejaculate is a normal component of sexual health in males. According to one published study, precum also has a 41% chance of carrying sperm cells.
Ejaculate is a white, gooey fluid that gets expelled when a man reaches an orgasm.
Each ejaculate can host hundreds of millions of individual sperm cells.
But even so, only about 1% of ejaculate contains live sperm cells. The rest is made out of fluids made from various parts of the penis like the seminal vesicles, prostate glands, and the Cowper’s glands. Some of the ingredients found in ejaculate include:
- Vitamin C
- Citric Acid
While the nutritional value of sperm may be surprising, it’s no substitute for an actual diet. Sperm and ejaculate may also carry diseases like sexually transmitted infections, so it’s best to steer clear from swallowing them if you value your sexual health.
A urinary tract infection may occur when bacteria from the anus, genitals, or vagina gets transmitted from one person to another, usually during sexual activity. This bacteria makes its way up the urethra and reaches the bladder, causing an infection.
Penile discharge from a UTI may look clear or show signs of pus. Urine from an infected individual may also be cloudy and possess a foul odor.
If you have symptoms of urinary tract infections, talk to a doctor immediately. Tips to manage a bacterial infection include:
- Hydrate yourself frequently
- Take more Vitamin C
- Pee as often as you need to
- Eat cranberries and male-healthy foods
Balanitis is a condition wherein the glans or the head of the penis is inflamed, causing it to be red and itchy. It may also cause a discharge of fluid underneath the foreskin.
According to the Journal of Nurse Practitioners, Balantitis affects 3 of every 100 uncircumcised men worldwide.
Balanitis occurs when bacteria build up in the foreskin. When the foreskin isn’t regularly cleaned, fungus, dead skin cells, and bacteria can grow and multiply in these regions, causing penis pain that will need medical treatment.
In addition to poor hygiene, balanitis may also occur if a man has an allergic reaction to soap, lubricants, and condoms.
Urethritis is a condition in which the urethra, or the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body, becomes inflamed and irritated. The most common symptom of urethritis is pain or burning during urination.
Urethritis is usually caused by infection, but it can also be caused by injury to the urethra. People with urethritis tend to have a yellowish, green penile discharge. STIs may also cause urethritis to form.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Various STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause a person to have penile discharges. These conditions are often hard to spot, as only about 10% of people with chlamydia, one of the most common STDs, are symptomatic.
Other STDs include:
Penile discharges may appear differently depending on the disease, often having either a whitish, greenish, or yellowish color.
Contact Cleveland’s Top Male Health Clinic for Sexual Health Consultation and Treatment Plan
If you’re experiencing penile discharges, it’s best to seek medical evaluation immediately.
Many of these diseases are managed by antibiotics and clinical treatment plans, and it’s possible to recover from them.
If you’re looking for a sexual health clinic to reclaim your sex life, contact the team at Precise Men’s Medical Centernow to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with an experienced and specially trained medical staff. We are one of Ohio’s top male health clinics providing ED therapy, PE therapy, Acoustic Wave therapy, hormone therapy, and much more.