Chronic pelvic Pain- chronic Prostatitis
Chronic prostatitis of non-bacterial origin – otherwise known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome or type III prostatitis – is inflammation of the prostate with a gradual appearance and persistent character, which is not associated with the presence of a bacterial infection (non- bacterial means precisely the absence of bacterial infection in progress).
Known and classified in the 1960s as prostatodynia (“prostat-” stands for “prostate” and “-odynia” for “pain”), chronic prostatitis of non-bacterial origin is the most common type of prostatitis in the male population.
For the moment, the precise causes of type III prostatitis are unclear; however, theories on this are not lacking:
According to some experts, to cause chronic prostatitis of non-bacterial origin would be a problem to the nerve endings (nerves) of the prostate;
According to other researchers, chronic type III prostatitis has an autoimmune nature. In other words, it would depend on a malfunction of the immune system, which recognizes the prostate gland as foreign and attacks it;
According to still other doctors, particular circumstances provoke the chronic pelvic pain syndrome, such as trauma in the prostate, excess stress, the daily lifting of heavy loads and the intensive practice of high impact sports (e.g. running, high jump, volleyball, basketball etc,).
Since the triggers are unknown, any possible conclusion on risk factors is impossible.
The most common symptom of Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome is pain or discomfort in one or multiple urogenital regions including the:
- Perineum (the area between the anus and the scrotum)
- Suprapubic region (the area above the pubic hair)
- Penis (especially penile tip pain)
- Lower back, abdomen or rectum
In some individuals, chronic prostatitis of non-bacterial origin is responsible for some degree of erectile dysfunction and decreased sex drive.
Currently, there are no specific treatments for chronic type III prostatitis, but only symptomatic treatments and remedies (symptomatic means that they act on the symptoms, alleviating them).
These symptomatic treatments and remedies include:
- Administration of alpha-blocker drugs. Alpha-blockers should relieve symptoms, releasing the smooth muscle of the prostate and bladder;
- The administration of painkillers, such as paracetamol or NSAIDs;
- The administration of laxatives.
Shockwave therapy represents a new advance treatment for the chronic pelvic pain. It is non-invasive and has been applied to the treatment of chronic prostatitis since it induces an increase in vascularity, an increase in anti-inflammatory signals, an interruption of painful nerve impulses and a reduction in passive muscle tone.