What men should know and do about pelvic pain

Not many people are aware that pelvic pain in men can be a common occurrence. Pelvic pain refers to discomfort felt between the navel and groin, extending to the tops of the thighs. This type of pain encompasses the lower abdomen, groin, and genitals and is often caused by issues with the urinary, reproductive, or intestinal systems.

Men experiencing pelvic pain can have various symptoms depending on the cause. Men’s pain could be dull, sharp, intermittent, or constant. It’s also generally localized in one pelvis area, or it could be more widespread. 

Causes of pelvic pain in men

If a man is experiencing pelvic pain, seeking medical attention is advised to determine the cause. Even mild pain is concercing as it can worsen over time and lead to complications. To properly diagnose the issue, doctors consider several potential causes of pelvic pain in men that include the following:


Prostatitis is a medical condition that can cause pain and difficulty while urinating. It may also lead to discomfort in the pelvic area, groin, or genitals, and sometimes even flu-like symptoms. This condition affects approximately one in six men at some point. Prostatitis is the most frequently diagnosed urologic condition in males under 50 and the third most common diagnosis in men over 50, after BPH and prostate cancer.

The term ‘prostatitis’ is when there is an inflammation of the prostate gland – anything word ending in “it is” means inflammation. Unlike BPH and prostate cancer which generally affect older men, prostatitis is an equal opportunity condition affecting men of all ages.

There are several reasons why prostate gland irritation or inflammation can occur. Sometimes, bacteria-laden urine leaks back from the urethra, penetrating the prostate gland causing a bacterial infection. Using a catheter can be another causes of introduing bacteria into thies area. However, there can be no clear cause of why it is occurring. Trauma, increased pressure on the prostate, an overactive immune system or even excessive stress contributing to prostate irritation, are other possibilities.

Treatment for prostatitis when caused by an infection is to prescribed an antibiotic such as ciprofloxan or norfloxacin. The antibiotics may be prescribed for several weeks or months. For severe prostatitis, a hospital stay treating with fluids and antibiotics, may be necessary.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Many men are aware of the condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is the noncancerous growth of the prostate gland. This can lead to issues with urine flow, such as the need to urinate frequently or urgently, difficulty starting urination, or the inability to empty the bladder. The male reproductive system relies on the prostate gland, a small walnut-shaped organ below the bladder. The purpose of the prostate gland function is to produce fluid that contributes to the semen.


Hernias occur when an internal organ or fatty tissue protrudes through a weak spot in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall known as fascia.There are many types of hernias – inguinal, incisional, femoral, umbilical, and hiatal. Still, inguinal hernias (inner groin) account for up to 70 percent of all cases of this rupture with over 500,000 Americans, primarily men, who will require surgical repair of this hernia.  

An inguinal hernia happens when fatty or intestinal tissues push through the inguinal canal in the groin area between the pubis and the top of the thigh. Both men and women have an inguinal canal at the base of the abdomen. A hernia in this area results in a protruding bulge or lump that can be painful with movement.

Testicular Torsion

Testicular torsion – just the name of it sounds menacing enough to make a grown man want to curl up in a ball protecting his manhood. And just like it sounds, testicular torsion is a “twisting of the testes” that usually occurs suddenly with severe pain, enlargement of the affected testicle, tenderness, and swelling. Other symptoms of testicular torsion can include nausea, vomiting, blood in the semen, and abdominal pain. While it is uncommon, it does require medical emergency surgery since a delay in treatment can cause loss of the testicle that’s affected. 


The appendix is a small organ on the right side of the body; appendicitis is when inflammation affects the appendix causing pelvic pain along with fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and swelling in the lower abdomen. Any sharp pain in the lower right abdomen accompanied with the symptoms listed, needs immediate medical attention of which surgery may be necessary. 

Urinary or kidney stones

Did you know that over 500,000 people visit the emergency room for kidney stones annually? This condition affects approximately one in ten individuals during their lifetime. Kidney stones form from chemicals in the urine when there is excess waste and insufficient liquid. As a result, crystals develop, which can grow into stones and travel through the urinary tract. Unfortunately, larger stones may cause blockages and excruciating discomfort. Fortunately, medication can help break up smaller stones, while surgery may be necessary for larger ones.


People with interstitial cystitis often appear healthy on the outside but experience extreme discomfort on the inside. This condition, also called painful bladder syndrome or bladder pain syndrome, causes recurring discomfort, pressure or pain in the pelvic region and bladder. It is often accompanied by frequent urination, urgency, and nighttime voiding. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe, with the intensity changing over time. It affects an estimated 12 million people, including 8 million women and 4 million men. Doctors usually prescribe a short course of antibiotics to treat a bladder infection.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

Not all STDs cause pelvic pain in men but the two most common that do are gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Besides pain in the pelvis, other symptoms from these two STDs include inflammation in the urethra and discharge from the penis. 

Chlamydia may also infect the rectum or anus, possibly causing pain there. There is a condition called lymphogranuloma venereum caused by different versions of the bacteria that causes Chlamydia which can lead to pelvic pain that is difficult to treat.

Men infected with gonorrhea may have symptoms such as pain and discharge from the penis. Gonorrhea can also affect the rectum causing discharge from the anus or painful bowel movements. 

Treatment for Chlamydia and gonorrhea are antibiotics that should begin at the first signs of these STDs. Partners will also need to be treated, regardless of their symptoms. Certain strains of gonorrhea have become resistant to some antibiotics, so more than one drug may be prescribed. After 3 months, men should be retested to ensure the infection has cleared. 


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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