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Pelvic Pain in Men

Updated April 17, 2017

Pelvic pain---acute and chronic---is relatively common in men, although not as widespread a complaint as it is for women. In most cases, pelvic pain of long or short duration is a sign that there is a problem somewhere in the lower abdominal or pelvic regions of the body, including most notably the intestinal tract and urinary system.

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Nature of the Pain

Pelvic pain in males, according to registered nurse Gail Hendrickson, can range from generalised but relatively mild discomfort or intermittent cramping to intense, stabbing pain. In an article on the Discovery Health website, Hendrickson notes that the discomfort can be brief and fleeting, intermittent or long-lasting. Because pelvic pain is an indication of a problem somewhere in that general area of the body, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible, particularly if the pain is intense and unrelenting.

Possible Causes

Two of the most common causes of male pelvic pain are prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate gland, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate, according to MedlinePlus. BPH is more commonly seen in men who are 50 or older. Other causes, according to Hendrickson, include pelvic adhesions; sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia; peritonitis, an inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity; urinary infection; epididymitis, an inflammation of the tubes draining the testicles; colon cancer; diverticulosis; gastroenteritis; kidney stones; and appendicitis.

What to Tell Your Doctor

Tell your doctor as much as you can about your level of pain and its duration. He also will want to know if the pain is triggered or worsened by any particular activity, such as urination or defecation; whether the pain is cramping, dull, stabbing or just a generalised ache; if other symptoms accompany the pain, such as fever; and your level of sexual activity and whether you're having unprotected sex.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Based on the description of your pain and recent medical history, your doctor will almost certainly order tests. These may include blood tests; urinalysis, possibly including microscopic study of a urine culture; and imaging tests, such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment will depend on the underlying condition causing the pelvic pain. Possible modes of treatment include antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), relaxation and/or physiotherapy, pain medication and, in extreme cases, surgery.


If an infection is responsible for your pain, antibiotic therapy most likely will resolve the problem, although you'll need to be watchful for a possible recurrence. If, however, some sort of cancerous growth is involved, then the prognosis will depend on how early it is detected and how well it responds to treatment.

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About the Author

Don Amerman has spent his entire professional career in the editorial field. For many years he was an editor and writer for The Journal of Commerce. Since 1996 he has been freelancing full-time, writing for a large number of print and online publishers including Gale Group, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Greenwood Publishing, Rock Hill Works and others.

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