and chills (with acute prostatitis).
• Urinary difficulty, frequency, or urgency.
• Pain upon urination.
• Blood in the urine.
• Feeling of fullness in the bladder.
• Painful ejaculation, blood in the semen, or impotence (with chronic prostatitis).
• Pain in the pelvis or lower back.
When To Call Your Doctor
a doctor if you become unable to urinate or if you develop
difficult or painful urination.
What Is It?
Prostatitis is an acute or chronic
inflammation of the prostate, a walnut-size gland located just
below the bladder in men,
which produces about 30 percent of the fluid
portion of semen. Inflammation
may be caused by an infection. Acute prostatitis is
characterized by the sudden onset of symptoms; chronic prostatitis
causes persistent, long-term symptoms that are less severe.
Chronic prostatitis may affect as many as 35 percent of men
over age 50. An inflamed prostate may press upon the
urethra and completely block the flow of urine. Additionally,
if left untreated, acute prostatitis may lead to a prostate abscess,
pus-filled cavity. Treatment for the acute and chronic forms of prostatitis
may differ considerably.
What Causes It?
• The cause of prostatitis is unknown in almost all cases.
• Bacterial infection may cause about 5 percent of cases. Infection
usually ascends through the urethra to the prostate. It may be
use of a urinary catheter increases the risk of prostatitis.
• Acute prostatitis may lead to chronic prostatitis in some cases.
of acute prostatitis is higher among men between the ages of 20
and 40 who have multiple sex partners and who practice high-risk
intercourse or failure to use condoms.
• Get prompt treatment for urinary tract infections.
• Use condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease.
• Patient history and physical examination, which includes
a digital rectal examination (DRE). In DRE the doctor inserts
finger into the rectum to press on
the prostate gland.
• Microscopic examination and culture of secretions expressed from
the prostate during a DRE.
• Culture and microscopic analysis of urine.
scans, which may be helpful in detecting an abscess.
How to treat
Hospitalization is often necessary to treat acute prostatitis.
Intravenous antibiotics are given for bacterial infections,
and a urinary catheter
may be required to
• Oral antibiotics are prescribed to treat acute and chronic prostatitis
and should be taken for the full term prescribed (from
four to 12 weeks).
• Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages should be avoided until symptoms
subside, because the diuretic effect of these drinks
increases urinary frequency.
• Warm baths may provide some relief from symptoms of chronic prostatitis.
• Over-the-counter analgesics may be taken as necessary to reduce
pain and fever.
• If the prostate has become abscessed, surgical drainage is needed.
• Stress reduction techniques may be advised to help patients manage
nonbacterial chronic prostatitis.
Hopkins Symptoms and Remedies, the complete home medical
reference. You can order
this book now on our secure server.