Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles that support the bladder, urethra, uterus, and rectum in the so-called pelvic floor region of the body. Doctors often recommend Kegel exercises for urinary incontinence or overactive bladder syndrome in both women and men. However, if your Kegel exercises cause you pain, you may have other issues in play. Be sure to speak to your doctor or health care practitioner if your Kegel exercises hurt you.
Pain during the performance of Kegel exercises may relate to a sexually transmitted disease or STD. Anyone who has sex becomes vulnerable to STDs. Condoms offer significant protection, but nothing offers 100 percent protection, according to the MayoClinic.com. Often, STDs remain asymptomatic. However, if you have been infected with chlamydia or genital herpes, for example, pain during your Kegel exercises will occur in the vagina, testicles, lower abdomen, buttocks, anal region, and inner thighs. Other symptoms include vaginal and penile discharge and pain during urination. See your doctor or health care practitioner immediately.
Prostatitis occurs in nearly half of all men, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and represents the number one cause of male urinary tract infections. If your Kegel exercises cause you pain, especially in the perineum, the small muscle located between the testicles and the anus, you may have this common inflammation of the prostate gland. Other symptoms include bloody urine, a burning sensation during urination, and pain during ejaculation. See your doctor or health care practitioner right away.
Pain in the vagina or pelvis during the performance of Kegel exercises may indicate bladder prolapse or cystocele, a condition wherein the bladder drops through the netting of the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments and sags into the vagina. Other symptoms beside pain include recurring urinary tract infections. Pain in the testicles or pelvis during Kegel exercises may mean that you have contracted epididymitis or orchitis, which are inflammations of the testicles. Other symptoms include fever and scrotal pain. Check with your urologist if any of these symptoms apply to your individual case.
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Pain in the pelvic region during Kegel exercises can be symptomatic of a number of gynecological disorders, according to the Merck Manual of Medical Information, including a warped cyst in an ovary, a burst pelvic abscess, or an ectopic pregnancy, one that develops outside the uterus. Doctors typically determine the malady by the quality of the pain; if it is sharp and sudden, some of these more serious gynecological disorders may require immediate surgery.
Emma Cale has been writing professionally since 2000. Her work has appeared in “NOW Magazine,” “HOUR Magazine” and the “Globe and Mail.” Cale holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Windsor and advanced writing certificates from the Canadian Film Centre and the National Theatre School of Canada.