For most men, sex provides a major source of pleasure and enjoyment, however for significant number men, sex means serious pain. Men that experience pain during sex often report lower levels of sexual desire and sexual frequency, weak or non-existent orgasm, and frequently experience difficulties in achieving and maintaining erections. This can lead to significant distress and even depression.
For most men, sex provides a major source of pleasure and enjoyment, however for significant number men, sex means serious pain.
Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Prostatitis/Chronic pelvic pain syndrome is a frequent prostate-related problem in adult men. Over a typical lifetime, almost 20% of men will be diagnosed with the condition. Symptoms can include persistent pain in the perineum (the space between the testicular sack and the opening to the anus) as well as below the waist. Some men will experience pain (including penile pain) when climaxing, others before during and after sex. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and can come and go, and often without clear identification of cause.
Not knowing cause or solution can be extremely frustrating for sufferers. As with other erectile problems, psychological stress is often seen as a cause, however excessive levels of pelvic floor muscle tension, and undiagnosed bacterial infection are commonly connected with the condition.
Men with chronic pelvic pain syndrome often report lower levels of sexual desire and sexual frequency, weak or non-existent orgasm, and frequently experience difficulties in achieving and maintaining erections. Understandably, this can lead to significant mental distress including elevated levels of depression and anxiety, as well as leading to decreased levels sexual satisfaction and relationship distress.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome is not the only source of painful sex in men. Other sources of sexual pain include:
- Peyronie’s Disease: a condition in which collagen based scar tissue forms along the penile shaft leading to curvature of the penis as well as painful erections. Research shows that the incidence of Peyronie’s disease to be around 9% of the male population. This figure is thought to be as high as 16% of men that have undergone treatment for prostate cancer.
- Painful genital conditions, such as chronic testicular pain, and irritable skin conditions. These tend to interfere with nearly all elements of sexual functioning.
- Priapism: a condition in which a man experiences prolonged painful erections.
So what can a ManFocus Clinic sex therapist do to help alleviate painful sex?
The good news is ManFocus Clinic sex therapists and sex psychologists have extensive experience in delivering various psychological and sexual health therapies that can be used to alleviate numerous painful sex conditions (including chronic pelvic pain syndrome), substantially lessen painful sex and provide for the resumption of pleasurable sexual activities. We have a ten session treatment plan that covers areas such as progressive muscle relaxation, stress management, and pain relapse prevention. We also work with couples teaching them various sexual practices and techniques that can enhance pleasure and intimacy, without pain.
Additionally, our sex therapy treatment programs work hand in hand with complementary treatments from other specialist pelvic pain physicians (pelvic floor physiotherapists and urologists), each of whom have expertise in correctly diagnosing and treating chronic pelvic pain syndrome.