What is prostatitis?

Prostatitis is inflammation and swelling in the prostate caused by a bacterial infection. Prostatitis is the most common urological condition in men younger than 50 years old and causes painful urination.

Prostatitis can last for months or continue to recur (chronic prostatitis).

Common related conditions
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate) Hematuria (Blood in Urine) Male Urinary Incontinence

Causes of prostatitis

Prostatitis most commonly occurs when bacteria leaks into the prostate. In rare cases, prostatitis is caused by nerve damage after surgery or trauma in the lower urinary tract.

Risk factors for prostatitis

Young and middle-aged men (younger than 50) are the most at risk to develop prostatitis.

Other risk factors for prostatitis include:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Recent urinary tract infection
  • History of prostatitis
  • Engaging in rectal intercourse
  • Dehydration
  • Pelvic trauma

Symptoms of prostatitis

Symptoms for prostatitis vary depending on the cause of the condition.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Fever and chills
  • Body aches
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Painful ejaculation

Diagnosis of prostatitis

Your doctor, either a primary care doctor or urologist, can diagnose prostatitis during an exam.

During the exam, he or she will take a urine sample and will perform a digital rectal exam to check for abnormalities in the prostate gland.

Other tests that may be performed to diagnose prostatitis include:

  • Prostate massage — used to compare samples of prostatic fluid before and after the procedure
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • PSA test
  • Urodynamic tests — determine how well your bladder empties when urinating
  • Ultrasound imaging
  • CT scan
  • Cystoscopy
  • Prostate biopsy

Treatment for prostatitis

Treatment for prostatitis varies depending on the underlying cause. When bacteria are causing your infection, antibiotics are the first-line therapy.

Alpha blockers or anti-inflammatory agents, such as NSAIDs, can relieve symptoms of prostatitis.

Recovery from prostatitis

Most patients with acute prostatitis will have complete relief of symptoms with antibiotics. Patients with chronic prostatitis need continued therapy, including muscle relaxants, alpha blockers, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and may even need physical therapy.

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