Help! Smelly penis and testicles

I shower regularly and pay close attention to my penis and testicles while bathing, but still for some reason when I roll back the foreskin, it never smells fresh.

This has been happening for the past 6 months, and I’m always self-conscious about it now.

As a result, I’ve been refusing oral sex from my girlfriend, which has led to her feeling that something is wrong with her.

I want to know if there is a way to minimize the odour, and fast. – J

Dear J

Sorry you’re noticing such a change in odour, and that it’s affecting your love life. 

I think you should make an appointment with your doctor or with your local Men’s Health Clinic and ask for a bacterial swab to be taken of the moisture under your foreskin at its worst (most smelly). 

Don’t, whatever else you do, wash before you are swabbed, because if you do, you’ll wash away any bacteria that could be helpful, for diagnosising your problem. 

Also, if you haven’t had a full sexual health check lately, it would be a wise thing to do, too.

Women, who have BV (bacterial vaginosis) tend to over-wash, which makes the problem worse and you may be over washing because you’re super conscious of the smell you’re noticing, too.

If a woman has, or has had, thrush or BV and the man is not circumcised, then some men notice problems too.

They’re not harmful, merely annoying conditions, which is why nobody jumps up and down about ‘smelly things’ in the same way as when Chlamydia or gonorrhoea are diagnosed, as they are sexually transmitted infections that can lead to long-term medical problems, including ongoing abdominal pain, ectopic pregnancy, and even infertility.

Don’t be embarrassed, J. Rule things out properly rather than merely use guesswork.

I suspect they will suggest you wash with a soap substitute, aqueous cream, or just plain water, rather than with a scented soap or shower gel though; which will allow the ‘good bacteria’ that form in the smegma under your foreskin (the ‘cream cheese’ substance that helps to keep the foreskin moving comfortably) to remain helpful and stop the unhelpful bacteria from proliferating.

This can definitely be treated but you need a proper diagnosis first, so you know what you’re dealing with.

Don’t just self medicate or diagnose. That won’t help you, going forwards.


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