The pelvic region is home to many bodily parts. This includes the male reproductive system, as well as the renal system. A large part of the digestive system also forms part of the pelvis.
Problems with any region in the pelvis can cause lower abdominal pain in men, also known as pelvic pain. Symptoms generally include both pain and discomfort. Accompanying symptoms may sometimes be present too.
Men should understand what pelvic pain means. Sometimes, treatment is non-invasive and comes with little to no side-effects.
There are also cases where pelvic pain may signal something more serious. In such a case, an early diagnosis would be critical. This can help make treatment more successful. There would also be a reduced risk of the male patient experiencing severe complications.
We take a closer look at pelvic pain among men in this post. We consider accompanying and specific symptoms that the patient may suffer from.
The post also looks at some of the most common conditions and causes that have been linked to pelvic pain. We will also look at some effective remedies and treatment options.
What Is Pelvic Pain?
Pelvic pain is a symptom that refers to pain that occurs between the groin and navel. Many men tend to experience such pain symptoms. There are also a large number of factors that have been associated with pelvic pain.
Acute abdominal pain: Sometimes, the pain will be acute. This means the man develops symptoms in their pelvic floor or another region of their pelvis for a short period. In such a case, a minor injury might have occurred. There are, however, cases where the pain can become chronic.
Chronic abdominal pain: Most commonly, chronic pelvic pain syndrome is considered when the pain becomes consistent.
It is important to note that pelvic pain can be specific. In such a case, a particular area of the pelvic region will be affected. When pain is specific, it may help a physician gain a better idea of the potential cause of the condition.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome has become an increasing concern among men. In one report, the NIDDK states that up to 15% of the male population may show signs of this condition1. Just as the causes vary, the treatment also differs from one patient to the next.
Recognizing symptoms helps with early detection of an underlying cause. This ensures appropriate treatment can be initiated during an earlier stage. It may also help to reduce the risk of more serious complications.
Most Common Causes For Pelvic Pain In Men
Men should understand what may be the causes of pelvic pain. Pelvic pain in women is also common. Some causes are similar. In most cases, however, the causes may be linked to the male reproductive organs.
Chronic prostatitis, for example, has been shown to contribute to pelvic pain. In such a case, the pelvic pain is likely to become chronic. This means learning more about prostatitis symptoms2 is crucial for male patients. This becomes even more important if the patient experiences chronic pelvic pain.
In this section, we consider the common reasons why male patients may experience pelvic pain. Men should be educated about all of these causes. This allows them to determine why they may be suffering from the symptoms. It also helps the man identify whether the cause behind symptoms may be serious.
Where Does Most Pelvic Pain In Men Stem From?
There are actually quite a few potential causes of pelvic pain in men. Understanding each of these can help a man determine if they are at high risk for complications. Specific accompanying symptoms could signal something more serious.
We will share a few critical causes of pelvic pain in men below:
- Prostatitis: As mentioned before, prostatitis is a common cause. This condition causes inflammation in the prostate gland. The prostate gland can push against the bladder and urethra. This may also lead to the development of lower urinary tract symptoms. A man with prostatitis may be at an increased risk for a urinary tract infection too. Bacterial prostatitis can lead to complications. Along with pelvic pain, prostatitis symptoms include groin pain, pain the abdomen or lower back, bloody urine, painful urination, and ejaculation, as well as flu-like symptoms (bacterial prostatitis).
- Urinary Tract Infection: An infection in the urinary tract can also be a cause behind pelvic pain. The infection can affect any part of the urinary tract. This includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The lower abdomen may also be affected by pain. Urinary symptoms may accompany the pain when this type of infection is present.
- Hernia: A hernia is another cause of pelvic pain. This is more common than many men think. One report estimated that up to 25% of all men would experience a hernia at some point in their lives3. The pain will often be worse when pelvic muscles are strained. This may occur when the man laughs or coughs.
- Appendicitis: Appendicitis is an inflammation that affects the appendix. This is a small part of the gastrointestinal tract. The appendix can also develop an infection. There may also be swelling in the patient’s lower abdomen. The condition can cause fever and nausea, too, as well as vomiting.
- Cystitis: Another important possible cause is cystitis. This is an inflammation that affects the bladder. Infection is often to blame for cystitis. Other areas of the urinary tract can be affected in the process. The man would also find it difficult to urinate. The patient’s urine stream will also likely be weak.
- Enlarged Prostate: Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia, when the prostate becomes enlarged, it could lead to pelvic pain. A large number of men experience enlargement of their prostate gland. The prostate also pushes against the urethra. Symptoms may become worse when the enlarged prostate causes bladder muscles to weaken.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term for two conditions (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) that are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
- Urinary Stones: Men should also take note of symptoms associate with urinary stones. These stones can cause pain in the pelvis. Large stones can cause severe pain. This happens when minerals or salts accumulate in the urine. The body is unable to effectively get rid of these elements. They then start to crystallize. This causes the compounds to develop stones.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Men often overlook the possibility of IBS contributing to their pelvic pain. This condition affects the large intestine. It can also cause constipation, cramping and bloating. Men may find mucus in their stool when they develop IBS.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections: There are a few STIs that have also been shown to cause pelvic pain. Both Chlamydia and gonorrhea should be taken into consideration. Accompanying symptoms may include urethra inflammation. There may sometimes even be a discharge from the patient’s penis.
Pelvic pain may signal any of these problems. This is why a physical examination from a doctor is so critical.
What Can Injuries Cause Pelvic Pain In Men?
Apart from considering the causes mentioned above, some injuries may cause pelvic pain too. Men should take note when they have pelvic pain. If they previously suffered an injury, this might be a contributing factor to the pelvic pain they experience.
Generally, an injury directly to a part of the pelvis area may lead to such pain symptoms. This includes a direct blow to the testes. Peritonitis and fibrosis should be taken into account here too. These conditions can cause injury to the nerves. In turn, the nerves become irritated and inflamed. This may eventually lead to the development of pelvic pain.
How To Alleviate Men’s Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain can be bothersome and even irritating in a man’s daily life. Accompanying symptoms of the underlying cause can also cause problems in the man’s life.
Frequent and painful urination, for example, can cause the man to worry. Pelvic floor dysfunction may even cause problems with the man’s sexual function. Sexual dysfunction can cause problems with a man’s relationship and confidence.
For this reason, learning how to alleviate pain in the pelvic area is important. There are several options available. This ranges from pelvic floor rehabilitation4 to taking certain drugs.
What Medications Can Help Alleviate Men’s Pelvic Pain?
Some medications may help reduce pain in the pelvis. It is crucial to consider underlying causes first. A doctor will be able to perform a physical exam on the male patient.
There are additional tests that may be performed too. When a diagnosis is made, it gives the doctor the ability to provide a more appropriate pharmaceutical treatment.
When an underlying cause is identified, medication will be prescribed to help address these issues.
In case of a urinary tract infection, the doctor will likely offer the patient antibiotics. These drugs help to fight against the bacteria that cause the urinary tract infection. Certain STIs, such as Chlamydia, may also be treated with an appropriate dose of antibiotics.
Antibiotic treatment is also appropriate for bacterial prostatitis. This helps to fight the bacteria that have infected the prostate gland. Sometimes, swelling in the prostate is linked to a different reason. In such a scenario, the appropriate medication should be provided.
Men with an enlarged prostate will also be provided with certain drugs. This may help to reduce pelvic pain. The medication will also help to address the enlargement of the prostate.
In this case, Flomax or Hytrin may be provided. These drugs help to relax the bladder muscle. Avodart or Proscar may be provided alternatively. These also focuses on helping to reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
Some painkillers can also be used to alleviate pelvic pain. These do not target the underlying cause. They can still provide an effective reduction in the pain severity of the male patient experience.
The patient may be advised to try over-the-counter pain medication first. This helps to reduce the risk of side-effects. Prescription drugs are much stronger, but also comes with a higher risk of side-effects. If the over-the-counter drugs do not work, the physician may prescribe stronger pain medication.
The doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications. This may help to reduce inflammation in the pelvic region. Inflammation can contribute to pain. Thus, targeting the inflammation could further alleviate the pain symptoms.
What Are Some Natural Remedies That Can Help Alleviate Men’s Pelvic Pain?
There are a few natural options that men can consider when they want to reduce pelvic pain. Again, the underlying cause should be identified. Natural remedies for a urinary tract infection differ from what would be used to reduce BPH symptoms.
When a diagnosis has been made, the patient can look into appropriate natural remedies for the condition causing their pelvic pain.
When a urinary tract infection is identified, maintaining appropriate hydration is important5. The patient should also ensure they urinate when they feel they have to.
Holding it can lead to a worsening of the condition. Symptoms can also become worse in such a case. Cranberry juice may also be a helpful option. Some men find that a probiotic is useful for reducing symptoms as well.
Several natural treatments have been advised for benign prostatic hyperplasia. While there are many suggestions, not all of them seem to work effectively. Men should educate themselves on what works and what to avoid.
Some natural treatments for BPH include:
What Exercises Or Stretches Can Help Alleviate Pelvic Pain In Men?
Physical exercise is always important. This is even crucial when suffering from a painful condition. Exercise has previously been shown to reduce pain symptoms. Certain stretches could also be helpful for men with pelvic pain.
Participating in yoga is a useful option for men who do not wish to start lifting weights. When joining a gym, it is important to consider the cause behind the pain.
Lifting weights with a hernia can be dangerous. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, can be a useful natural treatment remedy too.
Treatment Options For Pelvic Pain In Men
There are a few treatment methods available. These treatments address the causes behind the pelvic pain. Such a treatment solution would usually yield better results compared to only treating the pain.
Pelvic floor muscles are often addressed when a treatment program is developed for the patient. The doctor may find that pelvic pain syndrome is contributed to by a weak pelvic floor. These exercises may then help to alleviate symptoms.
Targeting a specific myofascial trigger point6 during rehabilitation therapy can be a useful strategy. This is great for men with muscle-related problems. The therapy may help to alleviate pain in the process.
Studies also show that patients can be taught how to perform treatment on these trigger points. The study shows quite impressive results. It seems when patients are educated on this therapy, they can effectively do it themselves. The result is generally a reduction in pain in the pelvic region.
Thus, sometimes self-treatment at home may be appropriate. Still, there are cases where a more serious underlying condition has developed. This calls for medical treatment. Failure to obtain the right treatment increases the patient’s risk of serious complications.
Prostate cancer, for example, can become severe and spread to other parts of the body. Benign prostatic hyperplasia may cause a recurrent urinary tract infection. This may damage the internal parts of the urinary system.
When To Seek Medical Attention For Pelvic Pain
There are many times when pelvic pain is no serious problem. It is mild and does not cause major disability in the patient’s daily life. Perhaps a simple over-the-counter pain drug helps to alleviate the symptom. This helps the man continue on their day without problems.
In some cases, however, things are not as simple. Chronic pain in the pelvic floor or related can be serious. The underlying cause may be something more severe that could cause fatal complications. Thus, patients need to realize when it would be appropriate for them to seek medical attention for the pain symptoms.
How Do You Know If Your Pelvic Pain Is A Sign Of Something More Serious?
Pain in the pelvis is often not the only symptom a patient will experience. Men should always consider the accompanying symptoms they experience. Chronic pelvic pain syndrome may sometimes lead to the diagnosis of an underlying condition that requires immediate treatment.
Men should take note of pain when sitting7. This may signal the presence of prostatitis. The condition requires treatment. Untreated, it can lead to a spreading of a bacteria infection. The urinary tract may also be adversely affected by untreated prostatitis.
Hematuria is another symptom to take note of. The term Hematuria refers to blood that is present in the patient’s urine. This may signal various potential underlying causes. Sometimes, blood in urine may be a sign of a urinary tract infection. This is often caused by bacteria.
The bacterial infection needs to be treated with antibiotics. Untreated UTIs can lead to a spreading of the infection to other regions of the body.
Blood in urine, along with pelvic pain, can also be a sign of kidney stones. There are certain problems with the prostate that can also cause these symptoms.
When the pain is severe, it is also crucial for the male patient to see their doctor. Severe abdominal pain can also be a sign that something serious is going on.
Men should also consider symptoms like additional pain when they urinate. Changes in how the man urinates should be taken note of as well.
If you have severe pelvic pain and any of these symptoms of testicular torsion, seek immediate medical attention:
- swelling of a testicle
- redness/darkening of the scrotum
- abdominal pain
- nausea vomiting
Pelvic pain is a rather common complaint among the male population. Pain in the pelvis area is considered a symptom. An underlying cause should always be considered. We looked at some possible causes behind pelvic pain in this post. We also considered accompanying symptoms that patients should be aware of.
Furthermore, we looked at when it is appropriate for a patient to seek medical treatment. These symptoms must be specified to a healthcare professional. This ensures an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause can be identified.