Prostatitis is an inflammation or infection of the prostate gland. It affects at least half of all men at some time in their lives. Having this condition does not increase your risk of any other prostate disease.
- Trouble passing urine or pain when passing urine
- A burning or stinging feeling when passing urine
- Strong, frequent urge to pass urine, even when there is only a small amount of urine
- Chills and high fever
- Low back pain or body aches
- Pain low in the belly, groin, or behind the scrotum
- Rectal pressure or pain
- Urethral discharge with bowel movements
- Genital and rectal throbbing
- Sexual problems and loss of sex drive
- Blocked urine
- Painful ejaculation
Prostatitis is not contagious. It is not spread through sexual contact. Your partner cannot catch this infection from you.
Several tests, such as DRE and a urine test, can be done to see if you have prostatitis. Getting the right diagnosis of your exact type of prostatitis is the key to getting the best treatment. Even if you have no symptoms, you should follow your doctor's suggestion to complete treatment.
There are four types of prostatitis:
Acute bacterial prostatitis
This infection comes on suddenly (acute) and is caused by bacteria. Symptoms include severe chills and fever. There is often blood in the urine.
Treatment: Most cases can be cured with a high dose of antibiotics, taken for 7 to 14 days, and then lower doses for several weeks. You may also need drugs to help with pain or discomfort.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis
Also caused by bacteria, this condition doesn't come on suddenly, but it can be bothersome. The only symptom you may have is bladder infections that keep coming back. The cause may be a defect in the prostate that lets bacteria collect in the urinary tract.
Treatment: Antibiotic treatment over a longer period of time is best for this type.
Chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome
This disorder is the most common but least understood form of the disease. Found in men of any age from late teens to elderly, its symptoms go away and then return without warning. There can be pain or discomfort in the groin or bladder area.
Treatment: There are several different treatments for this problem, based on your symptoms. These include antibiotics and other medicines, such as alpha-blockers. Alpha-blockers relax muscle tissue in the prostate to make passing urine easier.
Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis
You usually don't have symptoms with this condition. It is often found when your doctor is looking for other conditions like infertility or prostate cancer. If you have this problem, often your PSA test (see The PSA Test) will show a higher number than normal. It does not necessarily mean that you have cancer.
Treatment: Men with this condition are usually given antibiotics for 4 to 6 weeks, and then have another PSA test.