Close up of a man with hands holding his crotch.

Burning After Ejaculation: Is It an STD?

While it’s unpleasant to experience a burning sensation after ejaculation, most men will endure it at some point in their lifetime, especially if they’re sexually active. The sensation can be a result of myriad conditions: a urinary tract infection, swelling of the prostate, urethral inflammation, or — you guessed it — a sexually transmitted disease.

If after being tested you discover the burning and pain associated with ejaculation is, in fact, the result of an STD, don’t stress: The condition is usually treatable.

But which diseases and infections cause burning after ejaculation, and what can do you about it?

First, identify your symptoms. Most often, they include:

  • Pain during or directly after ejaculation
  • Pain in or around the bladder, penis, or rectum
  • Pain during urination, particularly right after ejaculating

Pain can last only a few minutes after ejaculation or as long as 24 hours. Additionally, it can vary from mild to intense.

Arguably the biggest offender in this case is chlamydia, which happens to be the most commonly transmitted sexual disease in the U.S. If you’re a sexually active man who has contracted chlamydia vaginally, burning after ejaculation (or during urination) is a common symptom. It’s often accompanied by a milky discharge from the penis and/or swelling of the scrotum. Luckily, chlamydia — a bacterial infection — can be treated with a course of antibiotics. However, keep in mind: Once the disease is cleared up after treatment, it can always return should you have sex with another infected partner in the future.

Another STD that can cause painful ejaculation in men is trichomoniasis, or “trich.” This is also a very common sexually transmitted infection, affecting roughly 3.7 million people. While “trich” is more common in women than men, men can certainly contract it and endure its associated symptoms. These include discharge from the penis; burning after urination or ejaculation; and itching or irritation inside the penis. Even if all of your symptoms point to “yes,” a lab test is required to confirm a trichomoniasis diagnosis.

Like chlamydia, this infection can be cured with medication, usually orally. However, it should be understood that those who have been treated for trichomoniasis can get the disease again: Roughly 1 in 5 people contract it once more within 90 days after being treated. To avoid this, be sure any and all of your sexual partners are also treated for the disease.

A third STD that can cause pain and burning after ejaculation is gonorrhea. Unlike trichomoniasis, men are more likely to contract gonorrhea than women. Typically, the infection’s No. 1 symptom is pain and burning in the genital tract (which directly correlates to a burning sensation in men after ejaculating). This symptom can be accompanied by a thick, yellow discharge from the penis, as well as painful urination. The good news? With proper treatment, the disease is curable. However, it doesn’t prevent sexually active people from contracting the disease again in the future. Thus, practicing safe sex with the right protection is imperative.

If you discover that an STD or STI is not the culprit of your pain following ejaculation, your doctor will be able to discern (through proper tests and a consultation) whether it’s something else — like a UTI, prostatitis, urethritis, or a more serious condition.

The only way to eliminate an STD, however, is to get tested first. If you’re in pain and want to get to the bottom of it, there’s only one way to find out. Don’t delay.