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Prostatitis - Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Complications

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Prostatitis - Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Complications

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Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland that protects and nourishes the sperm. Read this article to know more in detail.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vaibhav Vishal

Published At December 6, 2019
Reviewed AtApril 25, 2024

Introduction:

The swelling (inflammation) of the prostate gland, a gland present below the bladder in men, is called prostatitis. This walnut-sized gland’s primary function is to produce semen, which nourishes and transports sperm. When this gland gets swollen, it causes pain during urination, groin pain, pain in the pelvic area and genitals, and flu-like symptoms.

Prostatitis commonly affects men 50 years old or younger but can occur at any age. Various causes can result in the inflammation of the prostate gland, including bacterial infection. The swelling and symptoms can occur suddenly or gradually, which depends on the cause. Some prostatitis cases improve quickly, and some might need treatment.

What Are the Types of Prostatitis?

The two main types of prostatitis are:

  • Acute Prostatitis: This type develops suddenly and is usually temporary. It lasts a few days to weeks and responds well to initial treatments.

  • Chronic Prostatitis: This type develops gradually and lasts for months or years. If the prostatitis symptoms have been present for over three months, they fall under this type. This type does not respond to initial treatment recommendations.

The other subtypes of prostatitis include:

  • Acute Bacterial Prostatitis - This is when a sudden bacterial infection results in prostate inflammation. The symptoms occur suddenly and are severe. This condition must be treated immediately with intravenous antibiotics, pain relievers, and fluids. Otherwise, it can lead to complications like sepsis (bacteria spreads to the bloodstream) and death.

  • Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis is when the prostate inflates due to repeated bacterial urinary tract infections. The symptoms are less severe but last for a long time. This type of prostatitis is difficult to treat as it is challenging to identify the causative bacteria in the urine, and patients need a prolonged course of antibiotics.

  • Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome or Chronic Nonbacterial Prostatitis - It is the most common type, as 90 % of prostatitis cases are this type. It causes pain in the pelvic region, stomach, and genitals, pain and burning sensation during urination, and erectile dysfunction.

  • Asymptomatic Prostatitis - In this type, the prostate is inflamed, but the patient might not have any symptoms. This type of prostatitis is accidentally diagnosed during a prostate biopsy or semen analysis.

What Are the Symptoms of Prostatitis?

The common symptoms of acute prostatitis are:

  • Fever.

  • Chills.

  • Pelvis pain.

  • Blood in the urine.

  • Genital or rectal pain.

  • Frequent urination.

  • Increased urge to urinate.

  • Pain during ejaculation.

  • Foul-smelling urine.

  • Blood in the semen.

  • Incomplete bladder voiding.

  • Difficulty initiating a stream of urine.

The common symptoms of chronic prostatitis are:

  • A need to empty the bladder several times at night.

  • Pain while urinating.

  • Difficulty urinating.

  • Pain after sex.

  • Frequent urge to urinate.

  • Lower back, rectum, and genital pain.

  • Pain during ejaculation.

  • Problems with ejaculating.

What Are the Causes of Prostatitis?

A bacterial infection most commonly causes acute prostatitis. When urine leaks into the prostate, it results in an infection. If bacteria become resistant to antibiotics or the course is not completed, the infection recurs and becomes difficult to treat, resulting in chronic bacterial prostatitis. Nonbacterial prostatitis can result from nerve damage from surgery or trauma to the prostate.

What Are the Risk Factors of Prostatitis?

  • Men who are younger than 50 years.

  • History of prostatitis.

  • Immunocompromised conditions (HIV or AIDS).

  • Getting a prostate biopsy.

  • Infection of the bladder or urethra (the tube that transports semen and urine).

  • Pelvic injury (horseback riding or cycling).

  • Urinary catheter.

How Is Prostatitis Diagnosed?

The doctor will diagnose this condition after ruling out other conditions that cause similar symptoms. The doctor will conduct a digital rectal examination after getting a complete medical and family history.

Then they might suggest you get the following tests done:

  • Urinalysis - Your urine sample is checked for signs of infection. They try to find the causative bacteria or organism in the urine responsible for the infection.

  • Blood Tests - To check for any other infection.

  • Post-prostatic Massage - The prostate is massaged, and the secretions are tested.

  • Ultrasound - To visualize the prostate and bladder.

  • CT (Computed Tomography) Scan - To get a detailed image of your urinary tract system.

How Is Prostatitis Treated?

The treatment options include:

Medications:-

  • Antibiotics - As prostatitis mostly occurs due to bacterial infections, antibiotics are most commonly prescribed. Depending on the results of the urine culture, the doctor will choose the right antibiotic. In cases of severe infections, antibiotics need to be administered intravenously. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for acute prostatitis for four to six weeks, but it might be longer for chronic prostatitis.

  • Alpha-blockers - These drugs relax the bladder neck and muscles where the prostate joins the bladder, helping to relieve symptoms such as painful urination.

  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.

Home Remedies:-

  • Sitz Bath - Sit in a warm water bath or use a heating pad.

  • Avoid or limit alcohol consumption.

  • Avoid prolonged sitting or cycling.

  • Drink a lot of water.

  • Avoid eating spicy and acidic foods.

  • Do not drink caffeinated beverages like coffee.

What Are the Complications of Prostatitis?

The possible complications of prostatitis are:

  • Epididymitis - Inflammation of a coiled tube in the testis.

  • Prostatic Abscess - A pus-filled abscess can form in the prostate.

  • Infertility.

  • Semen abnormalities.

  • Sepsis - Bacteria spreading to the bloodstream.

How Is the Prognosis of Prostatitis?

The severity and symptoms of chronic prostatitis vary in different men. To reduce pain and discomfort, take your medicines exactly as your doctor prescribes. With proper medication and care, most men with chronic prostatitis lead a normal life. It does not affect your sexual life, as it is not contagious. There is no evidence to suggest that prostatitis increases the risk of prostate cancer or kidney disease. Nevertheless, go for regular prostate examinations even after your symptoms get better.

How Can Prostatitis Be Prevented?

Proper treatment for UTI (urinary tract infection) can prevent the infection from spreading to the prostate. If the person is sexually active, then they have to use a condom during each sexual intercourse. Safe sexual intercourse can prevent prostatitis caused by STIs (sexually transmitted infections).

When to Visit a Doctor?

The person should consult a doctor if

  • They see blood in the pee or semen.

  • If they find difficulty during urination.

  • Frequent urination.

  • Sudden urge to pee.

  • Pain during urination.

  • If they experience pain during erection.

Conclusion:

Although various home remedies help ease prostatitis, researchers have found nothing about diet’s role in preventing prostatitis. However, excess water intake and reduced intake of bladder-irritant substances have shown results. However, consult a doctor immediately when you have symptoms such as blood in the urine, urinary incontinence, pain in the lower abdomen, fever, and chills. Getting tested and treated when such symptoms appear to prevent serious complications is crucial.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is the Main Cause of Prostatitis?

The main cause of prostatitis is a bacterial infection. The infection can spread through the blood and can result in the formation of an abscess. In some patients, the exact cause for prostatitis is not known.

2.

What Are the Symptoms of Infection in the Prostate Gland?

The symptoms of prostatitis include the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in urination.
- Pain in the abdomen, groin, or lower back.
- Urgent need to urinate.
- Cloudy urine.
- Frequent urination.
- Blood while passing the urine.
- Painful ejaculation.
- Pain and discomfort in the penis or testicles.

3.

How Long Will It Take for Prostatitis to Heal?

The duration of prostatitis depends on the progression of the condition. Acute cases of prostatitis can last for a period of two to six weeks, whereas chronic cases of prostatitis can stay for nearly eight months.

4.

What Will Prostatitis Pain Feel Like?

Pain in the prostate gland occurs in the groin, lower back, and abdomen. The pain is not known to be constant. It might increase during urination and erection. In chronic cases, patients experience pain for more than three weeks.

5.

Does Drinking Water Help Prostatitis?

Yes, drinking water helps the condition of prostatitis. If you are choosing to drink beverages or any other aerated drinks, then it might result in irritation of the bladder. Therefore, water helps in easing the pain during urination.

6.

Is Walking Good for Prostatitis?

Walking is very good for improving the health of the prostate. A mild exercise can also help in enhancing the physical and mental health of the affected individuals. Medical evidence has shown that walking and stretching can help a person overcome problems in the prostate gland.

7.

Is It Possible to Cure Prostatitis?

Yes, it is possible to cure prostatitis. A complete cure from prostatitis is questionable, but it is possible to treat the symptoms. The medications that belong to the group of antibiotics, alpha-blockers, and anti-inflammatory agents are helpful in curing prostatitis.

8.

Can Exercise Help in Curing the Condition of Prostatitis?

Yes, exercises can cure prostatitis to a certain extent. Men are recommended to perform leg lifts, sit-ups, and stretching. Performing Kegel's exercise can strengthen muscles of the pelvic floor and also help in enhancing the control over the urination process.

9.

What Foods Tend to Irritate the Prostate?

The following foods can irritate the prostate gland, and so it is necessary to avoid them:
- Lean poultry, turkey, and chicken.
- Beans and legumes.
- Canned fish such as sardines and tuna.
- Nuts.
- Chickpeas and lentils.

10.

How Can I Cure Prostatitis Quicky?

The fastest way to get rid of prostatitis is by taking the following medications.
- Alpha-Blockers. This provides relaxation to the bladder and muscle fibers.
- Anti-inflammatory Agents. This reduces the inflammation and provides a comfortable feeling for the patient.
- Antibiotics. It is the most commonly prescribed drug.

11.

Can Prostatitis Go Away on Its Own?

The condition of prostatitis gets cured on its own only in rare cases. It can be treated with the medications as prescribed by the doctor. In complicated conditions, surgical options might be necessary. You have to discuss well with your doctor before choosing any treatment option.

12.

What Happens if Prostatitis Is Left Untreated?

If prostatitis is not treated earlier, then it might result in the following complications.
- Bacteremia.
- Semen problems and infertility.
- Prostatic abscess.
- Epididymitis.
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Dr. Vaibhav Vishal
Dr. Vaibhav Vishal

Urology

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