Urinary tract infections are common. According to statistics, 60% of women in their lifetime and 5 – 20% of men over age 50 will suffer from urinary tract infections.1 However, the feeling of frequent infections that occur numerous times within a year, or even after intercourse, and having your urine specimen come back negative, may be the signs of a muscle problem.
Tight pelvic floor muscles that are contracting continuously may be producing lactic acid.2 It is the same “acid burn” that is felt when you work out at the gym doing leg squats or lunges. The continual contraction of a muscle unit, made up of actin and myosin, produces a by-product called lactic acid. When working out at the gym, the burning makes us realize that we are working the muscle to its maximum potential and we are working it very hard and it is near its fatigue. However, to feel the same burning sensation in your pelvis, can lead us to believe that something is wrong and the sensation is very uncomfortable. The muscle contraction and relaxation during the intercourse moment allows the lactic acid to release and hence the feeling of burning is present or will increase. Some men and women can feel this without intercourse activity and can also feel additional symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency, with accompanied burning, just like a urinary tract infection.
If you feel that this clinical presentation may be close to your symptoms, you always should be medically cleared at some point – either before starting or early in your physical therapy treatments. It is recommended that you see your local urologist, urogynecologist or gynecologist for urine and pelvic screening and testing. If your medical tests come out negative, you may have a muscle problem. Please contact us at New Dimensions Physical Therapy for a physical therapy evaluation.
Lila Abbate PT, DPT, OCS, WCS
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urinary_tract_infection#Epidemiology, January 9, 2011.