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Ask Dr. K

My partner’s penis has been severely swollen two times. The skin around the shaft and the foreskin are full of fluids, but the actual penis is not erect.

Could it be caused by an overly tight cock ring? We also took crystal.

Could this be balanitis?

I’ll take the cock ring for $400, Alex. If cock rings are too tight, they can cause numbness, bruising, swelling, and pain. Using a cock ring that can be easily opened is the safest way to go—make sure that the cock ring can be loosened or taken off without a problem.

Combining crystal meth with cock rings could have been the cause of the swelling. When you take crystal your blood vessels constrict (get more narrow) causing your blood pressure to increase. That increased blood pressure could cause abnormal swelling of the penis made worse by the use of a cock ring. In addition, crystal can lessen one’s experience of pain. So while someone not on crystal might feel pain in their penis if the cock ring is too tight or on too long, someone high on crystal might not notice. Using cock rings and crystal requires some increased awareness about what could happen. For more information on methamphetamine, visit

See a similar question:

Symptoms of male balanitis—a yeast infection of the skin of the penis—are generally itchy, red spots on the penis that burn with urination and touch. While swelling is not typically a symptom of balanitis, your partner should see a doctor. Swelling in the penis can indicate larger problems, and you do not want to risk permanent damage!

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Thursday, November 19, 2009.
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