The Top 4 Things You Should Know About Men With Pelvic Pain

Around 10 to 15 per cent of all men will experience chronic prostatitis at some stage of their life. The chances are you know someone, whether a friend member or friend, who is suffering from the condition, either secretly or openly. And though sufferers have many similarities between them, these are the top four based on my own experience and speaking to medical experts.

1. We weren't always the anxious type

The common misconception of male pelvic pain sufferers is that we are natural worriers, that our character is one of constant anxiousness, overthinking and panic. The experts I've interviewed on my podcast all agree that when you walk through their clinic door, they aren't seeing the regular you. That patients are in a heightened state of alert turned up to full by their pelvic pain. Sure, prostatitis often strikes at a particularly anxious time in a person's life, which may have created an unhealthy lifestyle and thus vulnerable body, but to say we're all neurotic wrecks who flinch when a mouse farts is misleading. We did know how to relax once upon a time.

2. We need to pee...a lot 

Needing to pee is not the same as peeing in large volumes. Pelvic pain suffers don't possess extraordinary large bladders. It's the squeezing on the bladder or urethra making us need to go. What's more, we aren't exactly passing water like a racehorse, gushing like a hose pipe on full flow. Very often it's the opposite where only a trickle will pass though we feel as if our bladder is bursting. Women who regularly suffer from bouts of cystitis have a better understanding of this debilitating aspect. As for the men, if any of you have had an STI - chlamydia, for example - and have had that gnawing, aggravating urgency to pee again as soon as you flushed the toilet, just imagine that...all the time...indefinitely. 

3. We have very painful orgasms

Yes, sex is supposed to be a joyous occasion, bloody wonderful in fact, yet one of the most common symptoms of chronic prostatitis is pain on and after ejaculation. The pain is usually in the urethra and can feel like a hot, ripping sensation accompanied by an extreme need to pee. However, some men experience an overall tension throughout their entire pelvic floor after ejaculation. Brendan Turner, a personal coach from Birmingham, spoke of an episode after sex where his whole pelvic floor went into a painful spasm for forty minutes. Brendan said the only thing he could do was curl into the foetal position while his girlfriend was wondering what on earth was going on. 

4. We're in constant pain in the most intimate area 

Because of the location of the symptoms and the fact that chronic prostatitis is invisible, it's impossible to get across the inner tension. Not only can a friend or family member not see anything wrong, but the pain is in an area which is highly sensitive, intricate and private. It would be socially acceptable to be sat with a group of friends and say 'Jesus, my legs are stiff' then proceed to do some light stretches. Conversely, it's generally frowned upon to announce 'my anus feels tight and there's a sharp pain in my penis' then proceed to go into a deep squat and massage your groin. 

Published on January 20, 2020

Tao Heftiba/Unsplash

Murphy AB, Macejko A, Taylor A, Nadler RB. Chronic prostatitis: management strategies. Drugs. 2009;69(1):71–84.


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