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Inflammation of the Penis

(Balanitis; Posthitis; Balanoposthitis)

By

Patrick J. Shenot

, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Last full review/revision May 2021| Content last modified May 2021
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Topic Resources

The foreskin of the penis and the glans penis (the cone-shaped end of the penis) can be inflamed.

  • Balanitis is inflammation of the glans penis.

  • Posthitis is inflammation of the foreskin.

  • Balanoposthitis is inflammation of both the glans penis and the foreskin.

Causes of Penile Inflammation

Balanoposthitis often begins with balanitis. It develops more often if

Symptoms of Penile Inflammation

Inflammation of the penis causes

  • Pain

  • Itching

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Discharge from underneath the foreskin

Often, the symptoms begin within two or three days after sexual intercourse. Sores on the penis and swollen lymph nodes in the groin can develop.

Diagnosis of Penile Inflammation

Treatment of Penile Inflammation

  • Good hygiene

  • Treatment of the cause of inflammation

  • Sometimes, circumcision

Sometimes doctors need to clean out the area under the foreskin and instruct the man about good hygiene. The cause of the inflammation is treated. Circumcision may be done if the foreskin remains too tight around the glans.

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Test your knowledge
Retrograde Ejaculation
Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in which semen is ejaculated backward into the bladder rather than out through the penis. Which of the following is one of the most common causes of retrograde ejaculation?
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