Possible Reasons for a Foul Smelling Penis

Penile hygiene is very important. If you notice an unusually strong smell on your penis, it could be a sign something is behind it.

Most times, these conditions are not severe, and they are easy to treat. Males with foreskins may accumulate germs beneath the skin if they do not practice hygiene.

Another common cause of a foul smelling penis is STDs/STIs.

Read on to discover the most common causes of an odorous penis.


Smegma is the gathering of dead cells and other bodily fluids at the head of the penis. The debris grows over time and may lead to adverse side effects if not treated.

Smegma is not a result of an STI/STD. It is all about the genital hygiene of an individual. To avoid smegma, one needs to maintain cleanliness, taking a regular bath, and wear clean clothing.

Males with foreskins should wash beneath the skin when bathing.

Allowing smegma debris to build under the foreskin can encourage bacterial infections and lead to a foul smelling penis.

What to do

One easy way to avoid debris due to smegma is to practice good genital hygiene.

Males with foreskins are more prone to smegma debris than their circumcised counterparts. They should, therefore, ensure they clean their genitals thoroughly— wash the entire surface and under the penis foreskin.

Clean the debris with lukewarm water. Here’s how to removepenile smegma;

•   Gently pull the foreskin back to assess the debris.

•    Use a little soap and lukewarm water to wash beneath the foreskin.

•   Clean all the soap and dry your penis using a towel.

•   Practice this everyday to maintain penile hygiene.

N/B: Do not scrub the debris off with objects because you don't want to harm your penis. 

Seek medical attention if the smegma does not fade away after days of washing.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Bacterial and viral infections can infect the urinary tract. One can contract these viruses through sexual contact, retaining urine for too long, kidney stones, swollen prostate, diabetes, using surgical urinary tubes.

Urinary tract infections often lead to fishy smell.

If your urinary tract is infected, you will also experience symptoms like the regular need to urinate, a burning feeling when urinating. Urine may also be cloudy or pinkish.

Foreskins also increase the risk of infections in the urinary tract. While these conditions can be attended to with a few prescriptions, they may lead to kidney illnesses.


If you think your urinary tract is infected, visit a pharmacist for medications like phenazopyridine to prevent the infection from spreading.

After a specialist has assessed the smegma, they may prescribe Monurol or Macrodantin.

Yeast infection

It is an illness triggered by the fungus Candida and could lead toa foul smelling penis. Check for the following symptoms if you think you have a yeast infection.

•        Swelling and redness

•        Itchiness and burning

•        Thick white material

•        Irritation when passing urine

It is popular among males with foreskins and could as be contracted from females with Candidaisis.

The infection could worsen if not cared for and lead to swelling of the penis.


If you have a yeast infection, your physician will suggest medication that will help get rid of the fungal infection. Lotrimin AF, Canesten, and Diflucan are some common drugs you can buy from a pharmacist.

Swelling of the foreskin

Balanitis or inflammation of the foreskin could also lead to a smelly penis. It can be caused by engaging in sex without protection, poor hygiene, debris buildup, body products, and bacterial or fungal infections.

Balanitis could lead to a smelly penis, among other symptoms like reddishness, inflammation, itchiness, accumulation of fluids beneath foreskins, burning feeling when urinating.

Just like most of these conditions that cause a smelly penis, Balanitis is common among males with foreskins.


Bathe with Epsom solution to cool the burning.  If the condition persists for more than three days, consult an expert to diagnose the cause and prescribe some medication for your case.

Antibiotics like Polysporin, Creams like Cortaid, and antifungal drugs like Lotrimin are common prescriptions.


It is a bacterial infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Though gonorrhea is often contracted through sex—anal or vaginal— you can also catch it through oral sex. The condition affects the esophagus, rectum, urinary tube, and your private parts.

Though symptoms are rear for gonorrhea; if they show up you experience a foul smelling penisand other symptoms include.

•        inflamed testicles

•        Painful urination

•        Painful long calls

•        Itchy private parts and anus


Using the right antibiotics, you can cure gonorrhea. But if the condition doesn't go away after medication, see a doctor.

A Rocephin injection or oral medicine like Zithromax can help cure the disease.


Chlamydia is a widespread sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacterium known as Chlamydia trachomatis.

It affects the rectum, urethra, throat, and private parts. You can contract the disease through anal, vaginal, or oral sex.

When chlamydia affects the throat, symptoms take time to appear. Symptoms include;

•        Sore throat

•        Sharp pain when urinating

•        Genital secretions

•        Irritation of the groin


Chlamydia can also be treated using the right antibiotics like Zithromax, Monodox, and Amoxil.

Final Words

Assess your penis to find out the possible cause of your foul smell. After narrowing down to some possible causes, use the appropriate do-it-yourself tips to cool down any burning feeling as you plan a visit to the doctor.

Do not hesitate to visit the doctor if you notice any accompanying symptoms because some of these cases may worsen if you don't take the measures in time.

Lastly, uncircumcised males should keep their area beneath their foreskins clean to avoid the buildup of dead cells and other conditions that could lead to a foul smelling penis.