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Episodic dysuria is a common problem in the male population but when the problem becomes more constant, it can be worrisome. There are a number of reasons why males may have this type of pain so make sure you are doing what you can to reduce your risk.

When you are healthy, urination is just another daily ritual that you do at least 5 times a day without putting much thought into it but when there is some pathology at play causing dysuria when you are urinating, you may question why is the tip of my penis burning? Although urinary tract infections are the most common cause of burning during urination, this is a discomfort that is far more common in females so when men present with some type of burning during urination, it can present a diagnosing challenge for physicians because of what could be happening. Here, we will present some things to consider when you are asking yourself why is the tip of my penis sore? 

Complicated Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)  

When you present to the doctor complaining that "the tip of my penis is burning" the first things that the doctor will need to do is run a urinalysis checking to determine if you have some type of bacterial infection causing the infection. Urinary tract infections are much less common in males compared to women because of anatomical differences between the sexes.

Male urethral tracts are much longer compared to females so it is much less likely for us to have bacteria migrate from the tip of the penis all the way up into our bladders where these bacteria thrive [1]. It is also the main reason why anytime a male presents to the hospital with a urinary tract infection, he will be automatically classified as having a complicated urinary tract infection. Doctors will have to rule out anatomical problems, kidney infections and cellulitis to make sure these are not causing the urinary tract infections by accident [2]. Males that have incontinence and use urinary catheters are more likely to suffer from these types of complicated urinary tract infections and will need to remain in the hospital for a few days while receiving antibiotics to help relieve their dysuria [3].

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) 

If you are a young male questioning why is the tip of my penis burning, a more likely reason would be due to some type of sexually transmitted disease compared to urinary tract infections secondary to placement of indwelling catheters.

Epidemiology studies indicate that there are approximately 1 million new cases of curable STD infections each day when considering just the four main infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis [4]. Studies also suggest that male patients who have had a previous STD infection are less likely to use a condom in the future. When asked why they reported that they were immune from further STD infections after overcoming a previous infection [5].  When males notice the tip of their penis is sore, there is a good chance they are suffering from a syphilis infection which will present with ulcers in the penis [6]. Unfortunately, this line of thinking is entirely wrong so males need to be proactive to protect themselves from these types of infections. Ensuring sex safe practices like using a condom would help reduce the spread of the STDs.

Another false assumption that I have heard repeatedly in the clinics from patients is that when female partners are using birth control, there is a reduced risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Birth control pills have nothing to do with the risk of contracting an STD so male patients should use condoms regardless of whether partners are using birth control or not. [7]

Kidney and Urinary Bladder Stones 

Another possible considering to rule out when patients present wondering why the tip of their penis is burning would be due to potential crystals in the urine that are mechanically damaging the walls of the urethra and causing immense pain [8]. Men who do not drink sufficient quantities of water are at risk for the development of these types of crystals so it is important to make sure you maintain adequate fluid intake throughout the day.

Males participating in sports or intense exercises are even more likely to develop kidney stones due to the large quantities of water lost during exertion. It can be burdensome to jog with large bottles of water so convenience may outweigh health benefits [9]. Jogging backpacks are great alternatives for males to consider so they have enough water with them without needing to carry bottles the entire duration of their exercise. 

Mechanical Injuries 

Another possible reason that you may find yourself asking why is the tip of my penis sore would be due to mechanical injury to your penis. Vigorous sexual activity or masturbating too frequently can damage the soft tissue in the penis and lead to sores and dysuria. Studies indicate that approximately 67 percent of American male teenagers masturbate with a large quantity admitting they masturbate multiple times a day [10]. Decreasing the frequency of this practice and using some type of lubricant can reduce the mechanical trauma on the penis and prevent patients from developing this dysuria. 

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