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Experiencing burning on urination or ejaculation. Noticed red bumps on foreskin. What's wrong?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I am a 25 year old male. I've recently started experiencing burning when I urinate or ejaculate. I thought this may be a urinary tract infection at most, but it has persisted for several days. This morning as I felt the burning sensation lessen, I noticed a few small red bumps on my foreskin, near my frenulum. They are small, there's about 2 to 3 of them, and are slightly sore to the touch and red. I don't have anything like this occurring on the actually head or shaft of my penis, just that one spot. I typically have protected sex, with the exception of oral. I plan to see a doctor as soon as I can but would like to hear a few thoughts on what it may be, and should it be some type of std, what else to look for. When I attempt to look down my urethra I've noticed my penis is red at the type and white on the inside. It doesn't appear to be pus and there is no discharge.
Posted Mon, 11 Mar 2013 in Penis Problems
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Burning on urination or ejaculation is due to inflammation/infection of the urethra which is the passage way that is found in the penis and which carries urine or ejaculate. It is called urethritis. The small bumps occur because of the presence of the bacteria.
Your symptoms can be caused by a bacteria called E coli which is associated with gonococcal urethritis. (male urethritis: gonococcal urethritis or non gonococcal urethritis).
The sexually transmitted bacteria (other than gonorrhoea) that can cause it are chlamydia and others.

Trauma can also caused the above problems but is not as common.

The other possible symptoms in sexually transmitted urethritis would be discharge, itching or painful ejaculation.

To determine whether it is related to a sexually or non sexually related infection would require a urine sample which can be tested for any of the bacteria mentioned.Treatment would depend on the bacteria that are found in the lab.

I hope this helps. feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Experiencing burning on urination or ejaculation. Noticed red bumps on foreskin. What's wrong? 58 minutes later
Thank you very much. My initial fear was herpes although my last partners have both said they were clean and we were moderately safe (uncovered oral, covered intercourse). Is there anything specific that would signify herpes as opposed to this possible infection? Also what can I do to try to ease the symptoms until I have the opportunity to see a doctor?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later
Herpes is not usually associated with the discomfort on urination which was the initial symptom. It is associated with redness and an uncomfortable sensation in any aspect of the genitalia which is followed by the appearance of lesions that have a water bump appearance.
These lesions are usually quite uncomfortable though everyone has a different pain threshold. These lesions then burst to form superficial ulcers which are also uncomfortable.

Most doctors advise that when screening for one STI like chlamydia or gonorrhoea normally associated with urethritis ,it is best to screen for all, so your doctor may suggest a complete screen.
This would include the chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomonas, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis b, HIV.

You can use a topical analgesic cream like lidocaine gel to apply to the lesions if they are very uncomfortable, if this is not available , you can use a oral pain medication such as ibuprofen provided you have no known problems with the medication.
You can also increase your fluid intake ,this will help if it is a simple urinary tract infection, cranberry juice would also be useful if this is the case.

Please feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Experiencing burning on urination or ejaculation. Noticed red bumps on foreskin. What's wrong? 2 days later
The small bumps around my frenulum have now turned into tiny open sores and I fear the worst. I have been to the doctor and am currently awaiting blood test and swab results. Is there anything else, that is curable that this could be?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 7 hours later
Hi, unfortunately if they have turned into open ulcers then the most likely infection in herpes.
There are two herpes viruses- herpes 1 and herpes 2. Herpes 1 is normally seen in the mouth but can be seen in the genitalia due to oral sex , herpes 2 is normally seen in the genitalia.
Herpes 1 is not associated with as many recurrences as herpes 2.

Though herpes is not curable, persons experience a varied number of recurrences and medication can be given to suppress the severity and frequency of recurrences.
Suppressive therapy drugs are the same as those used for the acute episodes but , in some of the drugs, slightly different doses. The medications are acyclovir and valcyclovir.

Please feel free to ask anyother questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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