A discharge in men is usually caused by inflammatory processes. In most cases, successful therapies can be carried out.
What is discharge in men?
A man has a discharge from the urethra. This is a secreted liquid that can have different consistencies; For example, the liquid can be glassy or clear, but discharge in men can also be whitish, yellow or green.
A discharge is neither semen nor urine. There is usually no discharge in healthy men. The extent to which a man has a discharge varies with the person affected; Both the secretion of only very small amounts and large amounts is possible with a discharge.
Concomitant symptoms of vaginal discharge in men may include an increased urge to urinate, a skin rash in the genital area and / or pain when urinating.
In most cases, the cause of a discharge in men is inflammation of the urethra (also called urethritis in medicine).
A distinction can be made in this cause of a discharge in men between ureter inflammation, which is caused by sexually transmitted diseases, and between those which are not caused by sexually transmitted diseases: If a discharge in men is based on urethritis due to a sexually transmitted disease, is this inflammation is known as gonorrheic urethritis.
If this is not the case, then an inflammation of the ureter is referred to as the cause of a discharge in men as non-gonorrheic or non-specific urethritis. Less common causes of discharge in men are inflammation of the prostate (prostate gland) or the penile foreskin. Allergic reactions, urethral constrictions or mechanical stimuli can also cause inflammation on the penis and associated discharge in men.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
Discharge in men can be clear and glassy, but also whitish-purulent, yellow or green. If you have a severe kidney or urinary tract infection, the discharge may be bloody. For example, depending on the cause, the discharge smells like sulfur, sour or putrid. It can be slimy or liquid and occur in spurts or once.
Most of the time, discharge in men is associated with other symptoms. Typically, there is burning pain when urinating, which can radiate into the kidney region. Depending on the underlying disease, there is a frequent need to urinate, which occurs mainly during the night. In addition, swollen lymph nodes occur in the groin region.
Recurrent discharge associated with urine leakage can lead to a painful or itchy rash in the genital area. Some people also suffer from swelling around the testicles and shaft. Possible side effects of discharge are urethral narrowing, epididymitis or infertility.
If the symptoms are caused by a narrowing of the urethra, the discharge is usually accompanied by severe pain. Epididymitis is also associated with pain, which occurs primarily when moving. Infertility can be temporary or permanent.
Diagnosis & course
Inflammation as the cause of a discharge in men can be diagnosed with a urethral swab or with a urine sample of the urine that emerges from the urethra at the beginning of urination. If white blood cells are found in the urine, this indicates an inflammatory discharge in men.
The samples can also usually be used to detect the germs that caused inflammation and subsequent discharge in men.
If there is a discharge in a man, an early visit to the doctor is carried out so that an appropriate causal therapy can be started, the discharge in men will in most cases take a positive course.
If a doctor is not called in because the patient wants to heal himself, complications will arise. If it is an inflammation of the urethra, there may be other symptoms in addition to the discharge, such as pain when urinating or severe itching on the penis and in the entire genital area. An increased need to urinate at night and a rash around the genitals are also possible.
An allergic reaction is also a common cause of discharge in male patients. Allergies can manifest themselves as itching, wheals and redness and worsen if not treated with antibiotics, for example. If there are signs of an allergy, good intimate hygiene and fresh underwear every day should be ensured, otherwise the symptoms will accumulate.
Since it can also be a prostate tumor or a urethral tumor, depending on the type of discharge and the nature of the pain, a visit to the urologist is inevitable. This problem does not go away on its own and, if left untreated, only causes further symptoms and spreads the focus of inflammation.
In the event of any sexually transmitted diseases, the patient’s sexual partner should also be examined. Often women do not show any symptoms, such as with chlamydia. However, if left untreated, it can cause infertility in both sexes.
Treatment & Therapy
As a rule, if there is a discharge in men, causal therapy is given. It is therefore important to have a precise diagnosis of the cause of the discharge in men. If the man receives therapeutic treatment for a discharge, it is important to treat his sexual partner as well; even if these show no symptoms.
If treatment of the sexual partner is neglected in the case of a discharge in men, a so-called ping-pong effect can set in; the infection is alternately re-transmitted from the partners to one another. In order to treat inflammation and the associated discharge, doctors first recommend drinking enough fluid to accompany the therapy; this leads to a cleaning rinsing effect.
Inflammation with associated discharge in men is usually treated with antibiotics. The type of antibiotic used depends on the causes of the discharge in men. Sexually transmitted diseases as a cause of a discharge usually require longer-term antibiotic treatment of the sexual partners than inflammation that is not caused by sexually transmitted diseases.
Outlook & forecast
Discharge in men is usually unproblematic. With early treatment, the symptoms usually subside quickly and do not result in any further complications.
However, if treatment is not carried out or if it is done too late, the discharge can cause further discomfort. Then there is severe itching and rashes in the genital area, for example, and the prognosis worsens. Allergic reactions can lead to a protracted course of the disease, which is often a considerable burden for the person concerned.
If the discharge is due to a tumor, treatment is essential. Otherwise life-threatening complications and possibly even death of the patient can result. For STDs, the prognosis depends on how quickly the cause is identified and treated. Often the sexual partner has already been infected or the disease has spread to other parts of the body.
The prospect of a speedy recovery is given if the discharge in the man is examined immediately and treated if necessary. Discharge from a bladder infection is usually not a problem. The inflammation heals on its own and no permanent damage remains.
In order to prevent discharge in men caused by sexually transmitted diseases, it can make sense, especially for men with changing sexual partners, to practice protected sexual intercourse with the use of condoms. An early visit to the doctor if there is a discharge in men can usually prevent the symptoms of discharge in men from worsening.
The condition usually does not require further medical evaluation after successful treatment. However, since research into the causes takes place in order to prevent renewed infection, the patient receives practical tips for everyday life. Protected sexual intercourse and daily intimate hygiene are advisable. Avoiding nicotine and alcohol strengthens the immune system and prevents re-infection.
A patient can follow these rules in everyday life without medical supervision. They usually sufficiently prevent the recurrence of the discharge in men. Long-term treatment is only indicated in rare cases. Then a visit to the doctor was usually postponed for a long time. The pathogens spread to other organs. Inflammation of the prostate and epididymis may be present and require longer treatment with antibiotics.
If the typical symptoms of discharge in men recur after successful therapy, a foreskin that is too tight can be the cause of discomfort. In this case, circumcision is advisable. It should also be noted that sexual partners are often infected as well. The aim of follow-up care must therefore be to include all those affected in the therapy. This is the only way that infections cannot spread and complications can be prevented in advance.
You can do that yourself
Discharge in men should first be clarified by a doctor. In addition to medical treatment, the symptoms can often be alleviated by taking a few measures and home remedies.
If the discharge is based on inflammation, the genital area should first be spared and protected from the cold and wet. By drinking a lot, the bacteria are flushed out quickly and the effluent should after a few days back.
Suitable drinks are, for example, mineral water and bladder and kidney tea, but also teas made from medicinal plants such as bearberry or field horsetail. The herb of the goldenrod also has a diuretic and antispasmodic effect and can be used either as a tea or in the form of a warm compress. In addition, bladder training can be used to strengthen the urinary tract.
If the discharge is the result of incontinence or a chronic illness, preventive measures such as panty liners or adult diapers are recommended. If you have severe complaints, you should speak to your family doctor. Medicines or surgery may help reduce the discharge. Dealing with strong, chronic discharge in men can be made easier in self-help groups or by talking to a therapist.