Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS) is the new name for what we use to call prostatodynia. (Prostatodynia means painful prostate in Greek). It is a very common condition, affecting thousands of men in Queensland alone.
Symptoms of CPPS may include some or all of the following:
- pain in the rectum
- pain in the lower back
- pain in the lower abdomen and perineum (the area between your scrotum and your anus)
- pain in the testicles and even the tip of the penis
- painful urination
- sudden, urgent urination
- pain after orgasm
- painful joints
- painful muscles
- constant tiredness and fatigue
- low sex drive
- trouble getting or maintaining an erection
The pain can range from quite mild to very intense and it comes and goes but lasts more than three months. Sometimes, the pain in your lower back and rectum can be so bad, that sitting down is very uncomfortable.
What causes CPPS?
We don’t know.
That’s right. There are some very good theories (currently mainly leading towards it being a nervous disorder, possibly caused by stress) but the bottom line is that we’re not really sure right now why it occurs.
We do know that it is not caused by a bacterial infection, like other forms of prostatitis, as urine tests show no infection.
We also don’t have a set way to treat CPPS. A lot of different drugs have been tried, in conjunction with diet and exercise programs, but as yet, urologists don’t have a simple cure. Some treatments work for some patients, but not for others.
A new treatment includes referral to a physiotherapist to exclude problems in the sacroiliac joint, which can effect the pudendal nerve and result in some of the symptoms above.
If your diagnosis is CPPH, we will certainly try a range of different options for treatment, but in many cases the best we can do is manage the pain.