What is Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome?

Article Details
  • Written By: J.M. Willhite
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), also known as chronic prostatitis, is a condition that adversely affects prostate function. Considered to be an umbrella term that encompasses several patterned symptoms, chronic prostatitis can cause discomfort in the pelvic region that is either bacterially or non-bacterially based. Treatment for chronic pelvic pain syndrome usually involves medication to alleviate discomfort and manage symptoms.

There is no known, definitive cause for the development of chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Some medical organizations, such as the Mayo Clinic, have asserted that a variety of physiological and environmental factors may play a role in its development. Men who have been diagnosed with neurological disorders or conditions that impair immune system function are thought to be more susceptible to becoming symptomatic. Those who have sustained an injury or have recently developed a prostatic infection may also develop chronic prostatitis.

In order to confirm a diagnosis of chronic prostatitis, several other conditions whose symptoms may mimic those of CPPS must be ruled out. Following an initial consultation and physical exam, a physician will generally order a battery of several diagnostic tests. Urodynamic and digital rectal examinations may be utilized to evaluate the condition and functionality of the bladder and prostate gland. Urine and semen tests may also be performed to check for markers indicative of infection or other abnormality that may contribute to symptom presentation.


Once a diagnosis of chronic prostatitis has been confirmed, the individual’s symptoms will be evaluated in context so that his prostatitis may be categorized properly for treatment. Divided into four categories, the prostatitis may be acute, chronic and bacterial-based, chronic and non-bacterial-based, or asymptomatic. Symptom presentation generally aids with determining into which category one’s prostatitis falls. Chronic prostatitis symptoms generally present consistently for at least 90 days.

Common symptoms include impaired bladder function that adversely affects one’s ability to urinate and chronic pain centered in the pelvic region. Adverse affects on urination can include burning, hesitation, and episodic urgency. It is not uncommon for men with CPPS to also experience pain during intercourse and when ejaculating. Persistent pain may manifest in one’s lower back, abdomen and groin region. If symptoms of chronic pelvic pain syndrome are left undiagnosed and untreated, issues of infertility and deficiencies in semen production and quality may develop.

Treatment for chronic pelvic pain syndrome generally involves medication to relax bladder muscles so urinary discomfort may be alleviated. Over-the-counter (OTC) analgesic medications are usually recommended to ease abdominal and back pain. Other treatments utilized may include the administration of heat therapy, holistic medications, and prostatic massage.



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