Pain in the middle of the penile shaft often isn’t serious and can be treated at home. But intense, disruptive pain or symptoms could singal an underlying health condition that needs a doctor’s care.

Penis pain that’s only felt in the middle of the shaft, especially chronic (long-term) or intense and sharp pain, usually indicates a specific underlying cause.

It’s probably not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Those often bring on additional symptoms, such as burning, itching, odor, or discharge.

And it isn’t always a medical emergency. Some conditions, including urinary tract infections (UTIs) and balanitis, can be remedied at home with minimal treatment. But others may need immediate or long-term medical attention.

Let’s go over what could be causing that pain in the middle of your penis shaft, what symptoms you should watch out for, and what you can do to treat it.

Here are some of the possible causes of pain in the middle of your penile shaft.

Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease happens when scar tissue develops in your penis. This causes the penis to have a sharp curve upward or sideways when you’re erect.

This condition can also make your penis feel uncomfortable or painful as the scar tissue, which is often found in the middle of the penile shaft, restricts the motion or expansion of penis tissue, especially during or after sex.

It isn’t exactly known what causes Peyronie’s. It’s thought to be related to autoimmune conditions or to injuries that leave scar tissue in the penis.

Urinary tract infection

UTI symptoms differ based on where the infection is in your urinary tract.

Lower tract UTIs happen in the bladder and urethra (the tube and opening at the end of the penis where urine comes out). This is more commonly a cause of penile shaft pain, as infectious bacteria affect the urethra and tissues that run along the shaft.

Other possible symptoms include:

  • burning when you urinate
  • urinating frequently but without a lot of urine coming out
  • feeling a stronger urge to urinate than usual
  • blood in your urine
  • urine that looks cloudy or resembles a dark liquid like tea
  • strong-smelling urine
  • pain in your rectum (near your anus)


Balanitis refers to irritation and inflammation that mainly affects the head of the penis. It can also spread to the upper and middle part of your penile shaft. It’s more common in people with foreskins.

Other symptoms include:

  • swollen, red foreskin
  • tight foreskin
  • abnormal discharge from your penis
  • itchiness, sensitivity, and pain around your genitals

Trauma or injury

Injury to the penis can cause a penile fracture. This happens when tissue below your penis skin that helps you get an erection is torn. It can also happen when you tear the corpus cavernosa, two long pieces of spongy tissue that fill up with blood when you get erect.

A fracture can result in immediate, intense pain in the middle of your penile shaft or wherever the tear happened.

Medical emergency

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room to repair a penile fracture as soon as possible. Untreated fractures can result in sexual or urinary dysfunction that can’t be reversed.

Penile cancer

Penile cancer happens when cancerous cells develop into a tumor in your penile shaft, resulting in a lump that can cause pain — especially when you’re erect. It’s rare, but possible.

Other symptoms may include:

  • abnormal lump or bump on your penile shaft
  • redness, swelling, itchiness, or irritation
  • abnormal discharge
  • burning feeling inside your penis
  • penis skin color or thickness changes
  • blood in your urine or semen


Priapism happens when you have a single, painful erection for longer than four hours. Having pain in the middle of the shaft is common.

Typical priapism symptoms include the following:

  • The penis shaft is hard, but the head (glans) is soft.
  • An aching or throbbing pain occurs in the middle or elsewhere in your penis shaft.

This condition can damage penis tissues as blood pools in the spongy tissue of the penile shaft.

Medical emergency

Go to the nearest emergency room if your erection lasts four hours or longer.

Blood clot

A blood clot (thrombosis) happens when red blood cells build up in your veins and block blood flow. These are most common in the penile dorsal vein on top of your shaft. This is also called penile Mondor’s disease.

Penile blood clots result in pain in your shaft as well as bulging veins in your penis. The pain may be more intense when you’re erect and may still feel tender or firm when you’re flaccid.

See a doctor right away if you notice any pain when you’re erect or when you touch your penis veins.

Other symptoms that you may experience along with pain in the middle of your penile shaft include:

  • swelling, especially at the tip or foreskin
  • redness or irritation on the shaft
  • itching
  • burning or stinging when you urinate
  • abnormal discharge
  • cloudy or discolored urine
  • blood in your urine or semen
  • pain during or after sex
  • blisters or sores on your shaft

Some conditions can be treated with simple home remedies. Others may need medical treatment.

Home remedies

Try these remedies at home to ease pain in the middle of the penile shaft:

  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) for pain and inflammation.
  • Wrap a clean towel around an ice pack and apply it to the shaft for pain and swelling relief.
  • Use an over-the-counter steroid, shea butter, or vitamin E cream or ointment to reduce inflammation.
  • Put on loose cotton underwear to reduce chafing and lower your risk of bacterial growth in moist areas.
  • Limit or avoid sexual activity until the pain is gone to reduce your chance of injury.

Medical treatment

Following are treatment options your healthcare provider may recommend depending on your condition:

  • antibiotics to treat UTIs or infections that result from balanitis
  • surgery to remove scar tissue from the penis or to sew up tears in penile tissue
  • a penile prosthetic to straighten out your penis if you have Peyronie’s

See a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms when you’re experiencing pain in the middle of your shaft:

  • pain when you’re erect or when you ejaculate
  • swollen penis tissue or testicles
  • hard veins that feel tender when touched
  • penis or scrotum lumps
  • discolored semen
  • abnormal penis discharge
  • blood in urine or semen
  • unusual rashes, cuts, or bumps on your penis and surrounding areas
  • burning when you urinate
  • curve or bend in your erection
  • pain that doesn’t go away after a penis injury
  • suddenly losing desire in sex
  • feeling exhausted
  • fever

Most causes of pain in the middle of the penile shaft aren’t that serious and can be treated at home.

But if you have intense, disruptive pain or symptoms of a more serious underlying condition, see your doctor to get it diagnosed and treated to prevent further complications.