By Alice || Edited by Go Ask Alice Editorial Team || Last edited Mar 29, 2024
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Cite this Response

Alice! Health Promotion. "Why do I experience pain after masturbating at night?." Go Ask Alice!, Columbia University, 29 Mar. 2024, https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/why-do-i-experience-pain-after-masturbating-night. Accessed 24, May. 2024.

Alice! Health Promotion. (2024, March 29). Why do I experience pain after masturbating at night?. Go Ask Alice!, https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/why-do-i-experience-pain-after-masturbating-night.

Dear Alice,

Sometimes I masturbate before I go to sleep at night. Usually nothing is wrong, but sometimes (and this always occurs at night, I've found) after I masturbate, a few minutes later I have to urinate. And when I do, it is usually very painful. The feeling doesn't pass either. My scrotum usually gets very tightened up, and there is painful feeling above my crotch. Usually I just sit there, drink some water until the feeling goes away. ANY idea what this is?

— Bad Dreams

Dear Bad Dreams, 

It's no fun having an uncomfortable feeling after a pleasurable sensation. While it seems like you’ve figured out how to let this sensation subside, it can be helpful to speak with a health care professional whenever you have unexplained pain. Some of the potential reasons you might be experiencing painful urination could include swelling in the urethra, issues with the prostate, or a sexually transmitted infection. Read on to learn more! 

Pain during or after ejaculation and urination is sometimes a symptom of urethritis, or inflammation of the duct that allows for the excretion of urine and semen. This duct is known as the urethra. Sometimes when urethritis goes untreated, people may experience inflamed testicles, which might explain your tightened scrotum sensation. Besides painful peeing, other symptoms may include cloudy discharge or frequent urges to pee. It might be worth asking yourself if you have any other symptoms that might indicate a possible infection. Have you noticed any discharge? Or is it possible discharge might be confused with ejaculate, since your symptoms occur after masturbation? 

It’s also possible that urethritis might not be at the root of your masturbation misery. Other potential causes for your symptoms could include: 

  • Prostatitis: inflamed prostates, usually caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI) or prostate infection, can cause painful ejaculation and urination. 
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): enlarged prostates can also cause frequent and painful urination. 
  • Certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs): chlamydia and trichomoniasis can lead to discomfort when urinating. 

Because there are several possible reasons for your symptoms, it’s recommended that you connect with a health care professional to get a diagnosis. A urologist (doctor of all things urine-related) may be particularly helpful to crack this case and develop a treatment plan. If you do choose to speak with a urologist, you might want to mention that you mostly experience painful peeing after pleasure at night. It could be a coincidence that your symptoms occur only at night— or some of these infections can have periodic flare-ups rather than continuous symptoms. But if you do have a UTI, prostatitis, or BPH, it’s possible these conditions could play a part in your symptoms being more prominent at nighttime. Either way, speaking with a health care professional might put your mind at ease. 

Hopefully pleasant and pain-free masturbation won’t just be a pipedream! 

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