Prostatitis diagram

Definition of Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a condition that involves inflammation of the prostate and sometimes the area around it.  There are several types of prostatitis, each with a range of symptoms.  Some are related in bacterial infection, and some are not. Some men with the disease will experience severe pain and others will not be bothered; and the rest fall in between the two.  However, the symptoms of the disease do have a significant impact on a man’s quality of life.

Symptoms of Prostatitis

The symptoms depend on the type of prostatitis infection the man is suffering from. Often men do not notice any symptoms, while some experience symptoms similar to that of a urinary tract infection.  However, other diseases can cause the same or similar symptoms.

It is very important to be evaluated by a medical professional to determine if the patient has prostatitis and which type so that it can be properly treated.

Patients may experience:

  • Pain areas in the back, bladder, genital area, groin, lower abdomen, lower back, pelvis, prostate, rectum, or testicle
  • Pain circumstances can occur during urination
  • Urinary dribbling after urination, excessive urination at night, frequent urge to urinate, frequent urination, urinary retention, or blood in urine
  • Whole body chills, fatigue, or fever
  • Discomfort or painful ejaculation
  • Cancer-related fatigue or fatigue
  • Swelling of scrotum
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Weight loss
  • A lump or enlargement in either testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts

Causes of Prostatitis

The direct causes of prostatitis are not fully known by the medical community.  However, there are several accepted theories.  Some cases of prostatitis are clearly related to acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis infections.  These infections get into the prostate from the urethra by backward flow of infected urine into the prostate ducts. Bacterial prostatitis is not contagious and is not a sexually transmitted disease. A sexual partner cannot catch this infection.

Higher risk for getting prostatitis might occur if the patient:

  • Recently had a medical instrument, such as a urinary catheter inserted during a medical procedure
  • Engaged in rectal intercourse
  • Has an abnormal urinary tract
  • Has had a recent bladder infection
  • Has an enlarged prostate

Other causes may include autoimmune disease (an abnormal reaction of the body to the prostate tissue).

Treatment of Prostatitis

Treatments for prostatitis can include:

  • Pain medications and muscle relaxants
  • Anti-inflammatory medication along with warm baths
  • Antibiotics for infectious prostatitis
  • Surgical removal of the infected portions of the prostate
  • Supportive therapies for chronic prostatitis including stool softeners and prostate massage
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