6 Penis Disorders: Symptoms and When to See a Doctor

When something goes wrong with your penis, it can affect your sex life as well as your overall well-being. Some the most common conditions that affect the penis are:

  • Priapism, a persistent, often painful erection that lasts for more than 4 hours
  • Peyronie's disease, a condition in which a plaque, or hard lump, forms in the penis and causes it to bend or curve
  • Balanitis, an inflammation or infection of the head of the penis
  • Phimosis, a condition in which the foreskin of the penis is so tight that it cannot be pulled back off the head of the penis
  • Paraphimosis, which happens when the foreskin, once retracted, gets stuck behind the head and cannot return to its natural location. It is a medical emergency that can cause serious complications if not treated.
  • Penile cancer, a rare type of cancer that starts in the skin cells of the penis.

In many cases, there are treatments. Some conditions can even be prevented with good hygiene. Because some of these conditions are medical emergencies, it’s important to know the symptoms and what to do if they happen.

When to Call a Doctor

Check with your doctor if you have:

  • Pain, swelling, or tenderness in your penis
  • An abnormal discharge
  • Itchy rash, blisters, sores, or small red bumps
  • Blood in your urine or semen
  • An erection that lasts for 4 hours or longer
  • A foreskin that is too tight to move
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Stuart Bergman, MD on October 30, 2015

Sources

SOURCES: 

American Cancer Society.

American Urological Association.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

FamilyDoctor.org: “Genital Problems in Men.”

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