Is Penis Odor a Sign of a Medical Condition?

Rank and persistent penis odor is an unfortunately common condition and often is due to improper attention to penis care, particularly in the area of hygiene. However, sometimes a persistent penis odor, especially one accompanied by urinary stench, may herald a medical condition which will need to be attended to.

If a man pays proper attention to his hygiene issues and still has a persistent penis odor problem, it pays to bring this to the attention of his doctor. The doctor can then see if an underlying or co-existing medical condition may be the problem.

Some of the issues the doctor may investigate are:

– A sexually-transmitted infection (STI). A strong penis odor can sometimes be linked to an STI, which will of course need to be seen to immediately. Among the STIs for which penis odor may be a “marker” are chlamydia and gonorrhea. Most of the time, penis odor by itself is not a symptom of an STI; it is much more likely to be found along with a discharge or with pain during urination. However, it is better to be safe than sorry.

– Anaerobic infection. Anaerobic infections are fairly rare in the penis, but they do occasionally occur there. These infections are caused by a bacteria called an anaerobe, and it really only thrives in areas in which little or no oxygen is present. Some of the more popular conditions caused by anaerobes are gangrene, tetanus and botulism. If an anaerobic infection occurs in the penis, it is likely to indicate that there is dead tissue in the organ, and that can be very serious indeed. Again and fortunately, such infections rarely occur in the penis.

– Dehydration. Sometimes penis odor results from a urinary condition, often from simple dehydration or lack of sufficient water. Often urine-related penis odor is due to consumption of foods with a particularly strong odor. If the urine in which these foods are passed has a high water concentration, it can dilute the strong aroma more effectively. When a man has not consumed enough water, there is less water in the urine to act as a diluter, and therefore a stronger odor.

– Diabetes. When well managed, diabetes tends not to produce its own penis odor issue. But poorly managed diabetes may result in excess glucose (sugar) intruding upon the urinary system. The excess sugar thickens the urine and also produces a sugary odor that sounds pleasant in theory but is actually quite off-putting in practice.

– A bladder condition. As part of the urinary system, issues that arise in the bladder can affect the urine content, which can in turn produce penis odor. An infection is the most common bladder issue of this sort, but sometimes a condition called a fistula may arise. This means that the bladder and the intestines develop an improper connection which produces a bacterial overflow. Fistulas often require surgery.

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