Dyspareunia In Men

“Dyspareunia” is a condition characterized by pain during sexual intercourse. Dyspareunia in men is much less common than in women, and also tends to be less well understood.

Dyspareunia symptoms can occur before, during or after sex. The pain may feel like an itching, burning, stabbing or aching sensation in the pelvis, testicles, penis, bladder or urethra.

Dyspareunia Causes

According to New York University’s Langone Medical Center (2007), the two most common acute dyspareunia causes in males are prostate gland inflammation (prostatitis) and inflammation of the tube (urethra) that carries urine and semen out of the body (urethritis). Both conditions are typically treated with antibiotics.

Other possible male dyspareunia causes include:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Herpes or genital warts
  • Penile skin allergies
  • Peyronie’s disease (the formation of scar tissue in the penis that causes it to be curved)
  • Psychological reasons (guilt, conflict, unresolved feelings about past abuse or trauma, and so forth)
  • Testicle infections
  • Tight or inflamed foreskin.

Dyspareunia Treatment

The treatment for dyspareunia in men depends on the underlying cause. In addition to antibiotics for prostatitis, you may want to soak in a warm bath, drink lots of fluids, avoid alcohol and caffeine or take acetaminophen or ibuprofen if sex is painful.

If you have a sexually transmitted disease or other infection, it needs to be treated by the appropriate healthcare provider. Peyronie’s disease also requires specialized treatment, which may include drugs or surgery.

When young uncircumscribed men begin having sex, tight foreskin is a common problem, but this often goes away with time. If you’re allergic to latex condoms or spermicides, look for alternative ways to protect yourself during sex.

You can address psychological issues through psychotherapy, counseling or sex therapy. Even if physical factors are the primary reason for painful sex, counseling may help deal with any related emotional or relationship issues.

Because dyspareunia in men is often the result of a physical problem, consult a healthcare provider if sex becomes painful for you.


Carson-DeWitt, R. (2007). Dyspareunia. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://psych.med.nyu.edu/conditions-we-treat/conditions/dyspareunia

Medline Plus. (2008). Sexual intercourse – painful. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003157.htm

Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Peyronie’s disease. Retrieved July 28, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/peyronies-disease/