October 29th, 2011

Just thought I'd introduce myself as I seem to have something in common with most folks on here. Mind you, having read some of the tales I think I may be one of the more fortunate forum members!

Basically, I caught an STD nearly 22 years ago and spent the next 4 years getting my thrush/balanitis treated. I ended up having to be circumcised. This finally cured that particular issue but all throughout (and ever since) I've had a dull kind of ache in my lower abdomen region which has never completely gone away. I'm aware of it most of the time but it's particularly noticeable when I need to pee. One thing I should be grateful for I suppose is that I don't need to urinate that much and appear to be able to empty my bladder okay, albeit with a bit of dribbling at the end. The urine flow isn't particularly strong IMO but has been deemed 'acceptable' by the docs and I can cope with this, but what really depresses me is the fact that I lost just about ALL of my sex drive as soon as I got infected back in 1990. It just disappeared overnight!

I'm sure that it's linked to the initial infection in some way, that one doctor speculated might have travelled up the urethra and into the prostate. I should point out that I also caught NSU during this same episode and, despite several courses of antibiotics, this vague sort of 'achy' feeling in the pubic region never totally cleared up. I'm afraid that doctors have been going round in circles and thought it might be IBS at one point so I spent a good year at least dealing with this. In my desperation to find out what was wrong with me I had a full exploratory operation by a urologist but the results were all okay and the specialist to whom I spoke afterwards diagnosed my condition as prostatodynia. However, I got the impression that he didn't have the slightest clue as to what was wrong and, when pressed further on what 'prostatodynia' actually was, he as good as told me it means it's all in the mind!

Anyway, I embarked upon a series of anti-depressants after this because I was (quite naturally) feeling really down. These did nothing whatsoever, and nor did the sexual counselling I received. In fact, it all became a confused mess with them trying to tell me I was impotent because of my depression, whereas I'm 100% sure I'm depressed because I'm (to all intents) impotent! It's also a recognised side effect of antidepressants that they can suppress the libido, but mine was/is suppressed with or without them, which I couldn't quite get across to the sexual counsellors. I just know instinctively that if I could get rid of this nagging feeling down below I could function again normally, just as I did before it began. I would describe my previous sex drive as having been high/very high up until then and I did actually wonder whether this infection hadn't interfered with my testosterone in some way. My levels are still quite high though, according to tests I had done last year.

Right now I'm following a very strict anti-candida diet because my suspicion is that the thrush I caught - plus the dozen or so courses of antibiotics that followed - have created some kind of systemic infection. There are a lot of websites incriminating sugar, yeast etc.. in these sort of cases and I'd have to say that after nearly 6 weeks I can feel some improvement to my general wellbeing. Drinking alcohol, for example, made me go to the loo rather a lot and giving this up has been beneficial down below for starters. My tummy is far less bloated as a result of going 'sugar-free' (especially giving up the chocolate!) so that's another useful spin-off which also relieves the pressure in the lower regions, but I'd have to say that it hasn't proved to be the miracle cure I'm after despite these general improvements.

The last doc I spoke to at the genito-urinary clinic told me my prostate could be just 'gunged up', although he didn't detect anything untoward during the rectal examination and neither did any others (I think I had 3/4 of these in a couple of years). In this respect, I probably don't qualify as a 'prostatitis' sufferer insofar as it appears not to be enlarged (or at least not at the time of testing, which was a couple of decades ago now!) In fact, I'd have to say that many of my symptoms have improved slightly via various means. I don't get the appalling constipation I had in the initial stages, which made the docs think my prostate was pushing against my rectum, and I've already mentioned the circumcision which ended the penile thrush problems but things still feel very 'sluggish' down there. For a good few years my semen was almost a clear colour but it seems to have regained a bit more whiteness (is this a good sign?) despite being nowhere as thick as it once was and I attribute this to the large doses of zinc I've been taking. The force has also increased from the early acute stage when it barely dribbled out, as did my urine. Crucially, however, I still have little to no libido!!!

Like I said earlier, I have much to be grateful for in that there has never been any pain associated with this condition - whatever it is?! Well, not since the very outset when it felt like I was p*ssing razorblades but the prostate itself feels like it just isn't doing its job properly. It's a bit like the muscle tone has gone and, whereas I could once stop the urine flow straightaway, it now doesn't do so quite as sharply but it does still manage it. I'm not incontinent either (another huge relief!) but I do often feel like there's a few drops left in my pipe and have to squeeze it all out. Just a lot of annoying little things really, rather than anything too devastating, and I'm not incapacitated in any way so going out and doing normal things isn't a problem, although the loss of sex drive has effectively wiped out what were potentially some of the bests years of my life! One other thing I should mention on this subject is that my penis feels quite numb and I can't get many sensations in it. Again, I'm sure this all ties in with my prostate problems in some way (based on the fact that it started at exactly the same time, virtually overnight!) but I really cannot explain the link any further.

I've finally come to the conclusion that I have some kind of lingering, low-grade infection in my prostate that just won't shift. It cannot be detected by any medical experts using their tests and equipment but I'm aware of it and have come to consider it as a subclinical phenomenon. The strange thing is that in all my endless hours of trawling through the Internet I haven't actually found anyone whose condition corresponds exactly to mine, although many have some of my symptoms and others have many more besides. It would just be nice to meet someone who knows exactly what I'm talking about here though, through personal experience, and of course even nicer if they could then tell me how to get rid of it!

Thanks for reading.