How To Know If Your Male Discharge Is Normal?



The urethra is a narrow tube in the penile organ. It usually helps the urine to pass through. But the male discharge of other types may also flow out from the phallus. Normal discharges are ejaculate and pre-cum. Smegma may also form around the head of the reproductive organ.

Some male discharges are normal and beneficial for health. But others are not, and indicate a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Or, it may also signal the presence of a health issue. In this post, we will discuss normal and abnormal fluids that the urethra may pass out, and what you can do about it.

What is Normal Male Discharge?

A normal male discharge is a healthy and natural occurrence of biology. Apart from urine, there are three other types of normal male discharge or substance. We will share the details below:

  • Pre-ejaculate

When a man feels aroused sexually, then his penile organ may drip precum or pre-ejaculate. And at the time of climax, he ejaculates semen. Precum is a mucoid fluid. It is a normal male discharge. The Cowper’s gland produces it. This is a clear liquid. The gland is at the side of the urethra.

When a man encounters sexual arousal, the penile tip secretes pre-ejaculate. This is not the release of semen and sperm. Most men release a precum of a few drops. But for some, it can go up to a teaspoon. The amount of precum may vary from person to person.

Pre-ejaculate clear acids from the urine. This lowers acidity in the penile organ. It makes the environment conducive for sperm survival. Precum also prepares a man for intercourse by lubricating the phallus. You can use a condom to stop the direct touch of a phallus with the private parts of your partner.

This will keep the risk of STIs away. Sometimes the precum may contain sperm from leftover activity. So, a condom can also restrict a pregnancy even from precum. Otherwise, pregnancy is usually possible mostly after ejaculation. Because the ejaculatory fluid contains semen and sperm.

  • Ejaculate

When a man reaches orgasm, he ejaculates. The ejaculation is a gooey, thick, cloudy, and white substance. The penile tip releases this fluid. It consists of sperm. The prostate, seminal vesicles in the testicles, and Cowper’s glands produce sperm.

About 1% of the semen contains sperm. On average, a male discharge of semen contains 200 to 500 million sperm. Water, enzymes, protein, and sugar forms the other 99% of the contents. The amount of ejaculation may differ from a person to another.

If the ejaculatory fluid is too watery, then you consult a doctor. The amount and quality of ejaculation may differ too between people. The reason for the same is perhaps diet, lifestyle, an underlying health issue, etc.

  • Smegma

Smegma is a collection of dead skin cells as well as oil. The Tyson’s glands produce it. The gland is under the foreskin. Though it is not a discharge, it is a skin condition. The build-up is more common in uncircumcised men. They have foreskin on the penile organ.

The water, skin oil sebum, and skin cells collection look yellowish or whitish. Smegma is not harmful. It prevents friction a sexual activity. Also, it lubricates the penis head. But this substance contains bacteria. But when the bacteria overgrow, it is not good for health.

Because of unhealthy bacteria overgrowth, smegma may smell bad. Also, it can invite infections of the urinary tract. It also increases the risk of STIs. Uncircumcised men have a foreskin. This traps smegma under the penile head. You can rinse it away regularly. This will keep off the overgrowth of bacteria.

Cleaning the penile organ properly will do away with old skin cells and build-up. If left uncleaned, smegma may get too much and look like pear-shaped lumps. Too much of this substance can give out an odd odor. Also, it can prevent foreskin movement.

If there are issues with the foreskin, a simple foreskin removal surgery can do the job. You can speak to your doctor if smegma build-up is too often and disturbing.

What is Abnormal Male Discharge?

Certain health issues and infections may infect the male discharge, and make it harmful. The causes for such unhealthy male discharges are:

  • Balanitis

This is the inflammation of the penis head (glans). Balanitis may affect uncircumcised as well as circumcised males. But it is more common for men with foreskins. Some of the symptoms are pain during urination, itchiness, blotchy and red rash, and foul discharge from under the foreskin.

This condition happens from allergic reactions to lotions, soaps, condoms, lubricants, etc. It can occur from poor hygiene as well. If you do not pull the foreskin back and clean it, the risk of inflammation increases. The smegma along with urine and sweat is a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria.

The resulting build-up is irritating. Another culprit is a sexually transmitted disease. Also, foreskin inflammation (posthitis) may lead to Balanitis. When both these happen together, Balanoposthitis results. Here inflammation occurs on the glans and foreskin.

  • Prostatitis 

The prostate makes prostatic fluid. This is one of the contents of semen. The walnut-shaped gland may suffer from inflammation. The infection on the prostate surrounding the urethra leads to pain during ejaculation. It may result in blood from urine, odd-smelling urine, difficulty urinating, and an interrupted urine stream.

Prostatitis may go away in a few days or weeks. It may go on its own. Or, you may require treatment. But if the condition is chronic, it can take 3 months for treatment. If it does not go even after that, then at least a few symptoms may ease out.

  • Urethritis

This is an infection and inflammation of the urethra. Here, there are no symptoms sometimes. Or, you may feel an urgent need to urinate. You may also feel a burning sensation during urination. Or, you may even face a greenish or yellowish male discharge.

Urethritis is caused by bacteria from unprotected intercourse. Some of the STDs that lead to urethritis are Gonorrhea, Herpes Simplex Virus, and Chlamydia. This condition is also possible because of normal bacteria. This can cause urinary tract infections.

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

UTIs are not that common in men. But bacteria from the rectum can go into the urinary tract. If you do not clean the anus properly, then the transfer of fecal bacteria is possible. Some of the symptoms are fever, feeling an urgent need to urinate, foul-smelling or cloudy urine.

Also, you may find pus-tinged or clear male discharge from the penile organ. Or, there is a burning sensation from passing urine. The infection may occur at the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys. Other common signs are shaking and chills, lower abdomen discomfort, blood in urine, and more.

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Foul male discharge can happen because of STDs. Some of the responsible conditions are:

  • Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a common STD but it may have no symptoms. You may encounter pain during urination. You can also face swelling on the testicles. Or, male discharge from the penile tip is greenish, yellowish, and whitish.

  • Chlamydia

This is a bacterial infection responsible for Urethritis. It may also result in swelling in the testicles. It can also cause pain during intercourse. This infection can spread through skin-to-skin contact. It can also happen from vaginal and anal sex. For men, it is more common for those who have a relationship with men.

When to Seek Help?

If there is any upsetting male discharge other than urine, see your doctor. He/she will ask about the symptoms. Also, a physical exam of the affected area is necessary. The physician will also ask for your sexual and medical history. The doctor may collect a swab of the discharge as a sample for lab analysis.

Complications include scarring of the penile organ, difficulty or inability to retract the foreskin, spread of infection, and inflammation. Do not shy away from the problem. Otherwise, it can lead to long-term issues. In some cases, the infection can also damage the genital tissues. Or, it can keep you away from getting intimate.

It is better to wait for the infection to clear. Only then you must engage with someone else. Even you must stop self-pleasuring until then. Because this can risk the spread of STIs. Since self-pleasuring may include touching, fondling, and bodily fluids, it is a big-no until the treatment is over.

The treatment will depend on the reason behind the male discharge. Antibiotics work to eliminate bacterial infections. Antifungals will work for fungal infections, like those from yeast. Steroids can ease allergic reactions. But complete the entire course of medications even if the symptoms fade.

To Sum it Up

Normal male discharge is urine, precum, and ejaculation. Smegma is a skin condition and not discharge. Pre-ejaculate and ejaculation result from intercourse and sexual arousal. This does not cause any discomfort or pain. But you must see a doctor if there is foul-smelling or discolored discharge.

Seek professional help if you notice redness and irritation of the phallus. If there is pain during intercourse or odd discharge, then it is probably a sign of an STD. Or it is a sign of UTI or allergic reaction. With timely treatment, you can get over these problems.



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