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Avatar universal

Penile pain, burning and itching genitals

I am a 28 year old male. The symptoms I am about to describe began suddenly around August 2005. At first they were chronic; lasting all the time for about 2 weeks, after which I would be symptom free for a month or so. Gradually over time, the period in which I sufferred the symptoms lengthened and the period for which I was symptom free shortnened, to the point where I would say for the last 9 months I have sufferred these symptoms 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

My groin area constantly feels "clammy" and sticky, much like you might feel after a long run. My genitals are constantly itchy in various places on my penis, testicles and pubic area. When I sit down, I experience a burning / prickling feeling in my groin, buttocks and thighs. The feeling is constant but is not generally felt when standing up or lying down. Minimal alleviation from the burning feeling is gained if I sit on a donut shaped cushion, but it does not help much. I also experience sharp stabbing pains in my penis from time to time, which was in fact the very first symptom I felt when this all started happening.

More recently now I do not seem to have the same pressure when urinating and I can't seem to squeeze everything out like I used to. No matter how much I shake afterwards, a little more urine always seems to drip into my pants afterwards.

I saw a urologist very early on in the picture; he performed a cystoscopy and prostatic massage which did not show any abnormal results, however it was likely that when he performed this it was in between times where I was sufferring symptoms. I also took a couple of courses of Ciprofloxacin which did not help at all. I have also been checked, re-checked and cleared on any STDs. I should also mention that there are no visual symptoms; sores or rash etc.

I have seen a neurologist who has tested me to the limits of his field of expertise, including MRI, nerve conduction studies, a lumbar puncture and various blood tests. He was unable to find a neurological reason for my symptoms.

I am now going to seek a second opinion from a urologist given the progression of my symptoms over time. In the mean time, if anyone can relate to these symptoms and offer some kind of advice or guidance that would be much appreciated. I am sufferring from this 24 hours a day 7 days a week and it is destroying my quality of life. The most frustrating thing is that as yet no one has been able to give me a definitive diagnosis of what this is.

Please help
142 Responses
Avatar universal
I have some similar symptoms... Burning, pins-and-needles, and some occasional sharp pains. Like you I have been through every medical test known to humankind... Finally the doctors said "I don't know... It could be chemical, genetic, or a past infection... You are making it worse by worrying about it." In the end my neurologist prescribed Cymbalta for the sensations. I have only been on it for a few days, but it seems to help.
Avatar universal

It seems that you have been under several intensive tests already and all these have been negative. Do you have any known allergies before? Have you been assessed along this line? Although you haven’t mentioned of a rash or any lesions in the area, an allergic reaction to some unknown trigger may be a differential. Also, this may sound like a sensory problem. An EMG however was done and it was negative (is this correct).I understand this may be frustrating in your case and I agree that a second opinion may help.

Was there any history of trauma or injury to th area?

Any prior surgery or instrumentation?

Engaging in alternative forms of therapy such as acupuncture and physical therapy may also  help alleviate your symptoms.

Avatar universal
Hi Vanessa,

Could you comment more on your thoughts about allergies in this situation?

Avatar universal

Allergic dermatitis and contact dermatitis are differentials in your case.Itchiness and weeping excoriations may be associated with dermatitis. Some triggers like soaps,lotions,creams, clothing that are in constant contact with the area may trigger certain reactions.Allergic reactions may present with a burning or tingling sensation.Have you been assessed along this line?

Also, you have mentioned of difficulty initiating urination ( is this correct?).You may discuss with your physician chronic prostatitis and prostatodynia.These conditions may present with absence of bacterial load in the urine but may persistently present with discomfort in the form of burning or pain in the groin area.

Avatar universal
I am a different poster from the OP, but similar symptoms: chronic unexplained burning/tingling/pain in thighs, buttocks, and genitals.

Is it possible that there was a one-time allergic response that caused this neuropathic pain? I had contact dermatitis before this started at the bottom/back of my thighs.
Avatar universal
...help... :)
Avatar universal
I can certainly relate to your frustration as well as your symptoms. Mine began nearly 3 months ago. Pain sometimes burning pain in my thighs, genitals. Itching as well and that clammy feeling. For me though this all began exactly a week after having sex. I have been to my family doctor and 2 urologists. Have been tested and retested for STD's. None present. Was curious as to whether you had seen any folliculitis(infected hairs) anywhere below the waist. These can somtimes be painful. I do suffer from this. Every winter it seems to creep up. Just a thought. I am headed to a neurologist myself soon. As I am now feeling pain in the middle of buttcheek. Sciatic maybe. Tingling down my leg to my feet.
Avatar universal
I have had a similar situation too only mine started about a month after a sexual encounter. I have been to two urologists so far and nothing has changed. Most of them seem to refer people to neurologists when they fail to diagnose these problems. And i have just been refered to one last week, however, i am not going there as I don't think my problems have got anything to do with nerves. It's either an allergic reaction or underlying infection that cannot be easily detected.
Avatar universal
I have (for the past six years) suffered with a combination of all of the symptoms described by "confused 1234", "pandew" "scared _half_to_death" and many others on the net i.e. burning/itching/clamminess/pain in groin area (inside top of thighs, scrotum & penis). Intermittent intense itching and pain in the penis and testicles were also early symptoms, but occur less frequently these days.  Also less frequent of late is a feverish feeling, often accompanied by a dull ache in my lower abdomen.  

Sitting on hard chairs aggravates the symptoms, especially the burning, clammy sensation in the upper thighs and scrotum (sometimes it feels like a blow torch is burning my scrotum, although skin remains normal in appearance).  Possible related symptom is a slight but constant numbness in my right thigh above my knee and an occasional dull pain in the inside of my right thigh.  No discharges, sores or rashes ever presented (other than for an occasional pimple).  All the various symptoms seem to occur cyclically, with brief symptom free periods when I feel very euphoric.  

As these problems developed a few day after a sexual encounter, I was initially treated with a range of STD treatments (antibiotic, parasitic and fungal) even though all tests were negative.   My prostrate is normal and annual full blood tests show no abnormalities.  

My doctor has given up and says it’s all I my mind - even prescribing  tranquilizers – but all to no avail.  

I have resigned myself to having to live with this debilitating situation – but given the large number of people that present with very similar (if not identical) symptoms, I can only conclude that it is a very real illness - perhaps neurological.  

Lastly, knowing that I don’t suffer alone, is somewhat therapeutic and would welcome further discussion on the subject.

Avatar universal
Thanks to all who have posted for your comments. As Viroman has said, it is a little help to know that others are suffering similar symptoms.

I have given up on seeking medical help on this for a while and so have resigned to live with the symptoms in the hope that one day they will resolve themselves.

I find I get some relief from the pain of sitting down by sitting on a donut shaped cushion so there is no pressure on my perenium.

I have also considered that there may be some infection of the pudendal nerve. If any of you wish to consider this check out www.pudendal.info

All the best
Avatar universal

This burning and tingling pain in the groin ,thighs and buttocks area appear to be nerve related.

A primary differential at this point will be pudendal nerve neuralgia. Other differentials will be genitofemoral and ilioinguinal neuralgia.

Do you have any previous abdominal surgeries?

Do you engage in exercises like cycling exercises?

Pudendal neuralgia is usually associated with frequent cycling exercises. The pain may be aggravated by sitting down. The pudendal nerve supplies the genital and perineal areas and in your case these forms of neuralgia are all to be considered.

I suggest that you seek consult with a rehabilitation  medicine specialist for further evaluation. Aside from a urinalysis and urine culture as well as a prostatic secretion culture, you may benefit from physical therapy.

I do not think there is an association between the dermatitis and the burning pain at this point. Unless the previous rash was a herpes zoster or viral infection , then we may be able to find a connection between the two.
Avatar universal
I agree that my symptoms are nerve related. I had VERY extensive blood work and imaging studies. However, my neurologist has been unable to find a cause through blood tests and MRI.

I actually do a fair bit of stationary biking in the gym. However, given my current condition I do not go to the gym often anymore. Interestingly enough, I have not been able to fully recall the timeline over which my symptoms developed. It may have started with the rash. However, I also recall some minor burning in my abdomen, on top of my thighs, and some odd penile sensations (including some difficulty with erection/climax) prior to the rash. Concurrently I was working out pretty hard on the bike. After the rash things heated up pretty quickly, no pun intended :)

I have thought about the rash:

(a) It was on both thighs which I understand would be very odd for Zoster.
(b) I saw a dermotologist within 2 days. She did not suspect Herpes Simplex or Zoster. I have asked her about this several times during follow ups.
(c) I have tested negative for HSV2 five times over the last six months (4 Herpes Select and 1 Pockit/Biokit). However, I tested positive twice for HSV1 via Herpes Select. The STD forum specialists believe it to be unrelated. However, I am suspicious of HSV1. Thoughts?
(d) It is possible that the rash was fungal, bacterial, or viral. However, it was treated successfully with a steriod creme within 1 week.
(e) I may have experienced something similar in graduate school 10 years ago. During the same time frame, I had a wicked case of prostatitis that lasted for months and resisted an awesome array of antibiotics.

I am convinced that the neuralgia is sensitive to stress. Cymbalta relieved the symptoms quickly but also caused side-effects :( I will consult with a urologist and a different neurologist. Your suggestion above regarding cycling is a new angle to explore. Thank you!
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