What is painful ejaculation?

Painful ejaculation is when painful, burning sensations are felt during or following ejaculation. Pain can be felt in the perineum (the area between the anus and the genitals) and the urethra (a tube that runs from the bladder to the end of the penis). The condition can cause discomfort in the testes and interfere with sexual pleasure.

What causes painful ejaculation?

Painful Ejaculation is not an uncommon condition and there are a number of causes including:

  • Prostatitis, an inflammatory condition of the prostate gland which can make the prostate feel sore and irritated
  • An infection (including sexually transmitted infections) that may inflame the area around the penis
  • Urethritis, a swelling within the urethra
  • Nerve damage to the penis
  • Blockages in the ejaculatory duct
  • Psychological problems
How is the cause of painful ejaculation found?

Men need to see a local GP if they experience pain during or following ejaculation to see if a cause can be found and treatment provided.

To find the cause of painful ejaculation, a semen sample and urine sample taken after ejaculation (post ejaculation urine analysis) may be taken. A urethral swab may be taken to see if there is any infection, such as a sexually transmitted infection. A test that looks at the inside of the bladder and urethra (cystoscopy) may also be done, although this is uncommon. For some men it can be hard to describe the exact location of the pain.

How is painful ejaculation treated?

All causes of painful ejaculation should be investigated by a doctor so the best treatment can be given.

If no physical cause is found, some behavioural techniques to relax the muscles in the pelvic area may help some men. When the cause is prostatitis the use of medications such as ‘alpha blockers’, muscle relaxants, analgesics, and some anti-inflammatory drugs may help. Specific antiviral and antibiotic medications can be given if the cause of painful ejaculation is due to an infection.

If the cause is psychological, counselling may help deal with any underlying concerns.

How can painful ejaculation affect quality of life?

Painful ejaculation is not life-threatening, but may affect sexual pleasure and can cause a man distress, anxiety and lower self esteem. If a man is in a relationship, both the man and his partner may be affected by his experience of painful ejaculation.

For more information about painful ejaculation, speak with a doctor.

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