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Definition

Prostatitis is swelling of the prostate gland in men. There are 4 types of prostatitis:

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis
  • Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
  • Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis

Prostate Gland

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Causes

Cause will depend on the type of prostatitis:

  • Acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis—caused by an infection. A bacteria enters the prostate. It often comes from the nearby urinary tract or rectum.
  • Chronic pelvic pain syndrome and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis—causes are not clearly understood.

A cause may not be found in some people.

Risk Factors

Prostatitis is more common in men who use catheters. Other factors that may increase the chances of prostatitis are:

  • Sex without the use of barriers like condoms
  • Foreskin that does not to fully draw back from the head of the penis— phimosis
  • Urethra that has narrowed
  • Prostate that has increased in size
  • Past urinary tract infections

Symptoms

Symptoms depend on the type of prostatitis. Many may not have any problems. Symptoms that do occur may include:

  • Need to pee often or often feel urgent need to
  • Pain or burning while peeing
  • Hard time passing pee
  • Lower belly pain or pressure
  • Pain in penis, rectum, and area in between
  • Lower back pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Problems getting or keeping erection

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. To help find a cause or rule out other issues the doctor may order:

  • Urine tests
  • Prostate biopsy—small piece of prostate is removed and sent to lab

Treatment

Treatment steps will be based on type.

Infectious Prostatitis

Antibiotics pills can be used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They may be given over several days or weeks. The antibiotics may be given through an IV for infections that are hard to treat.

Symptoms may be treated with:

  • Stool softeners—to ease pressure in area
  • Medicine to ease swelling
  • Pain medicine
  • Medicine to improve urine flow

Alcohol and drinks with caffeine can make symptoms worse.

Prostatitis Not Linked to Infection

Treatment may help to ease symptoms. Options include:

  • Medicine to help urine flow and bladder empty
  • Medicine to ease swelling
  • Pain medicine
  • Warm soaks
  • Prostate massages

Prevention

Steps that may lower the risk of some prostatitis include:

  • Practice safe sex. Protect yourself from infections (STIs) by using a condom.
  • Empty your bladder as soon the urge happens.

Regular exercise may also help some types of prostatitis.

RESOURCES:

Men's Health Network
http://www.menshealthnetwork.org

Urology Care Foundation
http://urologyhealth.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Urological Association
http://www.cua.org

Men's Health Centre
http://www.menshealthcentre.net

REFERENCES:

Acute bacterial prostatitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-bacterial-prostatitis. Updated November 15, 2018. Accessed October 25, 2019.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-bacterial-prostatitis. Updated April 18, 2018. Accessed October 25, 2019.

Prostatitis: inflammation of the prostate. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/prostate-problems/prostatitis-inflammation-prostate. Updated July 2014. Accessed October 25, 2019.

Prostatitis (prostate infection). Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/prostatitis-(infection-of-the-prostate)?article=15. Accessed October 25, 2019.

Sharp VJ, Takacs EB, Powell CR. Prostatitis: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2010;82(4):397-406.

5/18/2015 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115325/Chronic-prostatitis-Chronic-pelvic-pain-syndrome: Zhang R, Chomistek AK, Dimitrakoff JD, et al. Physical activity and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015;7(4):757-764.

Last reviewed October 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 10/25/2019