Anonymous on September 14, 2011

Is it normal to have a slight lingering ache around my penis after ejaculation?

Is it normal to have a slight lingering ache around my penis after ejaculation? It usually goes away within an hour or so.

answered by Lisa Oldson, MD on September 14, 2011

Thanks for your question. I’m glad you’re paying attention to your body and monitoring anything that seems unusual.

Sight unseen, I can’t say if you’re experiencing a normal phenomenon for your body, or if you have an infection or other condition. There are a number of health conditions that can cause painful ejaculation, including inflammation, a hernia and some medications (e.g., antidepressants or antipsychotics)...even bladder cancer. So, to be on the safe side, I would first encourage you to get examined by your regular doctor.

That said, some types of inflammation that can cause painful ejaculation are urethritis, prostatitis and epididymitis.

  • Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body). It can be caused by bacteria, including the bacterial STDs chlamydia and gonorrhea, but also E. coli, which is not sexually transmitted. Another STD, herpes simplex virus (HSV) can also cause urethritis. Symptoms of urethritis may include pain with ejaculation, intercourse or urination; swelling in the penis or groin area; penile discharge; or possibly blood in the urine or semen.
  • Prostatitis happens when the prostate ⎼ a walnut-sized part of the male reproductive system ⎼ becomes inflamed. The prostate rests under the bladder in two halves that sandwich the urethra. If the prostate becomes inflamed, painful ejaculation may result, as well as some other possible symptoms (e.g., difficulty urinating, blood in the urine or semen, or pain in the low back, penis, scrotum or above the pubic bone).
  • Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis (the tube that connects the testicle and the vas deferens). Usually, epididymitis occurs when a bacterial infection invades the epididymis from the urethra or the bladder. Gonorrhea, chlamydia or E. coli are the most likely causes. If you get epididymitis, you might first notice a heavy feeling in the testicle area, and you could have a fever or chills. You might also have testicle pain that increases when you have a bowel movement, pain during ejaculation and urination, an enlarged scrotum and discomfort in the lower abdomen.

All three of these conditions need to be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Urethritis and epididymitis can usually be cured with antibiotics. Prostititis can be caused by a bacteria or other irritant, so it can be harder to cure...but your doctor will be able to determine the best course of treatment for you.

Have you been tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea and herpes simplex virus? Because some of the conditions I mentioned can caused by these STDs ⎼ which, in turn, might be causing your symptoms ⎼ you may want to consider getting tested, if you haven’t already.

And if you think it’s possible you have one of these STDs, you’re more likely to have been exposed to getting tested for a full array of common STDs might be worth your while. To learn more about STD risks, prevention, symptoms, testing and treatment, feel free to browse our Expert Guides.

Thanks again for sharing your concern, and I hope you’re soon on your way to good health.

Related info:


Lisa Oldson, MD

Dr. Oldson is Medical Director of the Analyte Physicians Group. She is on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as Clinical Instructor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise include STDs (with a particular clinical emphasis on herpes), women's health, preventive medicine, diabetes, obesity and weight management, and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Oldson was educated at Rush Medical College and completed her residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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