Prostatitis (prostate inflammation) causes painful urination, and urinary tract infections (UTIs) increase the risk of developing the condition. Prostatitis can be referred to as an infection of the prostate, but inflammation often occurs without a known infection. Roughly five to ten percent of prostatitis cases are caused by a bacterial infection, but luckily, it does not lead to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Although an enlarged prostate commonly affects older men, men of all ages are prone to prostatitis, with 25 percent of hospital visits being accounted for by younger and middle-aged men.
There are three main types of prostatitis: acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, and chronic nonbacterial prostatitis. Acute bacterial prostatitis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation that is typically uncommon but comes with severe symptoms. Chronic bacterial prostatitis occurs from recurrent urinary tract infections that enter the prostate gland. Symptoms may be similar to acute bacterial prostatitis but less severe and fluctuating. Lastly, chronic nonbacterial prostatitis is the most common form of prostatitis that presents urinary and pelvic pain for at least three to six months.
Prostatitis can be caused by bacteria entering the prostate gland from the urinary tract or from a sexually transmitted disease, specifically gonorrhea, chlamydia, or HIV.
Risk factors for prostatitis include a prior history of prostatitis, developing a UTI, use of a catheter or other urologic procedures, an enlarged prostate gland, engaging in anal intercourse, having a structural or functional urinary tract abnormality, dehydration, and local pelvic trauma.
Signs and symptoms of prostatitis can range in severity and occurrence. The most common symptoms include discomfort, pain, or aching in the testicles or the area between the testicles, discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen, urinary urgency or frequency, pain or stinging sensation during urination, feeling as if you are sitting on a golf ball, lack of libido, and difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.
Acute bacterial: The least common type and caused by an infection. This type can become quite serious, as it has the potential to spread to the blood or other parts of the body. Symptoms can present strongly and come on suddenly. This type is considered easy to diagnose.
Chronic bacterial: Has a more gradual onset, with symptoms presenting in a less severe manner when compared to the acute form. This condition may last for a long period of time or may recur after treatment.
Chronic abacterial: Also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome and as prostatitis without a clear cause for its occurrence. This form is considered the most common type of prostatitis, with symptoms that may be constant or occur as occasional flare-ups. Diagnostic tests may show immune cells in the urine or semen, but no bacteria is found.
Asymptomatic inflammatory: Presents with no symptoms, but on diagnostic tests of prostate tissue, infection-fighting cells are present. This diagnosis is often discovered on routine examination and found accidentally when treating another problem.
If you detect any symptoms of prostatitis or your doctor suspects you have the condition, you will be referred to a urologist who can confirm the diagnosis. As a patient, you will undergo a thorough physical exam to rule out other causes of an inflamed prostate. Furthermore, the urologist will have you complete urine collection so they can examine your urine. The following are diagnostic tests that may be employed:
There are many different treatment options for prostatitis depending on the cause. For example, if the cause of prostatitis is bacterial, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Other treatment options include alpha blockers, anti-inflammatory agents, prostate massage, and other treatments currently being studied, such as heat therapy or drugs with specific plant ingredients.
There are home remedies you can utilize to further help treat prostatitis:
By sticking to the plan your doctor has put you on, along with these home remedies, you can have much success in treating prostatitis.