Prostatitis is usually an infection of the prostate that leads to inflammation. However, inflammation of the prostate can also occur with no sign of an infection. Prostatitis is common and can affect men of all ages. Let’s learn some more about prostatitis and how it affects your urinary health.
Causes and Symptoms
It is not known what exactly causes prostatitis. It may involve bacteria somehow getting into the prostate and causing inflammation. There are certain infections of the prostate that can be sexually transmitted as well. You could also develop prostatitis if you have recurrent bladder infections or an enlarged prostate.
The symptoms of prostatitis mimic those of other prostate and lower urinary tract issues. This is why it’s important to get checked out by your urologist to ensure that you don’t have another pressing medical issue and to treat your prostatitis, as the symptoms can be frustrating to live with. Symptoms of prostatitis include:
- Difficulty trying to urinate
- Painful urination
- Lower back pain or abdominal pain
- Fever or chills
- Frequent urination
- Painful ejaculation
If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your urologist!
There are four different subtypes of prostatitis. They include:
- Acute bacterial prostatitis. The most uncommon of the four, this type is easy to diagnose. It usually happens suddenly and shows up as a terrible urinary tract infection (UTI) that could include blocked urine flow. You need to see a doctor immediately if you have the symptoms, are unable to urinate, and are vomiting. This can be life-threatening.
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis. Unlike acute bacterial prostatitis, the symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis evolve over time. It may seem like a UTI that doesn’t go away or keeps returning. This is harder to diagnose but it can be treated, so see your doctor.
- Nonbacterial prostatitis. The most common type of the four, this nonbacterial prostatitis could result from a previous prostate infection. The persistent infection could include symptoms such as pain around the groin and pain during or after ejaculation. Symptoms may come and go, but regardless, it’s best to get diagnosed.
- Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. With this type of prostatitis, inflammation exists without symptoms. Urine and semen can both be tested to determine whether or not inflammation is present. Men who have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are more likely to have this type of prostatitis.
Treatment and Prognosis
You and your doctor will discuss treatment options depending on which type of prostatitis you’ve been diagnosed with. Your urologist will need to determine that your prostatitis isn’t being caused by something else in order to ensure your treatment will be successful.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to help with the symptoms. Treatment is usually very successful and if you take the antibiotics as prescribed, many infections can clear up in just a few weeks. Your doctor may also discuss the possibility of taking alpha blockers, which are medications that help to increase your urine flow and alleviate lower urinary tract symptoms.
Depending upon your type of prostatitis, you can be treated successfully and get your life back to normal. Having an inflamed prostate doesn’t increase your risk of getting prostate cancer or any other cancer. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of prostatitis, visit your urologist today to see how much better you can feel with treatment!