Also known as prostatitis, it is often described as an infection of the prostate. It can also be an inflammation without any sign of infection.
A bacterial infection causes only 5% and 10% of cases. It does not increase the risk of getting prostate cancer.
Prostatitis can affect men of all ages. According to the National Institutes of Health, prostatitis can account for up to 25% of all complaints related to young and middle-aged men’s urinary and genital systems.
Chronic prostatitis (which means it does not go away) is the main reason why men younger than 50 visit a urologist.
When present, symptoms include:
- Frequent urination.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Pain or burning during urination.
- Chills and fever.
Other symptoms may include pain that comes and goes in the abdomen, around the anus, in the groin or the back.
In some cases, bacteria can enter the vas deferens, causing pain in the groin or an epididymis infection (area near the testicles, where mature Y sperm are stored).
The prostate can swell, causing a less intense urine stream. Sometimes, blood in the urine and painful ejaculation are other symptoms of prostatitis.
Men can also complain of pelvic pain, pain during ejaculation, and pain in sexual intercourse.
How is prostatitis diagnosed?
Generally, patients undergo a complete examination, including a digital rectal exam. The doctor will be able to evaluate if the prostate gland is enlarged.
Then, if the doctor is still not sure what he has, he can perform other tests, such as prostatic fluid analysis for signs of infection, transrectal ultrasound, biopsy, or voiding studies.
Emptying studies involve collecting and analyzing urine to determine which part of the urinary system is infected.
What is the treatment for prostatitis?
The treatments vary among urologists and adapt to the type of prostatitis you have. The correct diagnosis is crucial, and the therapies vary.
Treatments for prostatitis may include:
Anti-inflammatory medications and sitz baths (sit within two to three inches of warm water) are the most conservative treatment for chronic prostatitis.
Antibiotics for infectious prostatitis; These drugs are not effective treatments for noninfectious prostatitis.
Patients usually need to take antibiotics for acute infectious prostatitis for 14 to 21 days. Almost all acute infections can be cured with this treatment.
For chronic infectious prostatitis, antibiotics are taken for a more extended period, usually 4 to 12 weeks. About 75% of all cases of regular infectious prostatitis benefit from this treatment.
For cases that work, taking antibiotics at low doses for a long time may be recommended to relieve symptoms.
Other recommended treatments:
Medications for pain.
Surgical removal of the infected parts of the prostate; A doctor may recommend this treatment for severe cases of chronic prostatitis or for men whose prostate inflammation is blocking the flow of urine.