What are the Causes and Treatment for Men’s Pelvic Pain?

What Causes Men’s Pelvic Pain?

If you are experiencing pain in the pelvis, then you need to know that according to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Prostatitis (male pelvic pain syndrome) affects 10 to 15% of the population [1].

So What are the Symptoms of Pelvic Pain?

The most reported pelvic pain symptoms include: chills and fever; trouble getting an erection; feeling pain when ejaculating; pain in the abdomen; pain in the anus, groin or bladder area; or frequent, painful, or difficult urination. In acute pelvic pain cases, the onset can be sudden; conversely, in chronic cases, the symptoms can be gradual [2].

Putting a Spotlight on the Prostate

This is a male-only gland, about the size of a walnut. It is found below the bladder, in front of the rectum. The urethra (the duct which sends urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body), passes through the prostate. The prostate generates a large percentage of male ejaculation fluid (semen) [2].

“Prostatitis is the most common urologic diagnosis in men under 50. While the prostate may indeed be a source of pelvic pain, it is likely that in many cases that pain in the male pelvis does not stem entirely (or in some cases at all) from issues with the prostate itself” [2]

So What Causes Pelvic Pain?

This issue can come about from common conditions such as: a urinary tract infection; prostatitis (an inflamed prostate); or a sexually transmitted infection. Moreover, it can also arise in conjunction with other symptoms. As treatments are tailored to individual patients according to the cause of their pelvic pain, a comprehensive check-up is essential in all cases [1].

An Overview of Associated Symptoms

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

This condition is due to a bacterial infection in the prostate gland. Bacteria can get into the latter via the urethra. When the bacteria multiply, this scenario can generate pain in the lower back, pain in the groin, and pain in the pelvis. On top of this, there may be irritation in the testicles, or discomfort in the penis [1].

Other symptoms may also arise. These include:

• Trouble urinating
• A broken/weak urine stream
• Urinary blockage
• Urinating more than usual (including having to get up in the night)
• A burning feeling when urinating
• Painful ejaculation
• Chills
• Fever
• Vomiting and nausea [1].

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

This condition refers to a recurring infection in the prostate gland. Although they are not as intense, the symptoms mirror those of acute bacterial prostatitis [1].

Non-bacterial Prostatitis

If men have had an inflamed prostate for an extended period of time, then their condition could be due to a common type of chronic pelvic pain syndrome, known as non-bacterial prostatitis. While the reasons for the onset of this condition are not yet fully understood, the fact is that the inflammation is not linked to a bacterial infection [1].
Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis
It is important to be mindful that prostatitis can cause almost no symptoms at all, and this is why it is crucial to have a consultation with a specialist [1].

Urinary Track Infections (UTI)

This is a bacterial infection which occurs at a location along the urinary tract. This region incorporates the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Urinary Tract Infections are a common issue, and pelvic pain or lower abdominal pain are frequent symptoms [1].

Other symptoms include:

• Pain in the lower back or sides, as well as in other regions
• The need to urinate more often than usual
• Chills or fever
• Experiencing a burning sensation whilst urinating
• Changes in the smell or colour of the urine [1].
If you experience unexpected pain in the lower abdomen, then you may have a hernia (a painful small bulge which forms when a piece of the intestine or tissue pushes out via a weak point in the muscles. If you strain your muscles by lifting something, coughing or laughing, then the pain may feel worse [1].
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Pelvic pain can also come about from chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and other STIs [1].

Symptoms include:

• Discharge coming from the penis
• Pelvic pain
• An inflamed urethra [1].
An inflamed appendix (a small organ on the body’s right side) can generate pelvic pain [1].
Other symptoms incorporate:
• Having a fever
• Swelling in the lower abdomen
• Vomiting and nausea
• Losing one’s appetite [1].
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
This condition arises from various (sometimes temporary) symptoms along the intestinal tract. These include:
• Mucus in the stool
• Feeling constipated
• Diarrhoea
• Bloating
• Aching cramps [1].
This refers to inflammation in the bladder, and is usually caused by an infection. It generates a pain in the pelvis [1].
Other symptoms include:
• Having trouble urinating
• Changes in the urine’s smell or look
• The need to urinate more often than usual
• A weak urine flow
• Blood in the urine
• Feeling a burning pain whilst urinating [1].
Urinary Stones
These come about when minerals or salts (e.g. calcium) accumulate in the urine, and the body is unable to dispel them. They can form clumps, crystallize, and become urinary stones. Generally speaking, the latter only generate symptoms when the body attempts to pass them through the body, thus creating pain in the lower back, or pain in the pelvic region. Other symptoms involve blood in the urine, and trouble urinating [1].


[1]. Johnson, J. (2018). “What are the most common causes of pelvic pain in men?.” Medical News Today.

[2]. University of California Department of Urology (N.d.). “Prostatitis (male pelvic pain).”