Urological Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (UCPPS) in Men

Historically (and unfortunately, still) misdiagnosed as prostatitis, Urological Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (UCPPS) is a more accurate and comprehensive designation to describe the variable presentation of symptoms among male patients.

Please note that a syndrome is a constellation of symptoms affecting an individual — it does not represent a final diagnosis. UCPPS is an umbrella covering a myriad of diagnoses which may be urological, neurological, muscular, colorectal, psychological, or a combination of any of these. About 5% may actually have prostatitis. It is up to the physician to formulate the specific diagnosis so that appropriate therapy may be initiated.

About 50% of patients with UCPPS complain of urinary problems as well as sexual dysfunction. These complaints include:

  • Difficulty starting a urinary stream
  • Urinary frequency and urgency
  • Pain or burning when voiding
  • Decreased arousal
  • Painful erections
  • Painful ejaculation (dysorgasmia)
  • Pain or soreness of the pelvis after sex

Vista urology's comprehensive approach to UCPpS

Men suffering from UCPPS require a diagnosis and tailor-made treatment, not simply a prostate examination. In this manner, we not only avoid unnecessary invasive procedures and testing, but we also avoid one-size-fits-all therapies that are expensive without offering any benefits.

Over 20 years ago, Dr. Potts developed her broad mind-body approach to more thoroughly evaluate men with UCPPS. She also has extensive experience in obtaining and interpreting microbiological tests such as localization cultures of the prostate fluid and testing for atypical organisms such as ureaplasma and mycoplasma.

Dr. Potts has proven that what was previously presumed to be prostatitis is, in fact, a very different diagnosis that is rarely urological. These other conditions causing UCPPS include:

  • Musculoskeletal or orthopedic issues
  • Mayofascial pain syndromes (pain in soft tissues or muscles)
  • Neuralgias (intense pain along a nerve)
  • Colorectal conditions
  • Central sensitization syndromes (widespread chronic pain)

Careful evaluation helps to differentiate these other diagnoses, which can sometimes overlap. Management strategies are then tailored to the patient's diagnosis and lifestyle. We consider the following questions:

  • Does the patient have an undiagnosed urological condition?
  • Is it a primary colorectal issue?
  • Is it an anatomical vs a function problem?
  • Are the symptoms arising from abnormalities of the back, torso, legs, or feet?
  • Are there predisposing factors due to occupation or recreational activities?
  • Is it caused by an orthopedic issue, the spine, or the peripheral nerves?
  • What role are the muscles and connective tissue playing in causing or perpetuating symptoms?
  • Is he getting enough sleep?
  • What are his stress levels?