A little penis pain is something that every man expects now and then, but intense penis pain is another story - and may need medical attention. There can be numerous causes of penis pain; one of these is Fournier gangrene, which can be very serious indeed. Men who care about their penis health should be familiar with this fortunately rare condition - just in case it ever strikes them.

What is it?

Fournier gangrene, sometimes called Fournier disease, is classified as an acute necrotic infection of the penis, balls and perineum. (The perineum is the section of the body between the balls and the anus.) Necrotic refers to the death of cells in a part of the body, so in this case it refers to dead cells and tissue in the genital area.

Fournier gangrene is considered a medical emergency; mortality rates are thought to be in the area of 20-30% of patients. Fortunately, the condition is also rare; it is estimated that worldwide there are only about 100 cases reported each year. Although there have been cases of Fournier gangrene in women and in children, the vast majority of cases have been reported in men over the age of 50.

What causes it?

Bacterial infection is typically the cause of Fournier gangrene, although some reports suggest that the infection can sometimes be fungal or viral in nature as well. This infection usually occurs in connection with a trauma to the area and is more often found in situations in which the immune system is compromised (temporarily or chronically). In many cases, the condition arises in relation to a bad urinary tract infection.

The gangrenous aspect of the disorder usually comes about due to thrombosis in small blood vessels in the area. This thrombosis is frequently the result of trauma (which was mentioned previously).


Penis pain, or pain in other parts of the area, is very common. While it may be severe, in some instances it is only of a moderate level. Swelling in the penis, balls or perineum is typical, as is a fever. A very strong and unpleasant odor is also associated with Fournier, growing more noxious as the disease progresses.

Gangrene can develop very rapidly, often within hours. This can be especially dangerous. Surgical treatment is usually required for Fournier disease, and typically involves cutting out the dead tissue and other areas suspected of being at risk of developing further gangrene. Intensive treatment with antibiotics is also standard of care.

As previously stated, Fournier gangrene is a rare condition and one that most men are unlikely ever to suffer from; however, it is important that men in a slightly higher risk group be aware of the symptoms. In addition to men over 50, risk factors include a compromised immune system, penile trauma, diabetes, burns, infections and corticosteroid use.

Attention to overall health and hygiene can aid in preventing Fournier, as well as attention to penis health in particular.

Avoiding penis pain (whether caused by Fournier or not) by maintaining good penis health is easier when a man makes the regular use of a superior penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) part of his daily regimen. Keeping the penis healthy can help to fight bacteria, and a crème that includes vitamins A and D is a good ally in that fight. Also called retinol, vitamin A is especially good at eliminating unpleasant bacteria from the penis. Vitamin D is frequently referred to as the "miracle vitamin" because it fights disease and supports healthier cellular functionality. In addition, the crème needs to contain a potent antioxidant, such as alpha lipoic acid, so that it can aid in the body’s ability to fight the free radicals that lead to cellular damage.