What is prostatitis?
The prostate is a small gland located under the bladder in men. It produces
a fluid that makes up 50 to 75 percent of semen. Prostatitis is inflammation of
your prostate gland. The inflammation may spread to the area around your
Types of prostatitis include the following:
- Chronic prostatitis is the most common type, reports
Care Foundation. Its cause is often unknown.
- Acute bacterial prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection.
It appears suddenly with severe symptoms.
- A bacterial infection also causes chronic bacterial
prostatitis. It develops more slowly than acute bacterial prostatitis, and
its symptoms tend to be milder but recurring.
- Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis doesn’t cause
What are the symptoms of prostatitis?
The symptoms of prostatitis vary, depending on whether it’s acute or
If you have acute bacterial prostatitis, you may have:
- pain in the lower abdomen, lower back, or rectum
- difficulty urinating
- pain with urinating
- a fever
You may also have foul-smelling urine, pain in your testicles, and painful
If you have chronic prostatitis or chronic bacterial prostatitis, you may
have similar symptoms, but they’ll be less severe.
If you have asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, you won’t notice any
symptoms. Your doctor may find this condition during a routine physical exam.
They may also notice it while checking you for other conditions.
Different types of bacteria can cause bacterial prostatitis. Those bacteria
can also cause a bladder infection. One common cause among men over the age of
35 is Escherichia coli. Sexually
transmitted infections (STIs), including gonorrhea and chlamydia, can also
cause bacterial prostatitis.
An injury to your prostate gland can cause prostatitis. A disorder of your
nervous system or immune system can also cause it. In many cases, the exact
cause of chronic prostatitis is unknown.
is at risk of getting prostatitis?
Although men of any age can develop prostatitis, older men are more likely
to experience it than younger men. If you’re over age 50 and have an enlarged
prostate, you have an increased risk of developing this condition.
Other factors can also increase your risk, including having:
- a urinary catheter inserted
- a bladder infection
- pelvic trauma
- past bouts of prostatitis
Having unprotected sex and being HIV-positive also increase your chances of developing
How is prostatitis diagnosed?
If you suspect you have prostatitis, make an appointment with your doctor.
They’ll need to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. For example,
an enlarged prostate, cystitis, and some other conditions can cause similar
Your doctor will perform a physical exam, including a prostate exam. Your
prostate is located in front of your rectum. During a digital rectal exam, your
doctor will feel your prostate and check for enlargement. In some cases, they
may recommend a cystoscopy. In this procedure, your doctor will insert a small
scope through your urethra to look at your bladder and prostate gland.
Your doctor also needs to determine the type of prostatitis you have. They
may order blood tests and urine analysis.
is prostatitis treated?
If you’re diagnosed with bacterial prostatitis, your doctor will prescribe
antibiotics. The type of antibiotic and length of treatment will vary, depending
on the type of bacteria that’s causing your symptoms.
Your doctor may also prescribe pain relievers or alpha-blockers. Alpha-blockers
reduce muscle spasms of the urethral sphincter, which is the muscle that helps
you control the flow of urine. The sphincter may spasm in response to the
inflammation of prostatitis.
Your doctor may also recommend heat therapy to reduce pain.
is the outlook?
Most men respond well to treatment for acute bacterial prostatitis. Chronic
prostatitis is harder to cure, but it can often be managed. Ask your doctor
about your specific condition, treatment plan, and outlook.
you prevent prostatitis?
Many cases of prostatitis aren’t preventable, since the cause is often
unknown. STIs can lead to prostatitis. Practicing safe sex can help reduce your
risk of developing this condition.