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Urology/Burning Pain in Penis



Five nights ago I developed a burning pain in my penis. The burning pain is located from the urethral opening, to about an inch or so in. This was noticeably onset after applying petroleum jelly to my genitals.

I also became quite sick, (Chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, etc.)though this could be a completely separate issue.

I attempted to wait/flush the pain out by drinking lots of liquids, but this did not help. I did eventually make my way to the doctor, who gave me a urine test, as well as a urethral swab test. The urine test came back negative for infection, and I am still waiting on the STD test, but I am not sexually active-So this was just a kind of thrown in I guess.

The doctor brought up that my issue could be caused by an irritant such as soap, etc..and if that were the case, I would have to wait it out. (He was not aware that I used petroleum jelly.)

So, my question to you is..If petroleum jelly somehow found its way inside my urethral opening, and was the cause of this irritation-Is this a real cause for concern? Is it anymore dangerous than soap, or any other form of household "irritant"? Will a substance such as petroleum jelly pass naturally, without further medical aid?

Also, my pain seems to have grown since I received the urethral swab test. Could this test have agitated my problem further?

I am very embarrassed and worried about this, as I have never experienced such a thing before. I appreciate any advice you can offer. I hope that this does not escalate into having to visit a urologist.

Thank-you very much for your time.


Petroleum jelly is not particularly irritating, but it can be messy to wear off so we NEVER recommend it be used on the genitals.

Soap and alcohol are far more irritating.

A urethral swab can, by itself, be irritating.

If a simple antibiotic and a little time are not helping, you may need to see a urologist.  Since most urologists are booked up weeks in advance, you might want to make an appt. now just in case.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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