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Q. Why do I experience balanitis and engorged veins in the penis after stopping Ginkgo Biloba?

Answered by
Dr. Samer S J Altawil
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 12, 2020 and last reviewed on: Sep 18, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am a 48-year-old male, and for the last three months have been taking Ginkgo Biloba daily. I stopped taking it two weeks ago. I started to suffer what I thought were signs of balanitis. While taking gingko I did not experience elevated veins during this time. However, since I stopped, my veins are elevating, leaving a lot of pain. I have been using a detox tea to no avail. I should also mention that I took another supplement for weight loss, which I had also been taking for three months. I began to suffer headaches with it and could not understand why. However, on further investigation, the base of the supplement contained estrogen, and I, therefore, stopped immediately. I have ceased taking it for 16 days now. The veins elevate, particularly during, and after intercourse they come down slightly but are still engorged and painful.



Welcome to

Gingko has many health benefits like its antioxidants, release headaches, improved sexual functions, and enhanced well-being. Side effects commonly are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, stomach pain, and allergies. There is no link between ginkgo and engorged veins, and balanitis as a tablet or oral supplements will cause generalized symptoms rather than localized to the penis.

Balanitis is an inflammation of the glans penis and has many causes, mostly related to infections and sexually transmitted diseases. What I think is you need to undergo a urethral swab for gonococcal and chlamydial infections if you have pus or discharge from the urethra otherwise, send semen for culture and sensitivity, and you should go for a blood test for syphilis (VDRL), HIV, and herpes simplex virus.

Please follow up with test results and take a picture of your penis after retracting foreskin for me to review. One more point supplements for weight loss are harmful will many side effects, please avoid it. Low carbs, low fat, high protein diet, and exercise will be the best.

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