I’m 29 years old and suffering from a mysterious problem in my penis that became significant about four months ago after sexual activity. Since then I’ve seen three urologists (as I was abroad at some part of this period) and got standard blood/urine tests. Since there doesn’t seem to be an obvious diagnosis (nothing visibly wrong, for example) and since my discomfort was not at unbearable levels, none of the doctors seemed to take it very seriously and suggested that it would probably heal itself shortly. However, the problem persists (probably getting worse) and it’s restricting my life to a great degree (not to mention the great psychological distress). I’m hoping that someone would be familiar with this apparently rare case and could suggest ways to help diagnose it. I will try to be as concise and informative as I can due to the peculiarity of the problem:
- A linear, burning pain on the left side of the penis, towards the root (penis is curved towards right since childhood). Pain seems to be on the outer side of the penis though nothing visible that suggests a skin/vein issue.
- Overall sensitive/irritable penis, on the outside as well as in the urethra.
Pain/sensitivity is triggered with:
- Physical contact/external pressure (tight pants/underwear, exercise, lying/sleeping on front, examination by a urologist)
- Extended erections and/or ejaculation. One strange thing is that there is no/little pain during the erections, but the discomfort happens mostly when it is flaccid.
- When I can minimize the above, pain is below distracting levels (though hardly ever zero). However, sometimes I wake up in the morning with significant pain, possibly due to sleeping position and/or nocturnal erections.
History of the problem:
- There was a gradual increase in the sensitivity of the penis (probably mostly around the urethra) for about a year or two that seemed to be caused by masturbation/ejaculation. I had been masturbating (or if in a relationship, having sex) on average somewhere around 1,5 times a day for a long time. And since I was in the habit of extending sexual activity (up to one hour) I generally used to have very intense orgasms during which I felt a lot of thrust/pressure at the urethra.
- Incident that really triggered the problem happened about 4 months ago, during sexual activity. There was no intercourse, but rough “dry humping” and manual stimulation by the partner (I felt discomfort/pain during the latter).
- Last sexual partner was two years prior to the incident, during a long-term relationship, so the possibility of an STD is small (though I haven’t been tested).
- After the incident I visited a urologist for the first time. I reduced the physical stimulation (masturbated less frequently and for much shorter periods, and with hardly any contact), but did not pay much attention otherwise (kept exercising and wearing jeans etc.). My condition got significantly better, although not completely gone.
- About 2,5 months after the incident I masturbated, this time with moderate squeezing and for a relatively long period (no pain during masturbation). Problem recurred in an much intensified fashion. No noticeable improvement since then, in spite of extreme care (trying to prevent erections when I’m awake, wear extremely relaxed pants/underwear, and don’t exercise at all).
Habits that may be related to the problem:
- Frequent & rigorous exercise (mostly involving running, no bike riding). I always exercised with shorts on top of boxer shorts.
- I don’t exactly know when/why I developed this unconventional habit, but I had been masturbating most of the time without directly using my hands. Instead I would wrap my penis (loosely) around a clean piece of cloth/comforter/blanket and apply little external pressure.
Both of the above could have caused increase in friction, though again, there's nothing obvious that would suggest a skin problem.
Finally, I have always had minor issues with urinating (frequent urination and small leakage within a few minutes after urinating). This has been the case for as long as I can remember (and have not improved or worsened noticeably over the last few years) so I didn’t pay attention until I was asked to fill a questionnaire on prostate health during my last visit to the urologist.
Based on the -uneducated- internet research I did, nerve damage seems to suit the best to my case, albeit not perfectly. I’m inclined to see a neurologist (or check again with a urologist for prostate issues?), but it would be of great help if someone could provide some insight in the mean time.
Thank you very much in advance.
- Age 29, HWP, heterosexual
- Fairly healthy diet- very little salt/meat/grease
- Exercise regularly since childhood
- Smoke on average 1 or 2 cigarettes a day for the last 8 years (no smoking before)
- Drink occasionally
- No major health problems in the past
- Family history of diabetes