PELVIC PAIN – PART 2:
Conditions that only affect men
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome affects 10–15 % of the male population.
Prostatitis is inflammation and swelling of the prostate, a small gland in the male reproductive system. The prostate produces a fluid that goes into semen.
There are a few types of prostatitis:
Acute bacterial prostatitis arises from a bacterial infection in the prostate and can cause pain in the pelvis, groin, or lower back and can also lead to discomfort in the penis or testicles.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a recurring infection of the prostate. The symptoms may be less severe.
Nonbacterial prostatitis is inflammation in the prostate that lasts a long time and may result from nonbacterial prostatitis, a type of chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis can cause virtually no symptoms.
- Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
Men who have long-term pelvic pain (>3 months) with no infection or other obvious cause are diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain syndrome. 3 to 6 % of men have chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and have pain in the penis, testicles, area between the testicles and rectum (perineum), and lower belly.
- Urethral stricture
The urethra is the tube that urine passes through from the bladder out of the body. Urethral stricture refers to a narrowing or blockage in the urethra caused by swelling, injury, or infection. The blockage slows the flow of urine out of the penis. Urethral stricture affects about 0.6 % of men as they age. This problem is much more common in men.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
BPH refers to a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. This gland normally starts out the size and shape of a walnut. The prostate continues to grow as you age. When the prostate grows, it squeezes down on your urethra. The bladder muscle must work harder to push out urine. Over time, the bladder muscle can weaken, and you can develop urinary symptoms. BPH is quite common in older men. About half of men ages 51 to 60 have this condition. By age 80, up to 90 percent of men will have BPH.
- Post-vasectomy pain syndrome
With a vasectomy the surgeon cuts the vas deferens, so that sperm can no longer get into the semen. About 1 to 2 percent of men who have a vasectomy will have pain in their testicles for more than 3 months after the procedure. It can be caused by damage to structures in the testicle, or pressure on nerves in the area.