What is Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) is one of the most mysterious phenomena in urology. It is usually associated with several urological pathologies. In men, chronic prostatitis is often considered the cause of this phenomenon, but there is no exact evidence that it is the inflammation of the prostate that causes pain in each case. In women, the common cause of CPPS is interstitial cystitis.
Chronic pain is called if it lasts for at least six months. Often it is accompanied by disruptions in sexual life, deviations in cognitive health, and emotional problems.
The reasons for the appearance and exacerbation of CPPS are poorly known: this condition can not always be explained by diseases of the bladder and prostate. Possible causes include hormonal, psychological, neurological problems, bowel disease, and disruption of the pelvic floor muscles.
What scientists have discovered
Epidemiologists from the University of Washington indicate that there are cases in which drugs for the treatment of bronchial asthma and allergies have helped to relieve chronic pelvic pain. In this regard, they decided to test whether there is a connection between chronic pelvic pain and a common allergen – plant pollen.
The researchers compared the frequency of exacerbations of pelvic pain in 290 CPPS patients with the level of pollen in the air around them. It turned out that if this level was above average, over the next two days, the likelihood of worsening chronic pelvic pain in study participants increased by 22%.
“Our study provides evidence that airborne pollen may trigger flare-ups of pain for people who live with CPPS,” said Siobhan Sutcliffe, study co-author.
Why Allergies May Be Associated With CPPS
Scientists speculate that histamine, an allergy mediator that causes inflammation, may be responsible for pollen-induced exacerbation of CPPS. Previous animal studies have shown that prolonged exposure to histamine can make the bladder more sensitive to irritation and pain. Histamine is excreted in the urine, and its elevated level in urine lasts longer than in blood.
Scientists suggest that the new discovery will help many patients to relieve CPPS: for example, they can take antihistamines during the flowering period of certain plants. At the same time, it is indicated that more detailed studies are required to clarify the data.