Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 301–311 | Cite as

Sexual and Relationship Functioning in Men with Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome and Their Partners

  • Kelly B. SmithEmail author
  • Caroline F. Pukall
  • Dean A. Tripp
  • J. Curtis Nickel
Original Paper


This study compared the sexual and relationship functioning of 38 male patients with Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS) to that of their female partners, and of both the men and women in these couples to those in 37 control couples. Male sexual function was also examined as a predictor of partner sexual function. In comparison to control males, the men with CP/CPPS reported significantly more sexual dysfunction and symptoms of depression. Furthermore, symptoms of depression mediated the relationship between some aspects of sexual function and male participant status as a patient or control. However, men with CP/CPPS did not report significantly decreased sexual satisfaction or relationship functioning compared to controls. Partners of men with CP/CPPS reported significantly more pain upon intercourse, vaginismus, and depressive symptoms when compared to control females. In addition, patients with CP/CPPS and their partners did not differ significantly from each other with regard to sexual functioning and satisfaction, relationship functioning, and symptoms of depression. Patient sexual functioning significantly predicted female partner sexual functioning. This study was the first to evaluate partners of men with CP/CPPS. Patients and partners in this study reported lower levels of sexual functioning in some domains, yet were comparable to control couples on measures of satisfaction and relationship functioning. Furthermore, the sexual and relationship functioning of patients and partners was significantly associated. The results of this study have implications for the assessment and management of CP/CPPS and for future research in this area.


Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Marital adjustment Dyadic satisfaction Depression Sexual function 



This study was supported by an ancillary grant from the National Institutes of Health, DK-065174 and DK-065174 Suppl. K. B. Smith was supported by a postgraduate scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). We thank Joe Downey, M.Sc., for his help with recruitment and the administrative aspects of the study, and Ricardo Flamenbaum, M.A., for his statistical expertise. Thanks are also extended to Deanne Simms, Ashley Soryal, Natalie Stechyson, and Christina Yager for their help with data collection. Portions of this work were presented by K. B. Smith, the recipient of the Student Research Award, at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR), Philadelphia, PA, March 2006. This paper stands in partial fulfillment of K. B. Smith’s M.A. requirements.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly B. Smith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Caroline F. Pukall
    • 1
  • Dean A. Tripp
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Curtis Nickel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of AnaesthesiologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Department of UrologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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