Why is My Penis Swollen?

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A swollen penis can look red and irritated and might feel itchy or sore. It may have unusual discharge, bumps or foul odor. It can make urinating and sexual intercourse painful or difficult. In rare cases, a swollen penis can be a medical emergency such as priapism or paraphimosis.

Penile swelling is a symptom and most of the time it points out an underlying condition that needs treatment. Here are some of the most common causes.


A swollen penis can indicate an infection, allergy, or injury. Some, like priapism and paraphimosis, are medical emergencies that need immediate treatment. Most, though, are not.

A broken penis is a serious condition that can cause severe pain and swelling in the area. This can lead to erectile dysfunction and may be accompanied by other health complications. Penile sclerosing lymphangitis is another condition that causes the organ to become swollen. This rare disease occurs when the lymphatic vessels in the area around the glans are blocked. This leads to a red appearance and swelling in the area around the coronal sulcus. Circumcision, sex and trauma during sexual intercourse, sickle cell anemia and certain medications can trigger this disease.

If the swollen penis is accompanied by a foul smell, unusual discharge or bumps, it is likely an infection. This can include yeast infections, bacteria or other microorganisms. Infections can affect the tip of the penis, known as the glans, or the shaft, which extends from the glans to the foreskin.

An allergic reaction to latex can also cause a swollen penis. This type of reaction can also occur as a side effect of some drugs that treat diabetes, such as dapagliflozin (Farxiga). Swollen penis can also be caused by an ingrown hair or by an injury to the penis.


The condition that causes swollen penis may require medical treatment. In most cases, a doctor will examine the swelling and the area surrounding it. They will look for signs of infection, like redness or itching, as well as any other symptoms that might be present. This could include pain when urinating or ejaculating, discharge or unusual bumps.

In some cases, a doctor might recommend that you soak your penis in a warm bath or sitz bath to help relieve the discomfort. They might also prescribe a topical medication that can clear up an infection and reduce inflammation. If the swelling is due to an allergic reaction, the doctor might recommend you use a different soap or lotion to avoid further irritation.

If your swollen penis is caused by a urinary tract infection, they may recommend an oral or topical antibiotic to treat the infection and ease any associated pain. Urethritis is triggered by bacteria like Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It’s usually accompanied by a swollen penile shaft and urethra, and symptoms such as itching, painful urination and a yellowish discharge.

If the swollen penis is caused by balanitis, your doctor might advise you to take a break from sexual activity until the problem is resolved. They might also recommend you use a lubricant to prevent friction that can cause a build-up of fluid.

Home remedies

The pain from a swollen penis can be quite intense. It can be a symptom of an infection or an underlying medical condition that needs treatment. Usually, the pain will fade on its own within a few minutes. However, it is important to find the cause of the pain and treat it accordingly.

Most cases of swollen penis are not a cause for concern. But a swollen penis can make it difficult to urinate or have sex. In these cases, it is a good idea to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

A swollen penis may be a symptom of a health problem, such as a urinary tract infection. This condition is called urethritis and it affects 4 million people every year. It can be caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria, or it may be a side effect of medications, such as the diabetes medication dapagliflozin.

Another common reason for a swollen penis is friction from unprotected sex or an allergic reaction to irritation from dirty underwear, different clothing fabrics, lubricants and body washes. Contact dermatitis can also cause itching, redness and swelling of the penis. To prevent this, avoid using irritants and use only mild soaps and body washes that don’t contain perfume or dyes. If you are allergic to latex, avoid using condoms made from this material.

See a doctor

Seeing a doctor is a good idea if you are experiencing penile swelling. Depending on what is the cause of your problem, a doctor can prescribe ointments or steroid creams for treatment. In some cases, doctors may suggest circumcision of the foreskin to help with the swelling.

Several conditions can be associated with a swollen penis, including balanitis (inflammation of the head or tip of the penis), urethritis (infection in the urethra from bacteria like Chlamydia or Neisseria) and phimosis or paraphimosis (increased tension between the shaft and foreskin). A painless sore on the penis is often caused by herpes, while a painful blister or sore on the glans may be due to syphilis. A swollen penis can also be a sign of malignant tumors or cysts.

A swollen penis can also occur after an injury to the corpus cavernosum (the two blood-filled chambers that enlarge during sexual intercourse). This is called a fracture of the erectile penis, and it can result in pain, loss of erection, bleeding and swelling.

A swollen penis is a medical emergency in some rare cases, especially if the swollen area becomes hot and red or itching and painful or you have difficulty urinating or having intercourse. Seeking immediate care can help to prevent long-term complications and to identify the underlying causes of the problem.

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