Prostatitis is a benign prostate condition occurring in men with ages ranging from young to middle-aged and older.
Acute prostatitis due to bacterial infection may occur at any age, usually within younger adult males. An infection or inflammation of the prostate gland, prostatitis often causes pain in the lower back, testicles, and penis, as well as the area between the scrotum and the rectum. If caused by infection, prostatitis may cause chills, fevers, and blood in the urine directly related to the acute bacterial infection.
Normally, common bacteria strains cause acute bacterial prostatitis. Bacteria from urinary tract infections may leak to the prostate from the kidneys, bladder, or tubes passing between them.
Chronic prostatitis is not associated yet with a specific cause. Possible causes include physical injury to the pelvic, scrotum, or prostate region, nerve damage to or nearby the scrotum/prostate region, past urinary tract infections, and stress.
Risk factors involve men who are young or middle-aged, past prostatitis, catheter use, positive HIV/AIDS status, prior infection to urinary tract or urethra, past prostate biopsy, or prior sustained acute injury or trauma directly to the pelvic region.
Pain or burning with urination, a weak stream, and increased urinary urgency and frequency are symptoms of prostatitis. Other symptoms may include difficulty obtaining an erection and pain during ejaculation.
Acute bacterial prostatitis – Characterized by high fever, chills, muscle aches, and pain in the prostate region or base of penis, low back pain, pressure feeling like a bowel movement is necessary, or difficulty and pain with urination. Urgent medical attention is recommended for this severe, serious health condition.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis – Symptoms that may come and go include frequent, painful urination, pain after ejaculation, blood present in semen or urine, rectum or lower back pain, feeling a heaviness behind or near scrotum, and urinary tract infection or blockage.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome – The most common form of prostatitis, patients having this type may have many of the same symptoms occurring with bacterial prostatitis. Nonetheless, examination and tests will find no signs of bacteria. Additional symptoms may include pain lasting more than three months in the penis tip, scrotum, lower abdomen or back, or in the area between the rectum and scrotum.
Asymptomatic prostatitis – Men having this type of inflamed prostate may only find out when informed by their physician after a blood test for prostate health. This condition may lead to infertility.
Collecting and testing a urine sample can check for infection or inflammation. Sometimes a prostate massage is necessary. This allows for examination and testing of the fluid collected from expressing the penis. Upon examination, if the prostate is swollen and tender, and any symptoms are present, the physician may arrive at a preliminary diagnosis of prostatitis.
Treatment can be challenging if inflammation, not infection, is causing the prostatitis symptoms. Modifications to diet and lifestyle may help, as well as periodic prostate massage and Sitz baths. Pelvic muscle relaxation techniques can be useful.
The patient may experience relief from the pain and swelling using anti-inflammatory and other medications. Chronic prostatitis may respond to antioxidant supplements. Men experiencing acute prostatitis caused by bacterial infection typically receive a four to six week course of antibiotics. Occasionally, surgical drainage of a prostate abscess is necessary.