Purpose The clinical features of the interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome are similar to those of the chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. However, to our knowledge no studies have directly compared the characteristics of these syndromes in men and women. Materials and Methods The MAPP Research Network recruited 191 men and 233 women with IC/BPS or CP/CPPS. Baseline data included demographics, Interstitial Cystitis Symptom Index and Problem Index scores; Genitourinary Pain Index score; American Urological Association Symptom Index score; Likert scales to assess urinary urgency, frequency, pain and overall symptom severity; and a single question about the most bothersome pelvic symptom. Results After adjustment for age, income and symptom duration, measures of pain severity were similar across genders. Mean scores for the ICSI, ICPI and AUASI were significantly higher in women than in men, reflecting more bladder focused symptoms in women. The most bothersome single symptom in men as well as in women was pain in the pubic/bladder area (men 34%, women 58%). The characteristics of the men and women in the MAPP cohort were similar to those reported in other research cohorts for IC/BPS and CP/CPPS. Conclusions Our findings indicate that pain severity is similar for both genders and that bladder focused symptoms (urgency, suprapubic pain, frequency) are more common in women. However, a substantial proportion of men also reported these types of bladder symptoms.
- chronic pain
- pelvic pain