Prostatitis is a common condition that can affect men of all ages. It involves inflammation of the prostate and can be asymptomatic, although many men will experience symptoms such as frequent or painful urination. Scheduling an appointment with your urologist if you have any symptoms is vital, as acute bacterial type of prostatitis can be fatal if left untreated.
What are the top five treatment options for prostatitis?
Your doctor may prescribe medication to help alleviate your symptoms as well as to help with the inflammation of the prostate that’s causing them. Medication options include:
- These will likely be necessary and can be life-savers in acute bacterial prostatitis infections. Depending on your type of prostatitis, you may need to take antibiotics for up to three months for the condition to completely go away.
- Anti-inflammatory. These meds help decrease the inflammation of the prostate, therefore providing relief from symptoms.
- Pain medication. If you’re experiencing pain from your prostatitis, you and your doctor can discuss the option of a pain medication to help.
- Alpha-blockers. Alpha-blockers can help to relax your bladder and provide relief from symptoms.
Medication alone may not clear up your prostatitis, although antibiotics are generally successful in treating the inflammation. Your urologist may also suggest incorporating lifestyle changes as well.
Certain lifestyle changes could help prostatitis. While exercise in itself is very beneficial, your urologist may suggest that you avoid bicycling. Bicycling can put pressure on your perineal area, which can irritate the prostate. You’ll also want to avoid sitting too long. Light exercise can be effective—talk with your doctor about which forms will be best for you. You’ll also want to drink plenty of water.
You may also choose to participate in biofeedback, which is a form of therapy that helps you to have more control over your body. This may alleviate pain as well as symptoms, and you’ll learn more about your lower urinary tract and how you can control urination as well as help your prostate simply by adopting different behaviors.
Surgery is usually only reserved for more severe cases of prostatitis, and it is generally not considered for the nonbacterial form of prostatitis. Surgery may be discussed if your urethra is blocked and you cannot urinate. This can happen in the more severe subtype of acute bacterial prostatitis, which can be life-threatening. Your urologist may also discuss surgery with you if your antibiotic treatment didn’t work or provided little relief for your symptoms.
In order to avoid irritating the prostate as well as to not aggravate the symptom of having to urinate frequently, you may want to eliminate or minimize alcohol as well as coffee. Sugary drinks such as sodas (which commonly contain caffeine as well) aren’t helping your prostate out. Be sure to drink plenty of water in place of these drinks.
If you smoke, now is a great time to quit. Tobacco products can encourage prostate inflammation. It’s been suggested that men suffering from prostatitis avoid spicy foods as these can aggravate the condition as well.
There are other less conventional treatments to help with your prostatitis. You may choose to incorporate these treatments along with other treatments, but be sure to check with your urologist before you do. They include:
- Prostate massage. This is done by your doctor and is similar to the procedure for a digital rectal exam (DRE), but it involves massaging the prostate. This may provide some relief from your symptoms.
- Taking supplements can be very helpful, but you need to have a quality one and you need to know which ones will benefit you. Vitamin D, zinc, saw palmetto, and vitamin E can all be helpful. Talk with your doctor to see if there’s a quality supplement you can take to help with your treatment.
- Acupuncture may help with your symptoms, although it doesn’t treat the root cause of prostatitis.
These five treatments for prostatitis tend to be successful, but not every treatment will work for every person. Talk with your urologist about which one is best for you based on your diagnosed type of prostatitis. You may simply need a round of antibiotics, or you could need to make a few lifestyle changes. Make an appointment with your urologist and get your prostatitis treated today!