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Swollen, Painful Veins in Your Penis? --
Causes and  Remedies
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June 24, 2015
By Susan Callahan, Contributing Columnist

For Painful veins in the penis not an often-discussed topic, even among
doctors. Most of the common therapies for venous problems which
occur in the legs or other areas of the body may not be advisable for
penis vein problems because they may have a significant side effect ---
erectile dysfunction. What causes of painful, swollen veins in the penis?
And, what non-surgical remedies exist to alleviate the problem?

A Closer Look at the Anatomy of Your Penis Veins

The job of veins is in some sense harder than the job which arteries
have to do. Arteries are the blood vessels which carry blood from your
heart to the rest of your body. Since most of your body lies below your
heart, arteries in a sense “have it easy” because they don’t have to
work against gravity. The blood in arteries contains oxygen and is red.  
Veins, on the other hand, are the blood vessels which carry blood back
to your heart from the outer reaches of your body, working usually
against gravity. The blood in veins lacks oxygen and is blue.  Imagine
you are a vein, lifting gallon after gallon of blood every day from your
toes, your legs --- and yes , your penis --- back all the way up to your
heart.  Now, repeat that Herculean task thousands of times a day.  

This Herculean task goes remarkably smoothly for most of our lives and
for most people. We make this task even harder when we stand for
long periods or we sit in cramped positions simply because we make
the gravity load as heavy as possible when we are upright or cramped
like a paper clip in a tight airplane seat.

According to Boston University School of Medicine, in your penis, you
have 3 different types of veins: superficial, intermediate and deep.
Swelling can occur in any of these types of veins. Your superficial penis
veins drain blood from the skin of your penis. Your intermediate penis
veins drain blood from your head (technically called the “glans”) and
as well as certain supporting spongy columns used to build an erection
(“corpus spongiosum” and  the “corpora cavernosa”). The veins which
do the work of the intermediate drainage system are your deep dorsal
and the  circumflex veins.

What Makes a Penis Vein Swell?

Many types of conditions can make the veins of your penis swell. Here
are some of them:

Sex. As we’ve noted, arteries carry blood from the heart to extremities
such as your penis. Veins carry it all the way back to your heart. When
you become sexually aroused, your penis becomes engorged by blood
carries by arteries from your heart to your groin.  

After you ejaculate, it’s time for your veins to kick in and start to haul
that blood out of your groin area back to your heart. If your veins
don't do the job well enough, the blood stays pooled in the veins of
your penis and they can swell painfully.  

Of course, even when you are not sexually aroused, blood is still
flowing to your penis. If you touch your flaccid penis, you will notice
that it is warm, which indicates the presence of warm 98.6 degree
blood from your heart. Thus, it is possible to experience swollen veins
even in a flaccid penis.

-Mondor’s disease. This condition --- superficial thrombophlebitis (STP)
or thrombosis of the dorsal vein --- can occur after intense sexual
activity or after long periods of standing or sitting in cramped
conditions. One 2005 study from St. Thomas Hospital reported, for
example, that a man developed Mondor’s disease, 24 hours after taking
a 15 hour flight.

The vein will typically feel “beady” all along its length, according to a
2015 report from UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India.

With Mondor’s diseae, you will experience enlarged veins in the dorsal
(upper side) or doral lateral side of your penis. In rarer cases, such as
in the same 2015 report from, India, you may experience an enlarged
vein on the circumflex vein of your penis.

Varicose veins. Another conditions that can make the veins in your
penis swell painfully include varicose veins.

Varicose veins are a common problem, affecting every 5th woman and
every 6th man between the ages of 30 to 70 in the industrialized world,
according to a 2008 study from Paula Stradina University Hospital in
Riga, Latvia.

Varicose veins in your penis occur for the same reasons as do varicose
veins in your legs.  Standing for long periods, being overweight, having
a family history of varicose veins, all increase your risk for having
varicose veins.

Standing for long periods is perhaps the most common cause of
varicose veins in men. If you stand for long periods of time, blood
pools in your legs or in your lower extremities –which for these
purposes includes all veins lower than your heart, including the veins
that feed your penis.  

After long periods of standing or sitting, you may experience hot
burning, painful sensation in the veins. If the veins are large, pr are
knotted with other veins, the pain can be quite severe.

Varicose veins can occur in your testicles ---where they are called
varicoceles" -- or in the shaft of your penis. In fact, some studies claim
that up to 15% of men have varicose veins in their testicles.

Varicose veins are a type of “venous insufficiency”. Venous
insufficiency, as the name suggests, means that your veins are not able
to do the task for which they were designed, to carry blood back to
your heart. Venous insufficiency conditions can range from mild, or
“superficial” to “chronic”  or “severe”.  

Varicose veins, they occur in your penis, are difficult to manage. Unlike
varicose  veins which occur in your legs, penis veins cannot easily be
stripped or treated with sclerotherapy without also causing erectile

Remedies for Swollen Penis Veins

Horse chestnut Gel Helps Repair Leaky Veins

If your swollen veins are varicose, then you may consider using horse
chestnut gel. Horse chestnuts seeds contain a compound which helps to
seal veins and cure varicose conditions, according to several studies
including a 2012 study led by Dr. M.H. Pittler of the Institute of Medical
Biometry and Medical Informatics University Medical Center Freiburg,
Germany. The study concluded that horse chestnut extract is an
“efficacious and safe short-term treatment for CVI [chronic venous

You should bear in mind, however, that this study only examined
chronic venous insufficiency in legs. No study has ever examined the
use of horse chestnut el for varicose veins in the penis.

Use Ice Packs to Ease the Pain of Swollen Penis Veins

If you have varicose penis veins, a simple ice pack can help provide  
temporary relief. Apply the ice through a thin towel and not directly on
the skin. Cool both the immediate area and the thigh leading up to your

Lose Extra Weight to Lighten the Load on Your Penis Veins

Varicose veins get worse when women are pregnant in part because of
the added weight. Likewise, varicose veins in the penis can be
worsened of you are carrying too many pounds. Stay as close to your
ideal body weight for your height as possible to lessen the workload on
your veins.

Use Hot Fomentation Compresses for  Mondor's Related Penis Veins

For penis veins swollen from Mondor's disease, hot compresses can
help. In the case cited above from India which examined a patient with
Mondor's in the circumflex veins, the doctors reported that the problem
completely subsided within three days with daily local hot fomentation.  

Control Elevated Sex Hormones to Better Regulate Penis Veins

For years, scientists have known that elevated sex hormones in women
are a contributing cause of varicose veins. In 2010, a similar study was
made of men by researchers at Leipzig University Medical Center in
Leipzig, Germany. That study, led by Dr. Michael Kendler, discovered
that men with varicose veins have elevated levels of the hormones
“estradiol” and testosterone.

It is believed that the elevated hormones cause a negative feedback
loop which interrupts the normal regulation of your veins. To determine
if you have elevated levels of these hormones, you should of course
consult your doctor. If you do find that you have elevated levels of
testosterone, there are
foods and lifestyle changes which can lower
testosterone levels.

Elevate Your Legs to Help Reduce Vein Swelling

Elevating your legs above the level of your heart can help reduce the
load on your veins at the end of a long day. Lying flat with your legs on
a pillow or prop your legs on the back of the sofa to raise your groin
above the level of your heart.

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