Prostatitis refers to infection or inflammation of the prostate. It can be bacterial or non-bacterial. Nonbacterial prostatitis and prostate inflammation are the more common types of prostatitis.
What is the prostate?
What is prostatitis?
What causes it?
Certain conditions or medical procedures increase the risk of contracting bacterial prostatitis. There is a higher risk if the man has recently had a prostate biopsy, catheter, or other instrument inserted into his urethra, an abnormality of his urinary tract or a recent bladder infection.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome may be caused by the nerves and muscles in the pelvis that cause pain in the area, either as a response to the prostate infection or inflammation or as an isolated problem itself.
What are the symptoms?
- Urinary frequency
- Urinary urgency
- Burning with urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pain with ejaculation
- Pelvic or groin pain
- Pain radiating to the testicles
- In severe cases, fever and chills
*If you have recently had a prostate biopsy and are experiencing any of these symptoms, please notify your doctor immediately.
How is it diagnosed?
In some severe or recurrent cases, we can also do a prostate ultrasound to check for calcifications. Calcifications, if present in the prostate, can hold onto bacteria making the infection difficult to treat. We may also perform a cystoscopy, which involves a small camera advanced through the urethra, prostate, and bladder. This allows us to diagnose any other issues that may be causing your symptoms.
Why do physicians have trouble diagnosing prostatitis?
How is it treated?
Anti-inflammatory medications – Taking medications such as ibuprofen or Advil can help alleviate some of the symptoms.
Alpha Blockers (Flomax, Rapaflo, etc) – These medications help to relax the prostate and urethra and can improve urinary symptoms, and are also prescribed for a short period of time.
Lifestyle changes – Various heat therapies (including local heat therapy with heating pad) and relaxation exercises may alleviate some of the symptoms. You may be advised to discontinue some foods (e.g. spicy) and drinks (e.g. caffeinated, acidic) and avoid circumstances (e.g. bicycle riding) that exacerbate the problem.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy – This is a very effective form of physical therapy for continuing symptoms of prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The physical therapist is specialized with working on the pelvic floor muscles with relaxation techniques that can help the symptoms you are experiencing.
Facts about prostatitis
- Cannot always be cured, but can be managed
- There have been recent studies, showing a correlation of recurrent prostate infections andhigher risk of prostate cancer.
- There is no reason to discontinue normal sexual relations unless they are uncomfortable. You cannot transmit the infection to your partner.
- It is important to see your doctor for symptoms of prostatitis as they can be similar to those of a urinary tract infection or STD.