There’s no funk quite so funky as penis odor. While it can be trapped for hours upon hours, once it is set free, it emanates up and out in a gag-worthy way. It begs the thought – what’s causing this stank bouquet and how can you get rid of it? Let’s run through five preventable causes of penis odor and a few tips on how to get rid of it for good.

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Penis Odor Cause #1: Lax Hygiene

It’s the number one cause of penis odor – poor hygiene. Entirely within a man’s power, lax hygiene can lead to a lot of unpleasantness, the least of which being a stinky penis. When men don’t shower daily or as needed, they build up sweat, oil, skin debris, and dirt all over their bodies, especially in the folds of their nether region, adding heat and moisture to the mix. All of this results in a smell cocktail of icky proportions. In all honestly, this is the least serious of the consequences a man can suffer from poor hygiene. He can also experience rashes, infections, and painful bumps when he neglects personal cleanliness.

Penis Odor Cause #2: Smegma

What’s stinky, chunky, off-white, and fishy all over? Well, smegma of course! Smegma is the end result of the body’s “self-cleaning” nature and is also used for lubrication for sex. However, when not dealt with, aka cleaned up, it goes into overgrowth mode and can cause a funky smell like none other and can also result in a painful rash. While not exclusive to uncircumcised men, it is more common for them to be at risk of smegma overgrowth.

Penis Odor Cause #3: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Is there something that smells rotten in Denmark? It could be dirty deeds done without protection. Some STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea present a foul penis odor. If you’ve been sexually active lately, especially without protection, head to the clinic for testing. STIs are serious and can have long-lasting consequences when not treated immediately.

Penis Odor Cause #4: Other Infections

STIs aren’t the only infections a man needs to worry about if he smells something sour down south. Yeast infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs) also carry an unpleasant smell. Yeast infections can present with chunky white discharge and red skin. UTIs are denoted by cloudy or pink urine, a frequent urge to urinate, and a burning sensation when urinating. See a medical professional for diagnosis.

Penis Odor Cause #5: Balanitis

Balanitis is the inflammation of the head of the penis and can be caused by a variety of things like poor hygiene, unprotected sex, smegma, or allergic reaction. Additional symptoms include swelling, redness, a burning sensation while urinating, and fluid buildup. See a doctor for help.

Getting Rid of Penis Odor

The best way to get rid of penis odor is to regularly and thoroughly clean the body with a gentle cleanser and warm water, being sure to wash between the folds of skin, under the foreskin, and in the entire groin. Rinse well and air dry.

Wearing loose bottoms and underwear made from cotton, bamboo, or other breathable natural fibers will reduce sweat and heat from the area which can seem to “cook” the smell. Always practice safe sex, not only using protection but having an honest disclosure about sexual health and status before becoming intimate.

Many men also find using a specially formulated penis health crème  (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) beneficial in not only keeping the skin fresh but also strengthening delicate penile skin. Use a cream with natural skin strengtheners like vitamins B, C, and D, and an antibacterial powerhouse like vitamin A. Apply daily for best results.