Does Your Penis Smells Like Fish? Read This

Does your penis smell like fish? If so, it could be due to a few different reasons.

One reason could be lack of proper hygiene. In most men, this is the main cause, although it’s not the only one.

In this article, we’ll explore all the possibilities.

Are You Uncircumcised?

The most common cause of a foul smell around the penis is lack of proper hygiene.

In other words, you’re not keeping that area of your body clean. In men who are uncircumcised, the risk is higher.

That’s because bacteria and foreign debris can get left underneath the foreskin, leading to skin infections.

If you’re uncircumcised, then make sure you’re washing the head of your penis at least twice per day with soapy water.

It might sound like a lot of work, but it should be done if you want to make the fishy smell go away.

Once it goes away, you can go back to washing once per day.

What is Smegma?

Smegma is a whitish/yellowish substance that’s composed of oily secretions and dead skin.

It can accumulate in both the female and male genitalia. As smegma accumulates around your penis, it can cause a bad smell.

Smegma is most common in uncircumcised men. If you’re uncircumcised, it’s essential that you wash your penis daily.

Make sure that you’re thoroughly cleaning underneath the foreskin with anti-bacterial soap. This will reduce your risk of a skin infection.

Bad Smells Can Come From Sexual Partners

Whether you’re circumcised or uncircumcised, your risk of having a foul-smelling penis goes up if you’re regularly having unprotected sex.

You may have acquired an infection from your sexual partner, including:

  • Bacterial Vaginosis: A vaginal infection caused by the overgrowth of “bad” bacteria.
  • Gardnerella: A bacteria that can cause infections of the genital tract.
  • Trichomonas: An infection caused by a protozoan parasite.

Although these bacterial infections are found in women, it’s possible for them to transfer to men during sexual intercourse.

This is the reason some men report their penis smelling a lot like a woman’s vagina after sex.

You can prevent this by A) Not having unprotected sex, and B) Reducing the number of sexual partners you have.

Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, or urethra.

According to experts, your chances of getting an UTI in your lifetime are about 1 in 2.

Urinary tract infections can be painful and lead to other unappealing symptoms.

One symptom of a UTI is a foul smell around your penis. They can occur whenever “bad” bacteria make their way into your urinary tract.

If you’re having unprotected sex, or not maintaining good hygiene around your genitals, then you’re more prone to getting it.

Aside from a fishy smell, burning is another common symptom of a UTI.


Ketonuria is a condition in which someone has a high amount of ketone bodies in their urine.

If your urine ketone levels become too high, then it can be dangerous.

It’s most common in people with type 1 diabetes since these individuals don’t produce insulin.

So, how does ketonuria affect penis odor? Basically, when your ketone levels are very high, the aroma it produces can escape through the skin.

And since a lot of sweat escapes through the penis, it can make this part of the body smell like fish.

If you suspect that you have ketonuria, it’s important that you talk to a doctor as soon as possible.

How to Prevent a Fishy Penis Odor

It’s possible to prevent this symptom, but not without a little effort.

Here’s how you can prevent the bad smell from reoccurring:

  • Moisturize: If the skin around your penis becomes too dry, then it can develop small fissures that are perfect for bacteria to grow in. Choose natural moisturizers since they’re better for your skin.
  • Wash With Anti-Bacterial Soap: Wash your penis daily with anti-bacterial soap. If you’re uncircumcised, then wash underneath the foreskin 1-2 times per day. This will reduce your risk of getting a skin infection on your penis.

Moisturize and wash with anti-bacterial soap daily to prevent the fishy smell from coming back.


In summary, your symptom could be due to having unprotected sex, having diabetes, and most commonly, not using proper hygiene.

Men who are uncircumcised should be extra diligent about cleaning and moisturizing their penis since they’re at a higher risk of getting skin infections.

If you think you have ketonuria, go see a doctor as it could be diabetes causing it.

Ask a Question: If you want to ask a medical doctor a question that hasn't been answered in one of our articles go to: Ask a Medical Doctor About your Symptoms

Did you find the information in this article helpful?

1 Comment

Leave a Comment