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‘I Have a Zapping Sensation In My Genitals!’ — Ask Dr. Harry Fisch

Flickr / User jojakeman

Mike has a very personal problem — a couple times a day he feels like he’s getting an electrical shock starting from his testicles and going up to the head of his penis. This has been going on now for a couple months. He also has been going to the bathroom more frequently and is wondering if this might also be a symptom of a larger problem.

Dr. Harry Fisch’s Advice:

The testicles are probably not responsible for the discomfort in this area and in your penis. Whenever anyone comes to my office complaining about this kind of discomfort, I immediately think prostate infection or inflammation.

It sounds as if what you’re describing is something called “referred pain,” running from the tip of the penis all the way over to the prostate. This is called prostatitis, and usually causes the kind of pain in exactly the area you’re describing. In your case, the pain is acute and can’t be ignored, but it is possible for men to have prostatitis and not have these symptoms at all. Sometimes it’s only felt as a slight discomfort in the testicles, and nothing more.

The fact that you’re also going to the bathroom more frequently is further cause for concern. This tells me you most likely have a prostate infection. A prostate infection is basically a urinary tract infection. Usually we associate these types of problems with women, but they are just as likely to happen in men. This most likely happens during sex, as the tip of the penis is open to air, and is exposed to bacteria that can lodge inside the head. Once it gets inside, it can wreak havoc. This isn’t a sexually transmitted infection, but it is still a problem that can only be solved by going to your doctor, and having him prescribe you medication to eliminate the symptoms you’re describing. Going on an antibiotics regimen is the only way you can treat this problem effectively.

Dr. Harry Fisch is a board certified urologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

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