6 Causes of Sexual Pain in Men

sexual pain

Prostatitis is only one of several causes of sexual pain in men. If you are experiencing sexual pain, which can include pain in the penis, testis, or pelvis area that occurs during sex, while ejaculating, or after sex, it could stem from a variety of causes.

Sex is supposed to feel good, so it can be particularly worrisome and stressful when it hurts, and it can affect your intimate relationships. The causes of sexual pain can be medical, structural, or psychological. Here’s a look at six causes of sexual pain, also known as dyspareunia.

Prostatitis—Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome 

Chronic prostatitis, also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome, can cause sexual pain for some men. This nonbacterial condition affects about 50% of men at some point in their lives. Prostatitis can lead to pain that occurs during sex, during ejaculation, or pain after sex. Some men suffer with chronic pelvic pain or testicular pain.

There are several things you can do to reduce pain during sex when you have chronic prostatitis. Sexual pain with prostatitis is often due to a weakness, spasm, or other dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles. A pelvic floor specialist can help you find the right treatment and exercises to help rehabilitate these muscles.

There are also many tools, exercises, alternative treatments, and supplements that can help relieve sexual pain. Urologists recommend phytotherapy. This natural therapy combines the supplements pollen extracts and quercetin, to help manage sexual pain and pelvic floor spasm.

Physical Abnomalities of the Penis

Physical abnormalities, such as Peyronie’s disease, a tight foreskin, other foreskin issues, scarring, or frenulum breve, can also cause sexual pain. You should see your doctor to get a complete examination to rule out any physical problems that could be causing your sexual pain.

Peyronie’s disease is a condition when the penis bends or curves, usually when it is erect. This can occur due to inflammation or abnormal scar tissue.

Frenulum breve is when the frenulum, which is the elastic band of tissue under the glans (head of the penis) that attaches to the foreskin, is short and slender. According to a study, this a common cause of sexual pain as frenulum breve accounted for 50% of men with dyspareunia (Whelan). Treatment for this may require surgery.


Infections in the prostate gland, bladder, urethra, or seminal vesicles can cause intense burning or itching after ejaculations. Both acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis symptoms can include painful ejaculation and pain in the penis or testicles. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a cause of sexual pain in men. For example, gonorrheal infections can sometimes cause a burning or sharp penile pain during ejaculation. If you have an STD, you need to make sure your partner gets treated, too.

Take a trip to the doctor to rule out and treat an infection. You can usually treat an infection with antibiotics. If you do take antibiotics, be sure to take a quality probiotic to help restore the balance of beneficial and healthy bacteria in the gut.

Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic inflammatory bladder condition that is a similar condition to prostatitis. Men with IC may experience pain during sexual intercourse, in the pelvis, or in the perineal area between the scrotum and anus. Like chronic prostatitis, IC is difficult to treat, but there are several ways to find relief. Therapies like bladder training, physical therapy, avoiding bladder irritants (like spicy foods and caffeine), changing lifestyle and habits, doing exercises, employing alternative treatments (like acupuncture), and taking medication can all help make things more comfortable.

Psychological Causes

Once your doctor has ruled out any physical abnormalities or illnesses you might consider that your pain could be based on psychological or emotional problems. That is not to say your pain is not real, but it could be caused stress, anxiety, or emotional problems. If you are depressed you may experience sexual pain as well.

Some sexual pain disorders have been linked to anxiety. Pain may occur as a result of having anxiety related to sex or intimacy. Being a victim of sexual assault or abuse can manifest in sexual pain or anxiety.

When it comes to pain caused by psychological issues, it important not to suffer alone. Communicate with your partner about your sexual pain, and find a medical professional with whom you can have an honest discussion about your sexual problems and how to address them. Psychotherapy may help you resolve sexual pain that is caused by emotional problems or anxiety.


There are some other common causes of sexual pain in men. While it is important to make sure you have enough lubrication, an irritation you are experiencing may actually mean you are allergic to your lubricant. That goes for other products such as spermicides and even the detergent you use to wash your clothes, as these can cause allergies and irritations that lead to sexual pain.

No matter what your causes of sexual pain, you should not be embarrassed to seek help from both your partner and your doctor. Suffering alone or being embarrassed to seek treatment will only make things worse and make you feel more isolated. If you look at your sexual health holistically by looking at what is going on in your whole body, you are more likely to locate the cause(s) of your problems. Going to the source of the problem can help you treat your sexual pain, or at least work to minimize it, so that you can have a more satisfying and enjoyable sex life.


Whelan. Male dyspareunia due to short frenulum: an indication for adult circumcision. BMJ 1977; 24-31: 1633-4

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