TUESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Three treatments for chronic pelvic pain syndrome in men -- antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and alpha-blockers or nerve inhibitors -- were found to be effective in curing or reducing symptoms of the often puzzling condition, according to a recent analysis of published research.
The review, published in the Jan. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that about 9 percent of men in the United States suffer from different types of inflammation of the prostate gland, accounting for about 2 million medical visits annually. Symptoms include pain in the pelvis, urethra or penis, back pain, trouble urinating and frequent urination.
Up to 95 percent of these cases are caused by chronic pelvic pain syndrome triggered by chronic prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra. The condition -- usually caused by a chronic bacterial infection -- is most likely to affect men between the ages of 35 and 45, according to government statistics.
Not enough research has been done on effective treatments for this condition, one expert said, noting that only 23 studies met the researchers' criteria for inclusion.
"This is a very ambitious study, and it appears to shed some light on a very challenging condition," said Dr. Paul C. Cook, a urologist at the Hermann Memorial Medical Center in Houston, who was not connected to the study. "The fact that they distilled it down to only 23 studies in all the literature that met their criteria exemplifies that there [are so few] really good controlled studies out there."
The most effective treatment for chronic pelvic pain syndrome was the combination of antibiotics and alpha-blockers, particularly when the main symptom was pain while urinating, but "anti-inflammatory medications remain an option for patients" who seek help for pain, accordin
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