Dr. Susie Gronski
sg14.jpg

BLOG

Nuts To Your Guts: Why All Guys Should Get To Know Their Privates

Alright guys, how many times would you say you’ve had the urge to mess with your nuts? Out of curiosity, I decided to ask my husband if him and his friends ever performed self-inflicted torture to their testicles.  Let’s just say his story made me flinch, and I have ovaries! He remembered a time where he and his friend, Mike, messed around with a BB gun, shooting each other at close range with air.  Mike thought it would be a fun idea to test out the gun at close range, directly pointing the gun to his balls.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t just air that came out. A black and blue ball later, Mike was jumping around with tears in his eyes at the horrific pain that followed.

So, why is it important to get to know your family jewels? For one thing, sexual health is a major contributor to quality of life.  Wouldn’t you want to know how to recognize if something were a little off with your front bits? Knowing that pelvic floor therapy exists can drastically improve your life and maybe even save you a ton of heartache in the long run.

Let me illustrate an example.  Let’s say you’ve been an avid cyclist your entire life. Nothing makes you happier than jumping on that bike and going for a long ride. Then one day, you notice that it’s a bit uncomfortable to sit on the seat, but think nothing of it, saying “I’ll be alright, it’s nothing.” The next day that uncomfortable feeling is still there but you still push through it and continue to do what you love, ride. Months go by and maybe you start noticing that sitting on any surface is now uncomfortable, maybe it takes a little longer to start your urine stream, and maybe you start noticing some discomfort with ejaculation. A little panic might be settling in, so now what?

Male Pelvic Floor 101:

  • Your pelvic organs include a bladder, prostate, and rectum
  • They sit in a bowl shaped skeletal structured called the bony pelvis
  • The prostate is located just underneath your bladder and shares muscle fibers with the muscles of your pelvic floor. It functions to provide stability for your bladder to keep you dry, secretes fluid and provides nutrients to protect sperm, and prevents retrograde ejaculation (an orgasm gone wrong, literally in the opposite direction). Some even say that the prostate helps out those “fast swimmers.”
  • The pelvic floor is made up of 3 layers of sling like muscles extending from your pubic bone all the way to your tailbone.
  • The pelvic floor muscles help with maintaining an erection, keep you from peeing all over yourself, stabilize your back during those dead lifts, voluntarily contract so that you don’t fart on a first date, voluntarily relax when you have to drop the “kids off at the pool.”

When things go south, literally!

So what happens when things just don’t feel quite right down there? Actually, most men are too anxious or afraid to talk about their private parts to anyone, often times doing a lot of “googling” to self-diagnose themselves. STOP! There’s a ton of conflicting information out there that can freak you out! So just knowing a bit of education and knowledge about your pelvic floor can help put your mind at ease right off the bat. As I’ve described above, your pelvis and genitals are made up of a complex mixture of muscles, bones, ligaments, nerves, organs, and blood vessels. A lot of things can go wrong and knowing how your pelvic floor functions can help determine some potential causes.

Common pelvic health issues that men deal with:

  • Pelvic or penile (penis) pain often times is from “too tight” pelvic floor muscles that don’t know how to relax
  • Testicular pain
  • Accident inflicted pain from sports injuries, daring sexual escapades gone wrong, being on the wrong end of a “nut flick”, or if you’re a guy in Las Vegas looking to make a couple bucks from taking kicks to your penis (no joke, I’ve seen this with my own eyes…ouch!)
  • Post-prostatectomy incontinence- incontinence resulting from surgical removal of the prostate
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Constipation/hemorrhoids

How do you know if you’re doing a pelvic floor contraction (kegel) properly?

Listen up guys, kegels aren’t just for women! In fact, you actually have an advantage to us women, because your parts are external giving you the ability to visually see your pelvic floor muscles in action! How cool is that?!

Start by standing naked in front of a mirror. Don't be shy, this is the best feedback you can give yourself to determine if you’re doing a pelvic floor contraction the right way.

Next, lift your “nuts to your guts.” (I have to give credit to my Australian physio friend Joanne Milios for this one!) Meaning, try to lift the base of your penis…without your hands!  Another way of putting it is to “flick your penis” up and down. And no, I don’t mean doing the helicopter! Or you can think about it as “shortening the base of your penis” and “tightening around the anus” depending on what muscles of the pelvic floor you are trying to activate.

Common mistakes:

  • Squeezing just your butt checks
  • Squeezing your thighs
  • Straining your abdominals
  • Holding your breath
  • Pushing down
  • Giving 100% all the time. Over training your pelvic floor muscles can lead to overactive or "too tight" pelvic floor muscles which may make symptoms like constipation and pain worse.

So what does this all mean?

Observing what your pelvic floor muscles are doing is important. Visually, they can tell you a lot.

  • If you’re doing a kegel and your dangly bits aren’t moving very far, you might have tight pelvic floor muscles which don’t allow you to contract any further OR they could be pretty weak
  • If you find yourself contracting your muscles correctly, but have a difficult time relaxing, this might be a sign of overactive pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
  • Or you might find yourself doing the opposite of lifting the base of the penis, which means you are bearing down instead of lifting your pelvic floor muscles which can cause pelvic floor dysfunction

Being able to perform a pelvic floor contraction correctly can be difficult, if you lack awareness about your pelvic floor. As a disclaimer, kegels are not for everyone, so it’s important to seek professional advice from your pelvic floor specialist. As pelvic floor experts, it’s our job to educate, guide, and teach you how to coordinate your pelvic floor muscles correctly to avoid some of the common pelvic health issues already mentioned earlier.

So guys, be kind to your gonads, they’ll thank you one day!


 

The blog content on this website is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding treatment, medications/supplements, or any medical diagnoses. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way to substitute the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.