Swollen glans


The glans generally denotes the foremost part of the male member. This region is very sensitive and supplied with numerous nerves. This is also where the urethra opens. Generally one is swelling but expression of one increased accumulation of fluid in the tissue and one of the classic five signs of inflammation. A swelling of the glans can go through entirely various causes (Allergies, infections, trauma) and should be examined by a doctor if it persists for a long time.


Numerous different clinical pictures come into question as the cause of a swollen glans. For example, swelling can be caused by an allergic reaction to latex in condoms. Insect bites are also an option for possible swelling at this point. But inflammatory processes in particular are fundamental for swelling in the area of ​​the glans. These inflammatory processes can be triggered by different circumstances depending on the age.

Inflammation of the glans occurs in childhood mainly because the foreskin is still fused with the glans and secretions can accumulate in skin folds, which can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. With the onset of puberty and sexuality, sexual intercourse or masturbation is the most common option. From this point on, swelling of the glans, which occurs with further symptoms, can also be triggered by sexually transmitted diseases. In older men, the inflammation is often triggered by other underlying diseases, such as diabetes. In addition, pathogens can penetrate more easily in older patients through the thinning skin barrier.

Concomitant symptoms

Deliver the symptoms that appear in addition to the swelling further cluesthat can be important for finding a correct diagnosis. The genital area is always on sexually transmitted diseases to think of bacteria and viruses that are transmitted during unprotected intercourse and can cause disease. With inflammatory processes one should Smear donein order to be able to precisely determine the pathogen.

Itching of a swollen glans penis

Of the Itching of the glans can be another symptom of a Glans inflammation occur (Balanitis), but also through Fungal infections of the limb. These infectious happenings can transferred to the partner through intimate contact why partner therapy should be carried out and a condom should be used as a precaution. But the causative agents of sexually transmitted diseases also cause itching. These include above all Chlamydia.

Reddening of a swollen glans penis

Reddening of the glans can initially be an expression of overstimulation. Mechanical loads can damage the glans if their natural protective film is worn away by heavy loads. Furthermore, reddening is also an expression of inflammatory processes. A painfully red and swollen glans penis is the main symptom of balanitis. In addition, those affected also suffer from itching and foul-smelling discharge from the limb. Retraction of the foreskin and urination are made difficult by the swelling. Fungal infections of the glans can also be considered as a further cause of redness, although the redness is raised and discolored whitish. Itching also occurs with fungal infections.

In addition to reddening, the glans can also turn blue, for example if the foreskin is narrowed

Read more on the subject at:

  • Redness of the glans
  • Blue acorn

Purulent discharge from a swollen glans penis

At purulent discharge it is important to determine the origin of the pus. When the purulent discharge is his Origin in the urethra has and at that Burning sensation when urinating, it is possible that the person concerned is having unprotected sexual intercourse with the Gonorrhea causing bacterium (gonorrhea) infected. Purulent discharge from the urethra can be a symptom of one Urinary tract infection which, however, occur less often in men than in women and usually only appear at an advanced age.

If the Pus from the glans itself originates, must looked for injuries or ulcers become. If these are secreting pus, then it is a sign that they have become infected. Purulent secretions or weeping or watery discharge can also be a Signs of glans inflammation (Balanitis) be. Occasionally, vesicles form on the glans. Another clinical picture is that Genital herpesin which fluid-filled blisters form. When these vesicles burst, there is also a watery, purulent discharge.

Lymph node swelling in a swollen glans penis

Swollen lymph nodes are usually a sign that a process is taking place in neighboring regions that activates the immune system. This can be a inflammatory process be, but also a malicious process. The distinction can be made on the basis of the lymph node morphology.

The Lymph nodes in the drainage area of ​​the limb lie in Abdomen or in the strip. Even in healthy patients, a large lymph node can usually be felt there, but it should not be tender on pressure. However, if it hurts when you press it, this is a sign that the lymph node is currently stressed by an inflammation or another process. The sexually transmitted disease syphilis (syphilis) solves alongside Ulcer on the limb also Lymph node swelling in neighboring regions. In addition, swollen inguinal lymph nodes are also involved Genital herpes to observe.
Please also read our topic Swollen lymph nodes in the groin

Pain with a swollen glans penis

Pain occurs with swelling of the glans of various origins, because the glans is very strongly innervated. A Glans inflammation (Balanitis) can cause pain, that too at rest or when urinating may occur. More severe than the pain of an inflammation of the glans is the pain of having one Paraphimosis goes hand in hand. This urological emergency causes very severe pain and requires one prompt medical treatment, since the glans and the foreskin are vitally threatened in this case.

During the therapy of the swelling of the glans the pain should be less, accompanying it Taken pain medication to relieve the discomfort.

Please also read our topics Phimosis - narrowing of the foreskin and Paraphimosis

Glans swelling after circumcision

Through the clipping the glans initially lacks its protective foreskin. In the first few days, the glans is protected from a bandage, which is quickly removed. Hypersensitive reactions are normal. In the next few days it can Swelling and bruising all over the limb, also come to the glans. The swelling can be caused by the Cooling the limb go back, if necessary also can light pain relievers be taken. To avoid infections are regular dressing changes important as well as daily baths for the limb, which have a disinfectant effect. As a bath additive is often used chamomile used.

There is a swelling of the glans normal for the first week or two after circumcision, it declines faster or later depending on the individual wound healing. Another Check-up visit to the urologist serves to control the healing process and to avert possible complications such as wound infection at an early stage. During the healing phase, however, you should confidently turn to the doctor if inflammation or fears or questions arise.


If you have a swollen glans you should Get medical help. It always starts with a detailed one Doctor-patient conversationto review the medical history. Important points for this symptom are, for example Intimate hygiene, Changes in the skin or Skin disorders in general, other symptoms, problems urinating or having sexual intercourse and after allergies (e.g. latex).

This is followed by a physical examination instead, during which the glans penis and lymph nodes are examined. At Suspected infectious inflammation the acorn becomes a Swab from the glans taken and in the laboratory it can then be determined which pathogen is responsible for the complaints. One is very rare Blood collection necessary for diagnosis. And only in very rare cases in which a small clear diagnosis can be made and the symptoms are permanent and persistent, a tissue removal (biopsy) respectively.


A swelling of the glans may initially occur many causes and the therapy can be just as diverse. It is only through a visit to the doctor that it is possible to determine what exactly is in question and to treat this in a targeted manner.

In the common case one inflammation help Ointments or systemic tabletsto stop the pathogens or kill them. In the event that the inflammation or swelling is not caused by bacteria, this will also help ointments containing cortisone. If the symptoms occur more frequently, a Circumcision considered become.

In sexually active men, it should be excluded that the swelling is caused by sexual practices and that there is no constant reciprocal infection with any germs. If concurrent with the swelling Pain when urinating it can help to hold the limb in warm water when urinating (bathtub, bucket, bidet). This will relieve the burning sensation, as well as high drinking quantitiesthat prevent the urine from being too concentrated.

Thorough body and intimate hygiene can contribute to the prevention of painful swellings and inflammations. These are also suitable Chamomile seat baths or rinses with chamomile. If the swelling cannot be managed by itself after a few days, a A doctor should be consultedwho can recognize and treat the underlying disease.

Which doctor should I go to?

Depending on the age in the case of a swollen glans, the Pediatrician or family doctor to be visited. With his broad knowledge, wealth of experience and fundamental decisions, this doctor can decide whether he can treat this clinical picture himself or that Help from a specialist is needed, knows the more specific clinical picture better. Correspondingly can also consulted a urologist who deals with the urinary system and often also with andrology.

Swollen glans in a toddler

At Children or toddlers A swollen glans is most often associated with the clinical picture of the Foreskin and / or glans inflammation in front. This is due to the fact that the foreskin of young boys is still fused with the glans and cannot be pulled back.

At older boys it can also be an actual Foreskin constriction ensures that the foreskin cannot be fully retracted. It can lead to the formation of pockets under the foreskin in which glandular secretions from the glands in the glans can collect. These secretions are the ideal Breeding ground for bacteriathat are transferred over the hands that settle there and lead to inflammation.
Please also read our topics Phimosis - narrowing of the foreskin and Paraphimosis

At Babies come too Candida fungi in question. The inflammation is extremely painful and stings when urinating. By antibacterial or antifungal ointments the inflammation can be treated well. As a preventive measure, careful but thorough intimate hygiene is important in order to avoid renewed inflammation.