Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Swollen vein in penis
    Mykentropic posted:
    I have recently developed a swollen horizonal vein that is situated just under the head of my penis. It is painless but it is very extended and hard to the touch. After reading some post I can see that it is from cronic masturbation. I have seen some of the advice saying that there should be no sexual activity including masturbation until the situation resolves itself. I am doing my best to do that. Does this include erections as well? I find that I am having daily erection due to not being able to masturbate. Will my erections slow down the healing process?

    Since I haven't been masturbating I have noticed that when I urinate sometimes there is semen in my urine. Is this something I should be terrible worried about?
    counterso responded:
    Erections are normal and will not affect the healing of the swollen lymph channels. It is physical irritation from handling (masturbation and sex) that will aggravate the condition and delay healing.

    It is a significant problem if there is semen in your urine. The white substance may not be semen, which would be a different issue. It could be sludge indicating early stages of kidney stone formation. It could indicate infection. If it is semen, you are having retrograde ejaculations and that is something to see a urologist about, because it's not supposed to happen. Make an appointment to see a urologist and collect a sample of the urine with the white substance to bring with you. Are you taking any medications?
    Mykentropic replied to counterso's response:
    Yes I am taking medications. I take 600 mg of Ibuprofen twice a day, and Baclofen 10 mg twice a day for pain management, and Labetolol 200 mg and Lisinopril 2.5 mg for HBP.
    edvs5 replied to counterso's response:
    Hello counterso, your feedback and insights on this interesting topic of swollen lymphatic channels in the penis is very interesting and I think helpful to some men who might otherwise be freaked out about it. I noticed there is a much more detailed thread about this topic that you helped start about three years ago but I thought I'd reply here since it is more recent (although you were responding to mykentropic who was also complaining of other symptoms probably unrelated to the lymphatic component).

    It seems I have this lymphatic swelling situation currently (I was circumcised when an infant). What's interesting is that I recall having had this in the past but I can't remember when specifically (it indeed it had resolved on its own historically). This time it seems a bit more exaggerated as I have (non-painful) swelling of the skin behind the the entire corona. There also seems to be a slight pigmentation change (slightly red / pinkish) around the opening of the urethra on the tip of the glans but this might be my imagination as I tend to be overly conscious of my body and do my best to take good care of it and rarely get sick - so when something does go wrong I tend to worry too much). That said, I wonder if lymphatic congestion can in any way "choke off" blood supply to the glans? I've read some pretty scary stuff about paraphimosis (I'm near certain I don't have paraphimosis being circumcised). Otherwise this is completely painless and the seemingly classic manifestation of the quasi-horizontal hardened "vein" (not really the vein as you've pointed out) is definitely present currently. Furthermore, I do not at all recall what brought this about (I am married and last made love a week before this current manifestation), but maybe there was some sort of unintended trauma while masturbating in the shower one day. Anyway, I'm curious how it is that you became quite knowledgeable in this unusual subject material? Is it in fact not as rare or unusual as we might initially believe? Or, is it in fact "rare" and thus only a handful of specialists (urologists) usually end up seeing these manifestations rather than general family practice MDs? On that note, I just recently switched family practice MDs and mine is a very brilliant woman (but I'm not sure how comfortable I would be presenting this situation to her given some of the embarrassment that kind of goes with the territory). Any thoughts? Especially I'm worried about any possible blood supply cut-off to the glans from this type of situation. As such, I will be monitoring it closely and if it worsens I won't take any chances (so far I've only noticed this for about two days and it hasn't gotten worse). Thank you!
    counterso replied to edvs5's response:
    Myk, the other medications you are taking can have the side effect of retrograde ejaculation. You should discuss that with your physician who prescribed those medications, particularly the Baclofen, sometimes HBP meds, but less often. Your hypertension is dramatically more a significant concern than your minor lymphangitis. The ibuprofen is probably helping the situation if anything is other than not irritating the area, as it's an anti-inflammatory.
    counterso replied to edvs5's response:
    Edvs, the change in color where your urethral opening is, is not uncommon. So long as it has not changed color or become irritated, it's just how some penises are. The circumcision scar is often illustrated by differently colored skin (darker, lighter, redder). Again, if it isn't a recent change, it's not a concern.

    Lymph congestion does not affect blood flow. They are separate systems, and unless you're looking at something like severe edema, or ischemia, you're not likely to affect blood flow. The blood flow in your penis also works quite differently than other parts of your body, as you're filling a sponge, not so much channeling through contained arteries. Even with severe inflammation, you're not likely restricting blood flow.

    Just the tugging during intercourse can be enough to irritate the lymph channels in your penis, particularly the one below the corona. It's not uncommon, and probably just not discussed much for the precise reason you described, potential embarrassment. And, as it goes away as mysteriously as it appears, with enough time, not usually much concern except for the period where it's painful.

    Even perfectly normal people have this kind of thing happen, and there's no specific cause, just unluckiness. Same with the resolution of the condition, just luckiness, as to how quickly it returns to normal. You can make it worse, but it's difficult to make it better.
    edvs5 replied to counterso's response:
    counterso, thanks for the informative reply. In my case there is definitely not any indication of either severe edema or ischemia. If anything, the swelling I see (besides the painless partial circum-horizontal "tubular" formation which is mostly manifesting as a half-ring on the right side behind the glans) is mostly some swelling along the tubular formation and into the frenulum area. The pinkish tint at the opening does seem to be more pink lately than what I remember but I'm probably being more hyper aware at the moment (and its possible there may be a little inflammation from some soap - just so long as this pinkish area around the opening isn't the sign of some type of damage being caused by this lymph situation). I have taken some ibuprofen with the hope it might help out somewhat (it seems the past day there may have been a modest reduction in the swelling). Given that this is a lymphatic drainage situation, I wonder if it helps to be in certain positions (like lying down on a couch or bed) and not in others (sitting)? There are lymph nodes in the groin area, doesn't any of this lymphatic fluid eventually find its way upstream to the larger lymphatic system and the nodes in the groin area?
    edvs5 replied to counterso's response:
    hey counterso, I believe it would behoove those of us in this topic thread to use some better language regarding this lymphatic issue. Case in point, this article strikes me as using correct language such as the reference "Lymphocele" and including a photo which is useful for guys who are freaked out and want to have something to compare with (you have to scroll down on this page to the Lymphocele section which has a nicely written description):

    also the photo associated with that section:

    Here's another photo from a medical library:

    I'm disappointed that the medical establishment (mostly in the U.S.?) has virtually nothing to say about a Lymphocele (which can be damned scary to the lay person). Shame on U.S.-centric web sites like WebMD and Mayo Health for omitting valuable information like this (interesting how I had to find some valuable information in a U.K. web site). This must be the U.S. system deeply rooted in religion and essentially making people feel awkward to ask questions about their sexual health and/or overly obsessing about things like STDs (yes STDs are very important to understand and prevent, but don't in the process of hyper focusing on STDs forget about some of these normal benign things that can develop such as Lymphocele). And to think we have all of these insane costs in the medical system in the U.S. which Obamacare is trying to address. Give me a break.
    Mykentropic replied to counterso's response:
    Thanks so much for that information Counterso. I feel much more at ease. I will talked to my doctor about the Baclofen and the issue I am having with the retrograde ejaculations. I'd also like to thank Edvs5 for posting a link with pictures that really did help me to see a penis with lymphocele. That looks to be exactly what is going on with my own penis. And if I understand correctly that issue will go away on its own if I refrain from having sexual activity and I don't masturbate. I will take a break from both until the problem clears up. Thanks for putting my mind at ease.
    counterso replied to edvs5's response:
    Lymphocele is incorrect. The term is lymphangitis or sclerosing lymphangitis. And either condition is not confined to the penis, just identified there.

    The puritans who founded this country and left liberal Europe don't like anyone to post pictures of genitalia. You're expecting hundreds of years of puritanical background to change, just because it's medically useful? Good luck with that one. Kids can't even say the words in schools without reprimand.

    Yes, an irritant or allergen can affect the sensitive tip of the penis and make it inflamed.

    No, there are no specific positions that will move the lymph from your penis. It's a non-muscular appendage, and without musculature to move the lymph through normal motion, the lack of a pump in the lymph system just means you have to wait. There is no "upstream" because there is no direction at all, no starting point.
    edvs5 replied to counterso's response:
    I'm curious why you reject the term "lymphocele"? On what basis do you reject? I'm not disagreeing with you for the sake of being an irritant, I'm just curious what your logic is for the semantics. Furthermore, I disagree with this condition being termed "lymphangitis". About 20 years ago I once had a diagnosis of "cellulitis with lymphangitis" in my left foot / ankle area which required IV antibiotics. This personal experience seems to jive with the Wikipedia entry page for the term "lymphangitis" which implies not only inflammation i.e. the "itis" part but that the inflammation is due to infection! This penile condition we are discussing is not an infection (we are in agreement that its a benign condition and also not due to a STD)! See this excerpt:

    Lymphangitis is an inflammation of the lymphatic channels[1> that occurs as a result of infection at a site distal to the channel. The most common cause of lymphangitis in humans is Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A strep), although it can also be caused by the fungus Sporothrix schenckii.[2>

    Additionally, I cite this paper (published in 1977) that further counters your terminology preference of "lymphangitis" or "sclerosing lymphangitis" of the penis, per this excerpt of the paper's abstract:

    The descriptions in six histological examinations, the reports as `phlebitis' of apparently similar lesions, the report of `sclerosing lymphangitis' in other sites, and the known histological similarity between veins and lymphatics suggest that `sclerosing lymphangitis' is too specific a term. Until further knowledge is available, we suggest that this condition is best regarded as simple dilatation of a lymphatic vessel—namely, lymphangiectasis. As the condition is both benign and transient we propose the term benign transient lymphangiectasis of the penis for the condition formerly known as sclerosing lymphangitis.

    A benign and simple "dilatation of a lymphatic vessel" is not the same as an inflammation triggered by and coupled with infection (such as from a staph bacteria)!
    counterso replied to edvs5's response:
    -itis means swelling. Wikipedia is not an authority, try the Clinical Manual of Urology, or the urologist sitting in the office next to mine.
    edvs5 replied to counterso's response:
    Its my understanding that "-itis" means inflammation:

    > 1. indicating inflammation of a specified part "1D2 tonsillitis

    Thus, your attributing a single synonym of "swelling" to "-itis" strikes me as too narrow. With -itis essentially meaning "inflammation", then we have:

    > Definition of inflammation
    > noun
    > a localized physical condition in which part of the body
    > becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful,
    > especially as a reaction to injury or infection:

    Hence, one could conceivably have inflamed tissue that is not necessarily swollen.

    I agree Wikipedia is not an authority and should be cited carefully, but give me some credit - at least I provided a citation (which is better than most people that make things up or generate hearsay or nonsense).

    Anyway, I don't have enough background in medical science but given my experience of having been diagnosed a long time ago with lymphangitis in my foot (which required treatment with IV antibiotics), this penis affliction that we've been discussing and dubbing it as a form of lymphangitis (implying inflammation from infection) doesn't rest well with me in terms of semantics. This is why the (non-Wikipedia) paper I cited from the 1970s seems to have better language to describe it, namely "lymphangiectasis"!
    counterso replied to edvs5's response:
    Lymphangitis has nothing to do with infection.
    The lymph system deals with removing waste as one of its primary purposes, but that doesn't mean everything in it is infected.
    I'm telling you what the doctor says it is, not what some online reference labeled it.
    A lymphocele would mean that it is self-contained, like hydrocele or other tumor. That's not what you have.
    Dantl13 replied to counterso's response:
    I seem to have this problem also but what i'm worried about most is that the skin surrounding the lymph seems to be tight and its pulling my penis to the left, it also feels very flexible and it wasn't before. Mine occurred randomly after intercourse. I can still get an erection but it's a bit twisted and bending to the left more than usual. Could this be because of the lymph ?



    Spotlight: Member Stories

    65 years young and just trying to do the right thing. At my age I just can't afford any mistakes.

    Helpful Tips

    Skin burning in my left waist area at belt level
    Does any professional know about a condition with symptoms of skin burning in my left waist area at pants belt level? I have had this for ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    43 of 64 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.