What Causes Pelvic Pain in Men? Info, Treatment, and Tips

Apr 30, 2024 | 5 min read

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Pelvic pain in men can stem from various conditions, such as prostatitis, urinary tract infections, and musculoskeletal issues. Effective management involves understanding the underlying causes, accessing appropriate treatments, and adopting preventive measures to mitigate symptoms and improve quality of life.

pelvic pain in men

What is Pelvic Pain in Men?

Pelvic pain in men refers to discomfort or pain that occurs in the lower abdomen below the belly button and often involves areas such as the groin and the area surrounding the bladder and rectum. This type of pain can vary greatly in intensity, duration, and specific location, making it a complex symptom with several potential causes.

Unlike other types of pain that might be more localized and have obvious causes (such as a cut or bruise), pelvic pain can be elusive and diffuse. It may present as a sharp, stabbing pain during certain activities or a dull, persistent ache that lingers over time. The nature of pelvic pain in men can also differ significantly from similar pain in women, due to differences in anatomical structures and potential underlying health issues.

Common Causes of Pelvic Pain in Men

Pelvic pain in men can stem from a variety of conditions, ranging from urinary tract issues to more complex abdominal concerns. Some of the most common causes include:


A condition that affects about 8.2% of men during their lifetime, as per Medscape:


  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Difficulty urinating, such as dribbling or hesitant urination
  • Pain in the pelvic area, lower back, or genitals
  • Increased need to urinate frequently, especially at night


  • Antibiotics are commonly prescribed if a bacterial infection is detected.
  • Alpha-blockers can help relax the bladder neck muscles and muscle fibers in the prostate to make urination easier.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications may also be used to reduce swelling and pain.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Men


UTIs can cause:

  • A persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine


  • Antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs to clear the infection.
  • It is crucial to increase fluid intake to help flush out bacteria from the urinary system.
  • Pain relievers may be recommended to alleviate the burning sensation during urination.



  • A visible bulge in the groin or scrotal area
  • Pain or discomfort in the groin, especially when bending over, coughing, or lifting
  • A feeling of heaviness or pressure in the groin


  • Surgical repair is often necessary to correct the hernia and prevent complications.
  • Wearing a supportive truss may be advised by a healthcare provider as a temporary measure.
  • Avoiding heavy lifting and straining can help prevent further protrusion and pain

Cancers (less common)


  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent, unexplained fatigue
  • Pain, swelling, or a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area


  • Treatment options depend on the type of cancer and may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
  • Palliative care to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • Ongoing monitoring and supportive care as recommended by oncologists.

Musculoskeletal Problems


  • Pain related to the musculoskeletal system, including muscles, joints, or nerves
  • Pain may be triggered or worsened by certain postures or activities
  • Chronic or acute onset after physical activity or injury


  • Physical therapy to strengthen muscles and improve posture can be very effective.
  • Pain management strategies, including medications and alternative therapies like acupuncture.
  • Surgery may be necessary in severe cases involving structural abnormalities.



  • Sudden pain on the right side or around the navel, shifting to the lower right abdomen
  • Pain intensifying with movement, coughing, or walking
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever, possibly escalating


  • Appendicitis is a medical emergency requiring surgical removal of the appendix (appendectomy).
  • Antibiotics are administered before and after surgery to prevent or treat infection.
  • Pain management before surgery is critical to keep the patient comfortable.

Kidney Stones


Kidney Stones are often accompanied by:

  • Intense pain in the side, back, or below the ribs, extending to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Painful urination, abnormal urine color
  • Urgent and frequent urination
  • Nausea and possible fever if an infection is present


  • Small stones usually pass on their own; drinking plenty of water helps to flush out the stones.
  • Pain medications to manage severe pain as the stones pass.
  • Larger stones may require lithotripsy (using shock waves to break up stones) or surgical removal.

Gastrointestinal Problems (e.g., Irritable Bowel Syndrome - IBS)


  • Abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation
  • Symptoms managed through diet, lifestyle, stress relief, and sometimes medications


  • Dietary adjustments are often effective, such as increasing fiber intake or eliminating trigger foods.
  • Medications to manage diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain.
  • Psychological therapies like stress management techniques can also be beneficial as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Each of these conditions requires a different approach to diagnosis and treatment, making it essential to understand the specific symptoms associated with each cause.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to consult a healthcare provider. You can also use Symptom Checker for Men to help identify possible conditions based on your symptoms, but remember, this tool is not a substitute for professional medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider.

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Diagnosis of Pelvic Pain

Diagnosing pelvic pain in men involves a variety of approaches, depending on the underlying causes suggested by the initial symptoms. When visiting a healthcare provider, patients can expect the following diagnostic process:

  1. Medical History: The doctor will ask about the pain's nature, duration, and any associated symptoms. This helps in identifying patterns that might suggest specific conditions.
  2. Physical Examination: This may include examining the abdomen and pelvis, checking for areas of tenderness, and assessing any visible signs that might indicate a specific condition, such as hernias or swelling.
  3. Lab Tests: These might include blood tests to check for signs of infection or inflammation and urine tests to identify urinary tract infections or other abnormalities.
  4. Specialized Tests: Depending on the suspected cause, additional tests like cystoscopy (for bladder examination) or colonoscopy (for colon examination) might be performed.
  5. Imaging Tests: Common imaging tests used in diagnosing pelvic pain include:
  • Ultrasound: To visualize the organs within the pelvic region and detect abnormalities.
  • CT scan: Provides a more detailed look at the pelvic area, useful for diagnosing kidney stones, hernias, or other internal issues.
  • MRI: Used in complex cases where soft tissue detail is needed

When to See a Doctor and Recognize Medical Emergencies

  • Pelvic pain is persistent or worsens over time.
  • Pain is severe and impacts daily activities.
  • Accompanied by symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, or changes in urination.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Key Takeaways

  • Pelvic pain in men can stem from a variety of causes, including prostatitis, urinary tract infections, hernias, cancers, and musculoskeletal issues. Recognizing the symptoms and seeking timely medical advice is crucial.
  • Diagnosis involves a combination of medical history, physical examinations, lab tests, and possibly imaging studies to accurately identify the underlying cause of pelvic pain.
  • Treatment may include medications, surgery, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and alternative remedies, tailored to the specific cause and severity of the pain.
  • It’s important to consult a healthcare provider if pelvic pain is persistent, disrupts daily activities, or is accompanied by other severe symptoms. Recognizing when to seek immediate medical attention can prevent complications.
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