February 7, 2007

Q&A: Spinal Pain At Orgasm

Question from a reader who experiences lower spinal cord pain after orgasm from masturbation

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Question: I’m a 22 year old guy. Sometimes after masturbation I feel pain in the lower cords of my spinal cord. It’s not always but only sometimes. It’s usually quite bearable but on rare occasions the pain is quite intense. Sometimes I even experience this pain after passing stools. I feel so much pain around the same place on the spinal cord and it is unbearable. It stays for one two minutes and then vanishes. I don’t know why it hurts during these times and why.

Most men and women generally feel pleasure associated with masturbation and orgasm, but sometimes people of either sex report feeling discomfort, pain or headaches. Sometimes these unpleasurable feelings do not indicate anything abnormal (e.g., such as a medical condition); other times they might.

Check With Your Healthcare Provider

Even if discomfort or pain is not an indication of an underlying medical problem, on occasion healthcare providers may be able to pinpoint the cause of the discomfort and pain and recommend a treatment so that you don’t have to feel pain anymore.

As such, it is always a good idea to check in with a healthcare provider whenever you are feeling bodily discomfort or pain. Some people feel embarrassed or ashamed to discuss their sexual behavior or sexual feelings with a healthcare provider, but healthcare providers more commonly deal with sexual issues than many patients realize.

Masturbation and Defecation

In your case, it may be interesting to understand a little bit more about your experiences of pain with masturbation and defecation (passing stools).

On the surface, these may seem like dramatically different and completely unconnected bodily functions. After all, masturbation and orgasm are sexual and possibly reproductive functions. Defecation is an excretory function. They don’t even necessarily involve the same body parts – after all, for most men masturbation typically refers to self-stimulation of one’s penis (though many men include stimulation of their anal opening in their masturbation routine, either with fingers or a sex toy such as anal beads or a butt plug). Defecation, of course, involves the rectum and anal opening.

Despite these apparent differences, there is actually significant overlap between these two processes and consequently sensation experienced during masturbation may be similar to sensation experienced during defecation.

For example, ejaculatory fluids come from several sources, including the prostate gland, stimulation of which likely contributes to pleasurable sensations during orgasm. The prostate gland may also be indirectly stimulated during the act of defecation.

Therefore, if you feel pleasure from prostate stimulation during penile (or anal) masturbation, you may also experience pleasure from prostate stimulation during defecation. There have certainly been reports about men experiencing pleasure (and even orgasmic sensations) from defecation.

Similarly, if you experience pain from masturbation it may be that you occasionally experience pain from defecation. Pain can be local (e.g, in the genital or anal area) or elsewhere (such as the spinal cord). Whether this is a result of something related to the nerves that supply the prostate gland or another part of your body (e.g., nerves that supply the rectum or penis) – or something else entirely – is up to a healthcare provider to explore.

We clearly do not know, and cannot suggest, what may be causing your pain. However, it is worth describing these instances of pain to your healthcare provider as a diagnosis, and treatment, may be possible.

Read More

For more information about nerve supply, sensation, orgasm and their relationship with other processes (including defecation), consider reading The Science of Orgasm.

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