A burning sensation in the penis can have many causes, but most are very treatable. The burning sensation occurs during urination and may, depending on the cause, occur alongside other symptoms. For example, there might be swelling or itchiness around the penis.

Various types of infection can cause a burning sensation in the penis. These are usually treatable with antibiotic medications. Some infections are preventable through practicing safe sex.

Keep reading to learn about seven possible causes of a burning sensation in the penis and how to treat them.

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Gonorrhea is a possible cause of penis burning.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is common in young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years. It spreads primarily through sexual activities.

A burning sensation while urinating is one symptom of gonorrhea. The disease can also cause discolored discharge from the penis and swelling in the area. However, some people with the infection may not experience any symptoms.

Doctors can cure gonorrhea using a combination of antibiotic treatments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend taking 250 milligrams of ceftriaxone by injection into the muscle and 1 gram of azithromycin by mouth.

Learn more about gonorrhea here.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can occur in different parts of the urinary tract, such as the bladder or kidneys. It is the result of bacteria entering the urinary tract. UTI is more of an umbrella term that can include urethritis, gonorrhea and chlamydia infections, and other types of infection.

One common symptom of UTIs is a burning sensation during urination. They can also increase the need to urinate.

Antibiotics are effective in treating UTIs. Doctors will need to determine what type of bacteria is causing the infection to decide which antibiotic to prescribe.

The duration of treatment will vary depending on the severity of the infection, among other factors. Drinking plenty of water will also help with the treatment.

Learn more about urinary tract infections here.

Chlamydia is another common STI that affects males and females. It can pass from person to person through unprotected sexual activities.

Chlamydia causes a burning sensation during urination and abnormal discharge. It might also cause pain and swelling in the testicles.

Doctors will prescribe a course of antibiotic medications to treat chlamydia. It is best to avoid all sexual activity during the treatment.

It is possible to prevent chlamydia by wearing a condom during sex. As the infection does not always cause symptoms, anyone who is sexually active with multiple partners should receive regular testing.

Learn more about chlamydia here.

Urethritis is the inflammation of the urethra. The urethra is a tube carrying urine from the bladder out of the body. Bacteria or a virus usually causes the condition.

Urethritis causes burning during urination, and it can also be painful to ejaculate. The condition might cause itching and tenderness around the penis, too.

The treatment for urethritis will depend on its cause. A doctor will prescribe antibiotic medications to treat bacterial causes.

Sometimes, another condition, such as gonorrhea, causes urethritis. Treating the underlying medical condition will usually help with urethritis.

Learn more about urethritis here.

Prostatitis can be acute or chronic. It is an inflammation of the prostate gland, which is a small gland between the bladder and the penis that produces components of semen.

Most forms of prostatitis are the result of irritated nerves around the prostate, for which an infection is not responsible. However, less common types of prostatitis, such as bacterial prostatitis, cause burning while urinating.

Bacterial causes of prostatitis are treatable with antibiotic medication.

Learn more about chronic prostatitis here.

Learn more about acute prostatitis here.

Kidney stones are the result of waste products in the urine turning into crystals. When these crystals build up, the body has difficulty passing them out in the urine.

The stones tend either to stay in the kidney or to move into the urethra and cause pain. Depending on the size of the stone, the pain can be severe.

Smaller kidney stones will eventually leave the body in the urine on their own and without intervention. Over-the-counter pain relievers and plenty of fluids will help with symptoms.

Larger stones may need surgery or other treatments. The most common medical procedure for kidney stones is shock wave lithotripsy. This treatment uses high frequency sound waves to break the stone into smaller pieces that people can then pass out of the body in the urine.

Learn more about kidney stones here.

In extremely rare cases, the burning sensation could be a sign of cancer. Skin changes around the penis and swelling are signs of penile cancer, which occurs when cancerous cells form in the tissues of the penis.

Various treatment options are available for penile cancer. Doctors will determine the right treatment depending on the severity of the cancer, but it could involve surgery or chemotherapy.

Penile cancer is one of the rarest forms of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, penile cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancers in males.

Learn more about penile cancer here.

There are many possible causes of a burning sensation in the penis, which usually occurs during urination.

Most causes relate to an infection of the urinary tract and testicles. Other symptoms might also occur, such as swelling.

In most cases, these infections are treatable with antibiotics. Depending on the cause and severity, treatment can last weeks or months.

STIs are preventable through practicing safe sex, but other conditions, such as urinary tract infections, can be difficult to prevent in some people.

Although a burning sensation in the penis can, rarely, be a sign of cancer, the chances are very low. A person should consider all other possibilities first and consult a doctor for a diagnosis.