penis smells like fish

What causes penis to smell like fish?

penis smells like fish

If you have a fishy smell emanating from your penis, it is likely to be caused by bacterial overgrowth or poor hygiene. Poor hygiene may accumulate harmful bacteria that grow and multiply inside the foreskin, leading to an unpleasant smell. On the other hand, bacterial overgrowth occurs when the bacteria in the genital region are out of balance, creating a breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria that cause a fishy smell.

The fishy odor might be caused by a bacterial infection known as bacterial vaginosis. This infection occurs when the balance of bacteria in the vagina is disturbed, leading to overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria that release a fishy odor. In men, if the foreskin remains unretracted, smegma can accumulate and attract bacteria, which end up causing a fishy smell. The smell is characterized by a distinctive odor that might be worrisome to some men.

It is necessary to practice good hygiene to prevent bacteria from accumulating in your genital region, causing a fishy smell in your penis. It is crucial to wash your genitals with soap and warm water every day, focusing on the penis, scrotum, and anus areas. Dry the genitals thoroughly and avoid wearing tight underwear or clothing that prevent airflow. Sweat exacerbates bacterial growth and leads to the growth of anaerobic bacteria that can cause the fishy odor.

Besides hygiene, the use of certain products can cause a fishy smell in your penis. Avoid using scented soaps, perfumes, colognes, or deodorants directly on your genital area. The chemicals in these products might kill the good bacteria and cause imbalances that breed anaerobic bacteria that release the fishy odor.

Medical conditions such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) might also be responsible for the fishy smell in your penis. STIs such as trichomoniasis and chlamydia often produce a strong and unpleasant odor, accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, pain, or discharge. If you suspect that an STI is the cause of your fishy smell, seek medical attention immediately, and get tested.

In conclusion, if your penis smells like fish, bacterial overgrowth and poor hygiene are the primary causes. Adopting good hygiene habits and avoiding the use of chemical products can help prevent the growth and accumulation of bacteria that cause this smell. Additionally, if you experience any pain, itching, discharge, or other unusual symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention to rule out any underlying conditions that might be causing the fishy odor.

Symptoms of Fishy Penis Odor

A man holding his penis in frustration

Penis odor is a common problem that many men encounter at some point in their lives. An unusual fishy smell is a particular concern that can cause embarrassment, discomfort, and affect your sexual confidence. Hence, it is necessary to know the symptoms of fishy penis odor to avoid potential infection and seek immediate medical attention if needed.

1. Unpleasant Smell

Three hands holding their noses

The most noticeable symptom of fishy penis odor is a pungent smell emitting from the genitals. The scent is often intense, overpowering, and lingering. The smell may persist even after washing, or it may return after regular sexual activity or exercise. The cause of the smell is often associated with an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the genital region. Therefore, maintaining proper hygiene and regular washing is critical to prevent and manage the smell.

2. Itchiness, Redness, and Inflammation

A man holding his itchy and red penis

Another most common symptom of fishy penis odor is itchiness, redness, and inflammation. The skin around the penis may appear reddish, swollen, and irritated, and may cause itching, pain, or discomfort. The reason for the redness and inflammation is often an overgrowth of bacteria, which can cause inflammation or stimulation of the immune system. Scratching or rubbing the affected area can make it worse and may spread the infection to other parts of the body. Hence, if you experience these symptoms, it’s essential to avoid sexual activity until it clears up and speak to your doctor if the symptoms persist.

3. Discharge

A man examining his penile discharge

Another symptom of fishy penis odor is discharge or the presence of unusual fluids from the penis. The discharge can vary in color and texture, and may contain pus or blood. The reason for the discharge is often a bacterial or yeast infection or an STI. If you notice discharge, it’s essential to consult your doctor to get appropriate treatment. Delaying treatment may lead to further complications and spread the infection to your partner.

4. Painful Urination

A man holding his penis while urinating

Painful urination is another common symptom of fishy penis odor. The pain can be mild or severe, and can be accompanied by burning, stinging, or discomfort during urination. The cause of the pain is often due to inflammation, irritation, or damage to the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The reasons for the inflammation of the urethra might be an infection, an STI, or a physical injury. If you experience painful urination, it’s essential to see your doctor as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the underlying conditions.


Having a fishy smell emanating from your genitals can be worrisome and uncomfortable. It is not something that should be ignored. Maintaining proper hygiene can help prevent infection and manage the symptoms. If you experience any of the fishy penis odor symptoms mentioned above, it is essential to speak to your doctor and get an evaluation and treatment.

Practicing Proper Hygiene

Practicing Proper Hygiene

One of the most important and effective ways to prevent a fishy penis odor is to practice proper hygiene. This means regularly washing the penis and surrounding area with warm water and mild soap. It’s essential to make sure to gently clean the foreskin if you are uncircumcised to avoid any buildup of smegma. Make sure to thoroughly dry the penis and surrounding area after washing, as moisture can encourage bacterial growth.

In addition to washing with soap and water, using a gentle and fragrance-free penis health cream daily after shower or bathtime is also an excellent way to prevent a fishy smelling penis. Penis health cream can help moisturize the skin, prevent chafing and irritation from friction, and improve overall penis health, which also contributes to preventing unpleasant odors.

Maintaining a Balanced Diet

Maintaining a Balanced Diet

What you eat can affect your body’s natural scent, including the smell of your penis. Consuming a diet high in processed and sugary foods or foods with strong smells like garlic and onions can contribute to unpleasant body odor. On the other hand, consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can help maintain a healthy body odor.

In particular, foods rich in zinc can help prevent fishy penis odor. Zinc is an essential mineral for healthy skin, hair, and nails, and it helps boost the immune system. Zinc can also inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause unpleasant odors. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, shellfish, lean red meat, poultry, nuts, and beans.

Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can also help prevent odors by flushing toxins and bacteria out of the body.

Avoiding Unprotected Sex

Avoiding Unprotected Sex

Engaging in unprotected sex can introduce bacteria and infections into the vagina or penis, leading to unpleasant odors. Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis can cause a fishy-smelling odor. Additionally, poor sexual hygiene can also contribute to unpleasant odors.

It’s essential to protect yourself and your partner by using condoms and practicing safe sex. It’s also important to ensure that you and your partner are engaging in regular STI testing. If you suspect an STI, it’s essential to see a healthcare professional promptly to receive appropriate treatment.

Overall, preventing fishy penis odor entails practicing good hygiene, maintaining a healthy diet, and engaging in safe sex. If you are experiencing persistent unpleasant odors, it’s crucial to see a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Treating Fishy Penis Odor

Penis Odor Fishy

Having a fishy odor coming from your penis can be quite embarrassing and worrisome. However, it is a common problem among men and can be easily treated with proper hygiene and medical attention if needed. In this article, we will discuss the various ways to treat fishy penis odor and get rid of the unpleasant smell.

Causes of Fishy Penis Odor

Causes of Fishy Penis Odor

Fishy penis odor can be caused by various factors such as poor hygiene, infections, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Poor hygiene can lead to the accumulation of sweat, bacteria, and dead skin cells on the penis which can cause a fishy smell. Some infections such as yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis can also cause a fishy smell in men. STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can also cause fishy odor in men.

Practice Good Hygiene

Good Hygiene Penis

Good hygiene practices are crucial in preventing fishy odor from your penis. Keep your genital area clean and dry by washing it thoroughly with soap and water at least once a day. Use mild soap and avoid using harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin. After washing, dry your penis properly with a clean towel.

Use Antibacterial Soaps

Antibacterial Soap

Antibacterial soaps can help eliminate the bacteria that cause fishy odor on the penis. However, it is important to use a mild antibacterial soap and not overdo it as it can cause irritation. Consult your doctor before using any antibacterial soap or other medication.

Topical Creams and Ointments

Topical Cream

Topical creams and ointments can also be used to treat fishy penis odor. Clotrimazole and miconazole are commonly used antifungal creams that can help cure yeast infections that cause fishy odor. Metronidazole gel can also be used to treat bacterial vaginosis. Again, consult your doctor before using any medication.

Treat Underlying Infections


If your fishy penis odor is caused by an infection, it is important to treat the underlying infection to get rid of the odor permanently. STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can easily be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections can also be treated with prescription medication. It is important to finish the prescribed medication even if the odor disappears earlier to ensure that the infection is completely cured.

Overall, fishy penis odor is a common problem among men that can be easily treated with proper hygiene and medical attention if needed. Consult your doctor if you experience any unusual odor or discharge from your genital area.

When to see a doctor?

doctor visitation

If you notice that your penis smells like fish, it’s important to take action sooner rather than later. While a slight scent may be normal and nothing to worry about, an intense or persistent fishy odor could indicate an underlying health issue that needs medical attention.

There are several reasons why your penis may smell like fish. Bacteria, fungal infections, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are all potential causes. In some cases, the smell may be a sign of poor hygiene practices or the buildup of smegma – a natural lubricant that can accumulate under the foreskin in uncircumcised men.

If you have tried improving your hygiene routine and the odor persists, or if you experience other symptoms such as pain, itching, discharge, or swelling, you should make an appointment to see your doctor or a urologist right away. Delaying treatment can lead to serious complications, such as infertility or the spread of infection to other parts of the body.

During your appointment, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical examination of your genital area. They may also order tests, such as urine or blood tests, swabs, or cultures, to diagnose the underlying cause of the odor. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause, but may include antibiotics, antifungal medication, or topical creams.

It’s also essential to inform any recent sexual partners if you receive a diagnosis of an STI. They will need to be tested and treated to prevent the spread of infection and protect their health. Remember, STIs can be asymptomatic, meaning you may not experience any symptoms even if you are infected.

To prevent penis odor and infections in the future, experts recommend practicing good hygiene habits. This includes washing your penis regularly with warm water and mild soap, especially after sex and exercise. Avoid using scented products that may irritate the skin and disrupt the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in the genital area. Additionally, wearing clean, breathable underwear and avoiding tight clothing can help reduce moisture and prevent bacteria and fungi from thriving.

Finally, having open and honest communication with sexual partners about any concerns, testing, and safe sex practices can help prevent the spread of infections and promote overall sexual health.

About admin