On 2nd October 2011 I woke up with an itch in my penis. I had been at a nightclub for a friend's birthday the night before, I'd drank quite a lot but had done nothing out of the ordinary.
I ignored it and thought it would go away on its own but the itch persisted and a few weeks later there was inflamation around the top of my penis, with redness on the head and swollen foreskin which was sore and sensitive to touch. This only lasted a few days and had cleared up by the time I saw a GP, but the itch remained.
The GP couldn't find anything upon examination, but based on the symptoms I described I was diagnosed with a yeast infection and prescribed a cream. I used this for a few weeks but wasn't sure if it helped. At this time the irritation was coming and going, some days it was strong and some days it wasn't so bad. I was prescribed a different ointment which also didn't seem to make too much difference.
Over the following months, in the first half of 2012, the itch came and went and manifested itself more as a need to pee. I still feel that the problem is an itch within my penis and not a bladder problem, but it increasingly made me feel like peeing, which gave a short relief from the irritation. As the peeing symptom grew, I was sent for blood and urine tests to check glucose levels, an STD test and an ultrasound which all came up normal. I was told to try ibuprofen to relieve possible bladder irritation but it made no difference.
Alongside this, I found it increasingly difficult to hold an erection with this irritation and hadn't been having sex with my girlfriend. This put a lot of strain on our relationship and we broke up temporarily for this reason in August 2012 - in the immediate aftermath of this while suffering from a lot of stress the problem got noticeably worse.
Since around September 2012 it has been quite consistent, with a near constant strong irritation that often feels like an urge to urinate. As soon as I go, it feels relieved, but comes back again within 5 minutes. Sometimes it feels more like an itch and less like a need to pee. It tends to feel like it is more centred on the left hand side of the penis too.
I find that it feels worse when I'm walking, and walking for more than 10 or 15 minutes has started to feel like a daunting task. It can also be bad when sitting at home or in work. For some reason it tends not to feel as bad when driving or on public transport (although still present). The feeling often feels like there's something inside there and I want to push it out.
I pee about once an hour on average, although I feel like going a lot more frequently than that but force myself to hold it. The quantity is usually fairly small. The irritation comes back almost immediately after peeing and is ever-present, making it difficult to concentrate on anything else. In November and December 2012 I purchased some different medications online, Fluconazole, Azithromycin and Metronidazole, in the hope of some relief, but none helped.
I saw a urologist for a first consultation in late December. Based on the symptoms I described to him he recommended medication for Bacterial Prostatitis, and I spent a month taking Alpha Blockers and Anti-Inflammatories but these did not help. I had a second ultrasound and a urine flow rate test which were normal.
Most recently, I tried Cialis tablets so that my girlfriend and I could have a sex life. When we used them they mostly worked, but the penis was very dry and sore. The next day, my girlfriend had an outbreak of Thrush. I told the GP about this but he didn't think it was likely that this was transmitted from me. As a precaution I've been applying over the counter Thrush cream for the past couple of weeks but I don't think it's been making any difference.
It's become really difficult to live my life as this problem is ever-present, and I'm finding progress with my doctor to be extremely slow. I'm quite bad at explaining the symptoms when I see my doctor, and this has led all the investigation towards a bladder issue, but to me it feels more like something inside my penis or inside the urethra and I wonder if a cystoscopy or some kind of examination of this area would find more than the ultrasounds I've had on my bladder. Another possible cause that's been suggested is stress or anxiety, and I have no doubt that this problem got worse when I was very stressed, and I am definitely increasingly stressed because of it. I don't however believe I was under any stress when it first developed and I don't think that could be the only cause. I just want to explore every possibility to try to make an improvement.
Well, without a detailed clinical evaluation it would be difficult to determine the cause of your symptoms. Possibilities that may need to be considered include GU infections (STD/ non STD), inflammations, ulcers, erosions, neuro-muscular causes, growths/ masses etc. I would suggest considering a review with your treating urologist for a more detailed evaluation to look at the various possibilities. After a definite cause is identified, it can be managed accordingly.
Hope this is helpful.
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