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Urology/Solutions for prolonged abstinence


Dear Sir,

My wife and I are Catholics and happily practice an abstinence-based method of natural family planning. However, this method sometimes requires a month or more of abstinence (as her cycle returns after nursing a baby). After even seven days of abstinence, I begin to experience pain in the testicles and rectal region from congestive prostatitis (on which I read your colleague Arthur Goldstein's excellent response). By day nine or ten, the pain is acute for much of the day even without arousal, and I have trouble focusing on work. Ibuprofen helps to some extent, but not much.

As you may know, the Catholic church teaches that masturbation is a mortal sin, and we agree. We also feel it is important to delay a pregnancy at this point. So we are committed to a situation in which ejaculation is not a potential solution to this pain (except by nocturnal emission, which has rarely ever occurred).

Are there other medical ways to diminish the pain from this problem in situations of prolonged abstinence? Is there medication that will slow the production of semen and sperm during these times or mute arousal generally? Would a urologist be the right specialist to consult about this, and would they have any answers besides exercise (which I already do) and masturbation?

Many thanks


There are some medications that can reduce sperm production but this would have only a miniscule effect on semen production.  The obvious answer is that you have an unusually severe medical condition where lack of ejaculation causes problems.  If you decline to use this means, there may not be an alternative solution.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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