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Man in pain

Sexual Dysfunction in Men

By Justine Lallman, PT, DPT February 25, 2024 Posted in: Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition that can be experienced by both men and women of all ages. Pelvic floor dysfunction can be a cause of sexual dysfunction. Although painful sex is known to be experienced by millions of women, men may underreport their symptoms to their medical provider due to feelings of embarrassment or shame.

There can be many causes of sexual dysfunction or pelvic pain during intercourse for men. A hypertonic pelvic floor (or pelvic muscles that are too tight), can be one cause. Men have a pelvic floor similar to women that can become dysfunctional when it is too tight, too weak, or lacks muscle coordination. Often, age is not a factor when the symptoms are related to a hypertonic pelvic floor. It is not uncommon for pelvic floor physical therapy to treat men in their 20s and 30s with these symptoms.

Symptoms of a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor

  • Testicular and scrotal pain, penile pain, tailbone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain with ejaculation/premature ejaculation
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms including urinary frequency, urinary urgency, nighttime voiding, weak stream, difficulty starting your stream and feeling of incomplete emptying

Causes of a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor

  • Major life changes/ increased stress
  • Poor lifting mechanics causing bearing down onto the pelvic floor
  • Crunches
  • Holding your breath when heavy lifting
  • Poor posture

What About for Women?

Painful sex (medical name: dyspareunia) is a condition that is experienced by 40 million American women. Read our blog focusing on female pain with intercourse.

Pelvic floor physical therapy is the gold standard currently for caring for a hypertonic pelvic floor. Here you can learn stretches, relaxation techniques, and improve lifting mechanics. We can coordinate the best care team for you. You can also reach out to our Pelvic Health Navigator at (402) 717-7358.

Justine Lallman, PT, DPT
Justine Lallman, PT, DPT

Justine Lallman, PT, DPT is a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist at CHI Health.

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