What is Prostatitis / Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS)?
Prostatitis / CPPS is a very common worldwide condition. It has been suggested that up to 25% of all men have experienced symptoms of prostatitis at some point in their lives. At any one given time, about 10 to 14% of men experience some prostatitis-like symptoms. Prostatitis accounts for nearly 2 million visits per year to outpatient urology practices in the United States and is most common in men under the age of 50.
Getting familiar with Prostatitis | CPPS:
If you have CP, you may experience a dull, throbbing pain, a sensation of irritation or heaviness. It may be located anywhere in the lower pelvic region (groin, pubic area, rectum, perineum, and lower back, genitals, penis, scrotum). Sometimes it travels to hips, thighs or upper abdomen. Usually, the pain comes and goes, and varies in intensity. You may have "good" days alternating with "bad" days. You often don't know what has triggered a "bad" day.
The most common symptoms are frequent and urgent need to pee, burning when you pee, weak flow, feeling of an inability to empty your bladder completely, and the need to get up more frequently than normal at night to pee. These symptoms often interfere with daily activities.
Sexual Dysfunction can Happen
You may also have difficulty getting and/or keeping an erection during sexual activity, and have low sexual desire.
You may also experience rapid (premature) ejaculation, and pain or discomfort upon or soon after ejaculation. Up to 50% of men with prostatitis symptoms complain about ejaculatory or post-ejaculatory pain.
Defining Prostatitis / CPPS
Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland. It can be an acute illness or a chronic condition.
1. Acute Bacterial Prostatitis:
Caused by a bacterial infection, and it typically starts suddenly and may include flu-like symptoms. It is the least common of the four types of prostatitis.
2. Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis:
Described by recurrent bacterial infections of the prostate gland. Between attacks, the symptoms might be minor or the patient may even be symptom-free; however, it can be difficult to treat successfully with only antibiotics.
3. Chronic Prostatitis / Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome / CPPS:
Most cases of prostatitis fall into this category; however, it is the least understood. Chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome can be described as inflammatory or noninflammatory, depending upon the presence or absence of infection-fighting cells in the urine, semen, and prostatic fluid. Often no specific cause can be identified however, the most recent research suggests it could be an embedded or biofilm infection. Or the result of an occult infection that left but damaged the nerves in the pelvic region. The symptoms can come and go or remain chronically.
4. Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis:
This condition is often diagnosed incidentally during the workup for infertility or prostate cancer. Individuals with this form of prostatitis will not complain of symptoms or discomfort, but they will have the presence of infection-fighting cells present in semen/prostatic fluid.
5. Risk Factors:
1. A prior history of prostatitis
3. Recent use of a urinary catheter or a recent urologic procedure
4. Enlarged prostate gland
5. Prolonged sitting
6. Having a structural or functional urinary tract abnormality (weak urine stream or obstruction)
7. Dehydration (not enough fluids to properly empty the bladder)
8. Leaky Gut (Poor Diet) / IBS
9. Chronic stress combined with poor sleep
10. Sexually transmitted disease
11. Improper Hygiene
12. Dental Decay
13. Compromised immune system
14. Engaging in rectal intercourse
If you have any of the signs or symptoms consistent with prostatitis, you should see your health care professional for further evaluation. Depending on the symptoms and your response to therapy, your doctor may need to refer you to a urologist (a physician specializing in the genitourinary system).