What Is Chronic Bacterial
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a rare condition that causes
recurring infections in the prostate and results in swelling, inflammation, and
frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). The prostate is a small gland located
directly below the bladder in men.
Even with treatment, bacteria may still survive in the prostate
and symptoms often return. Prolonged use of antibiotics is often necessary to
effectively treat this condition.
What Are the Symptoms of
Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis?
Bacterial infections in the prostate can be very painful. The
symptoms begin slowly and last three months or longer. See your doctor if you
have any of the following symptoms:
- blood in the urine or semen
- pain or burning with urination
- pain with ejaculation
- pain with bowel movements
- pain in the lower back, between the genitals and
anus, above the pubic bone, and in the testicles
- foul-smelling urine
Serious complications can arise if an infection isn’t properly
treated. Complications include:
- an inability to urinate
- sepsis, which occurs when bacteria spread into
- a prostate abscess, which is a collection of pus
that causes inflammation
What Causes Chronic
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection.
Even when the primary symptoms of infection have been treated, bacteria may
continue to thrive in the prostate.
Causes of infection include:
- any bacteria that causes a UTI
- sexually transmitted infections, such as
chlamydia and gonorrhea
- Escherichia coli after having an
infection of the testicles, urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), or a UTI
Certain factors put men at risk for developing this condition,
- an enlarged prostate
- an infection in or around the testicles
- a urethral stricture, or narrow urethra
How Is Chronic Bacterial
To make a diagnosis, your doctor will review your medical
history and perform a physical exam to look for swollen lymph nodes near the
groin or fluid discharge from the urethra.
Your doctor will also perform a rectal exam to examine the
prostate. During this test, your doctor will insert a lubricated and gloved
finger into your rectum to look for signs of infection, such as a soft or
Your doctor may also perform the following tests:
- testing fluid from the urethra for bacteria
- tests to rule out a sexually transmitted
- urine test
How Are Bacterial
Infections of the Prostate Treated?
Antibiotics are the main course of treatment for this condition.
They’re usually taken for four to six weeks. However, because the infection can
return, you may need to take antibiotics for 12 weeks or longer. Your doctor
will schedule a follow-up exam once you’ve finished treatment to ensure that
the infection is completely gone.
It may take six months to a year for symptoms to go away
completely. In the meantime, certain home remedies may be able to ease your
symptoms. Home remedies include:
- warm baths
- drinking 64 to 128 ounces of water per day
- using stool softeners to avoid constipation
- avoiding alcohol, caffeine, citrus juices, and
hot and spicy food
- medications to treat pain
You may need additional treatment in the following rare cases:
- If you’re unable to urinate, a healthcare
provider will insert a tube called a catheter to empty your bladder.
- If you have an abscess, your doctor will drain
- If you develop sepsis, you’ll get intensive
antibiotic therapy and you’ll need to stay in the hospital for treatment.
- If you have stones, or mineral deposits, in your
prostate, your doctor may need to remove your prostate. This is very rare.
What Is the Outlook for
Bacterial Infections of the Prostate?
This condition is very treatable. Unfortunately, it’s very
common for the infection to come back. Make sure to schedule follow-up
appointments with your doctor, so that they can make sure your treatments are