Prostatitis

Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland located directly below the bladder in men. The prostate gland produces fluid (semen) that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostatitis can be caused by the same bacteria that commonly cause urine infections. However, in most cases, an identifiable cause is not found and may not be an infection, but just inflammation and irritation of the prostate gland.

Symptoms of Prostatitis
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the genitals
  • Painful orgasm
  • Sometimes flu-like symptoms
Tests for Prostatitis
  • Urinalysis: evaluation of the urine under the microscope
  • Urine culture: to see if bacteria is actually present in the urine
  • Semen culture: to see if bacteria is actually present in the prostate secretions
  • Ultrasound: to see detect for possible abscess (pocket of infection)
  • Cystoscopy: look inside the prostate and bladder to assess for blockage

Prostatitis Treatments

Antibiotics:

specific antibiotics are chosen to target the most-common causative bacteria. Complete eradication of prostate bacteria may take weeks, so be sure to take ALL of your prescribed antibiotics, or your infection may recur.

Alpha blockers:

these medications help relax the muscle fibers in the prostate, helping you to urinate more freely. These may also help to clear infection more quickly.

Urinary analgesics:

help to alleviate discomfort when urinating

Prostate massage:

not done very often anymore, however may be recommended by your doctor for prolonged infections that are not responding to antibiotics.

Other treatments:

other treatments are being studied, since as stated earlier, often times a chronic “infection” is likely not infectious at all. Thus repeated course of antibiotics may not be useful.

Surgery is rarely needed.

Having prostatitis does not increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. However, you should continue to have regular exams and blood work (PSA) to check for prostate cancer.

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