Six causes of painful sex for men

Painful sex in men is usually not a common occurrence. Usually, women will experience sex that is painful due to vaginal dryness, thinning of the vaginal wall, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and other conditions. However, pain during intimacy for men is real, and there are several reasons for this.

Any man experiencing painful sex should discuss this with their doctor

Generally, most men do not find sex physically uncomfortable, making it imperative to explore further. Here are six possible causes for men that may be the reason why sex has become painful:

      1. Sexually transmitted disease

This is one of the reasons why a man may have painful sex, especially if the sexually transmitted disease (STD) is untreated. For instance, gonorrhea, one of the most common STDs in the U.S., can cause men to have a discharge from the penis or pain when urinating or having sex. Herpes is another very common STD that can cause sores in the genital area, which may lead to painful sex for men. 

      2. Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease is caused by fibrous scar tissue called plaque that forms under the skin of the penis. The scarring affects blood vessels that supply the penis necessary for men to get an erection, causing the penis to have an abnormal curvature. Men with this condition, who have an erection, will find it painful, making sexual intercourse difficult if not impossible. 

      3. Phimosis

Phimosis is when uncircumcised men may be unable to retract or pull back the foreskin covering the head of the penis, making the foreskin overly tight. Usually, phimosis is a condition that male babies or young boys may have but usually will outgrow it. For men with this condition, cleaning the area using gentle soap and warm water daily is important to clean the penis. Sexually active men with phimosis should wear a condom using lubricant when having sex. Without a condom, men will experience friction during sex of the penis, making it painful. 

      4. Priapism

The best way to understand priapism is that it’s the exact opposite of erectile dysfunction.  Priapism affects the penis by causing a prolonged erection. Some men may think, what’s wrong with that? However, any man experiencing priapism, will not want a repeat performance. Priapism is excruciatingly painful for men. The abnormal erection associated with priapism is due to blood engorging the penis but is not draining out. Symptoms include an erection lasting at least 4 hours or more. The erection is not from sexual stimulation. While priapism occurs, the penile shaft is very rigid, while the glans or tip of the penis remains soft. During this time, the pain can become worse. 

It is considered a medical emergency, and any man with priapism should go to the nearest emergency room for treatment. 

      5. Urinary tract infections

Although urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more common in women, men can get them too. Causes can be using a urinary catheter for too long, drinking insufficient fluids, uncontrolled diabetes, being immobile, or a previous urinary tract infection. UTIs can sometimes cause symptoms of running a fever, cloudy urine, and frequent urination. These symptoms can also result in men feeling pain during ejaculation. 

      6. Prostatitis

Prostatitis is an inflammation or infection of the prostate gland that can result in painful erections. This benign or noncancerous condition is either acute (occurring suddenly) or chronic (long term). Both acute and chronic prostatitis is likely caused by bacteria that have entered the prostatic ducts from the rectum due to a backflow of infected urine. It is not contagious or considered a sexually transmitted disease. Men usually get diagnosed with it during an examination for other conditions, such as infertility or prostate cancer. 


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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