What is smegma and why does it occur?

Hygiene in the genitals, both male and female, is very important to avoid the appearance of bad smells and possible infections. One of the consequences of poor hygiene is the appearance of smegma.

Although smegma accumulation is more common in men, it can also be on the female genitalia. This substance appears under normal conditions, however, when there is an excessive amount it is capable of generating a foul odor, so it can be very uncomfortable.

What is smegma?

Smegma is a natural secretion of the human body whose main function is to lubricate the penis and vagina to facilitate intercourse. In men it usually appears in the balanopreputial sulcus, just below the glans of the penis, secreted by the Tyson glands or pearly papules.

In women this discharge appears around the clitoris and between the labia majora and minora of the vagina. It does not usually generate a bad smell when there is a small amount accumulated, however, the problem appears when it is mixed with other components of the body.

When this happens, smegma takes on a whitish hue with a consistency that resembles cheese and a rather foul odor. Among the substances with which the secretion can be combined to acquire these characteristics, the following stand out:

  • Dead skin cells.
  • Secretions from the prostate.
  • White blood cells.
  • Sex hormones.

It is very common to find the presence of this discharge in men who have phimosis or who are not circumcised. This is because in both situations the glans is covered by the foreskin, so hygiene can be quite complicated.

Situations such as phimosis favor the accumulation of smegma and its consequent odor.

You can also read this article: Types of phimosis

Can it bring any complications?

The main impact of smegma on the life of those who suffer from it is psychological. By emanating a foul odor from the genitals the person may feel self-conscious about having sexas this may be something that causes you embarrassment.

Some microscopic analyzes have shown the presence of bacteria in this substance. Therefore, its accumulation in excess would cause infections. In addition, in men it can trigger a pathology called balanoposthitis, which is the inflammation of the glans and foreskin.

On the other hand, smegma is capable of hardening over time, so can cause the foreskin or labia to stick together. When this occurs it is painful and requires medical intervention.

For years the presence of smegma was associated with the development of cancer of the penis or uterus. However, various studies have shown that there is no relationship. This means that there is no scientific justification that smegma is a carcinogen.

You may be interested in: Hygiene tips before and after oral sex

Treatment and prevention of smegma

In most cases, smegma accumulation does not require a specific treatment or prevention mechanism. As it is a problem associated with lack of hygiene, it is only necessary to wash with warm water and soap periodically to eliminate excesses.

In this way, men and women prone to excessive production of the substance must have adequate daily genital hygiene. It is important that they take washing as a daily routine to avoid the appearance of bad smell, especially after having sex.

It should be remembered that during and after intercourse the body continues to produce lubricating and sex hormones, which are part of the substances that make up smegma. To avoid possible irritation to the glans and vagina mild mild abrasive soap should be used and the area should not be rubbed too hard.

On the other hand, when smegma is caused by phimosis or other abnormalities, it may be necessary to apply topical antibiotics and other creams as part of the treatment. These medicines help regulate the function of the Tyson glands.

In case of a complication due to the accumulation of smegma it is important to see a doctor. Only the professional will be able to solve this situation and indicate the therapy to follow.

Women also produce smegma and can suffer the consequences of bad odor.

Genital hygiene is essential

Preventing bad genital odors and the various pathologies that can cause them is usually simple and is almost always related to hygiene. It must be taken into account that it is a humid area, so it can favor the proliferation of microorganisms that generate a bad smell.

The appearance of smegma does not usually have serious consequences for the person and a few cleaning measures are enough for the substance to decrease its concentration.