The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes penis pain or penile pain as any pain or discomfort in the penis. Pain can range from mild to severe and may affect different areas of the penis and be accompanied by other symptoms such as burning or lesions. There are several causes of penis pain which will determine the best course of treatment.

Some of the more well-known causes of penis pain are sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia. Penis pain may also be caused by penis or prostate cancer, a bite (human or insect) an injury, an infection of the prosthesis, infection under the foreskin (balantis), or inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis).

Other diseases and health conditions that cause penis pain include:

• Peyronie's disease - plaque or scar tissue that develops on top or bottom of the penis inside the tunica albuginea, a thick, whitish membrane that surrounds the erectile tissues. Usually it's caused by inflammation that hardens into the plaque.

• Reiter syndrome - a form of arthritis that affects the urethra, joints and eyes. There may be genital sores and lesions, and pain during urination.

• Penile ischemia - also called penile gangrene, this rare complication may be caused by diabetic end-stage renal disease, penile prostheses, or arterialization in the deep dorsal vein of the penis.

• Priapism - an erection not due to sexual stimulation that will not go away due to a buildup of blood that will not leave the penis, or too much blood flow to the penis. Causes include an injury, blood disorder, medication (such as Viagra or Valium) or drug (such as cocaine), or a disease such as sickle cell anemia.

• Chronic pelvic pain - more commonly known as prostatitis, it's the most common disorder of the prostate gland. It may be caused by an infection or tight pelvic floor muscles. Aside from pain in the penis it may also cause pain in the testicles, rectum, lower abdomen, and burning during urination.

• Penile yeast infection - a male yeast infection that causes a reddish rash, itching or burning sensation at the tip of the penis. It may be caused by prolonged use of an antibiotic, or a disease such as diabetes or HIV.

Treatment for Penis Pain

If you're experiencing penis pain that lasts for more than four hours, or the pain occurs with other unexplained symptoms, book an appointment with your doctor, advises the NIH. If you have an erection that will not go away, see your doctor right away.

Because there are so many possible causes of penis pain, treatment is varied and will address the underlying health condition or disease. For instance, in some cases it may be remedied by applying an ice pack. In other situations, such as for bacterial prostatitis, you may need to take an antibiotic. Priapism may require an injection of a drug or insertion of a catheter to restore normal blood flow, or worse case, surgery, according to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

A medical visit for penis pain will include giving a full medical history, including a sexual history, a physical examination and describing your symptoms. If penis pain is caused by an STD, it's important to tell your partner as early treatment is essential to long-term health.