Bert Messelink is a renowned and forward thinking Urologist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands with a contemporaneous approach to the treatment of pelvic pain and pelvic floor disorders. 

With 54 publications  to his name Bert is also a highly distinguished researcher in the filed of pelvic pain. Publications include multiple chapters and articles on the European Association of Urology guidelines on chronic pelvic pain over the past decade and his seminal book “Abdominal and Pelvic Pain: From Definition to Best Practice

In his clinic Bert treats patients with complex pelvic floor problems including  chronic abdominal and pelvic pain in men and women. He also organised the very first world congress in the field of abdominal and pelvic pain in Amsterdam back in 2013 

Could you provide a brief introduction to who you are and what you do?

I am a urologist and from the start of my working life in urology I was interested in functional problems. I have put my energy in helping to develop a multidisciplinary approach of pelvic floor problems. That started 25 years ago and it is great to see that this approach has become the golden standard. Later on I met people dealing with pelvic pain and joined them in their activities. This has resulted in being the vice chairman of the European Association of Urology guideline on chronic pelvic pain. It also led to the book Abdominal and Pelvic Pain. At the moment I’m still working as a urologist-sexologist and seeing many patients with pelvic pain and sexual problems (often in combination)


Why should Health Care Providers (HCP’s) consider the BioPsychoSocial model when treating male pelvic pain?

The biopsychosocial model helps care providers to take notice of all the different areas of complaints patients are presenting with at their office. In this model we may underline the psychosocial part because this is still the most ignored part of this trias. Surely in pain the role of the brain is of great importance and psychological help will be of great value for men with pelvic pain. And psychological approaches will also address the social effects of pain and how to deal with them.

Some great references around the BPS model and pain/health here, here, here and here


How do we move away from the culture of lengthy antibiotics to treat pelvic pain especially if all test results are negative?

By sharing the knowledge on pain mechanism. Once we understand that pain is made by the brain to protect us, we can discuss with our patients that antibiotics (like many other drugs) will not work and that they can even worsen the pain. Every course of antibiotics means hope for the patient. The consequent absence of effect is a disappointment, which is without a doubt, registered by the brain and ‘kept in mind’ when another medical treatment is started.

It has been suggested that approximately 20% of all antibiotics prescribed in the UK are ‘inappropriate.’  The UK government has just set out its 5 year plan to ‘tackle antimicrobial resistance’ There is an obligation to look beyond antibiotics as the only treatment for pelvic pain. Current doctrine must change. Here is an article i wrote on the subject of antibiotic stewardship a few years back 


What does the future hold for treatment of pelvic pain patients?

We will get more and more insight in the role of the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system and the immune system. And that will help us in a better understanding of early treatment of pelvic pain by a multidisciplinary team with respect for the BioPsychoSocial aspects.

For more understanding into the BioPsychoSocial applications in pelvic pain you can watch these 2 videos I have pout together 


Do you have a take home message for patients and HCP’s? What can they/we do more of/less of?

Read about pain and the role of the brain. Read about the role of pain as part of the complete human being. Realise that everything connects to everything else (Leonardo da Vinci). Take your own role in the process and be aware that self-management is the management that fits you best. Find a care giver to guide you on this way to where you want to go.

Here is a great place to find other books and publications on pelvic pain 

I want to thank Bert once again for his time and energy in changing the way we approach, assess and treat pelvic pain. You are a true pioneer in this often overlooked and poorly understood field

You can follow Bert here: 





Pelvic Pain Q&A Series:

Sandy Hilton, Dr of Physiotherapy. Pelvic health expert

Nick Woods, clinical psychologist and sufferer of pelvic pain

Robert Wells, author of ‘Back, Sack and Crack (and Brain)’ and sufferer of pelvic pain

Jiva Masheder, mindfulness instructor 

Tim Parks, author of “Teach us to sit still’ and pelvic pain sufferer

Meg Burgess, specialist nurse at Prostate Cancer UK

Bert Messelink, vice chairman of the European association of urology

Carl Giardinazzo, former director of the Pelvic Pain Foundation Australia and pelvic pain sufferer

Read my interview with Laura Rathbone on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy here


Testimonials From Clients

“Having suffered with Pelvic Pain to the point where I had to be hospitalised for a number of nights. Karl has a great understanding and level of empathy with his patients. Appreciating exactly how they feel and what they are going through”

To read blog posts from my patients about their successful recovery from their chronic pelvic pain and chronic prostatitis experiences, in their own words click here


Please find below a sample of some of my patient testimonials from over the years. I have not included them ALL here. Instead I have picked a handful of those that demonstrate a wide range of my skill sets, outcomes and patient opinions. I would therefore hope that you are able to gauge how I approach my methods of treatment. If you have any questions regarding any of these comments below or would like to know more about my treatment please contact me here

My aim is to take every individual patient I see and treat them as individuals. If I am not achieving this then I believe I am letting down that patient. It is therefore imperative that my approach is bespoke and tailored. Failure to do so is likely to result in an unsuccessful outcome.

From those testimonials listed below I hope to give you a flavour of what you can expect if you come and see me as a patient.


Read All Reviews