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

Published on Dec 06, 2019   -  5 min read



The prostate gland produces a fluid to protect and nourish sperm, and the swelling or inflammation of the prostate gland is prostatitis. This article presents you types, symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, and complications of prostatitis.

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

What Is Prostatitis?

The swelling (inflammation) of the prostate gland, which is a gland present below the bladder in men, is called prostatitis. It is the size of a walnut, and its main function is to produce semen, which nourishes and transports sperms. 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 who are 50 years old or younger but can occur at any age. There are various causes that can result in the inflammation of the prostate gland, which includes bacterial infection. The swelling and symptoms can occur suddenly or gradually, which depends on the cause. Some cases of prostatitis improve quickly on their own and some might need treatment.

What Are the Main Types of Prostatitis?

The main types of prostatitis are:

  1. Chronic prostatitis - This type develops gradually and lasts for months or years. If your symptoms are present for more than 3 months, then it comes under this type. This type does not respond to initial treatment recommendations.

  2. Acute prostatitis - This type develops suddenly and is usually temporary. It lasts from a few days to weeks and responds well to initial treatments.

The other subtypes of prostatitis include:

What Are the Symptoms of Prostatitis?

The common symptoms of acute prostatitis are:

The common symptoms of chronic prostatitis are:

A need to empty the bladder several times at night.

What Are the Causes of Prostatitis?

Acute prostatitis is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection. When urine leaks into the prostate, it results in such infection. If bacteria become resistant to antibiotics or if the antibiotic 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.

Risk Factors:

How Is Prostatitis Diagnosed?

Your doctor will diagnose this condition after ruling out other conditions that cause similar symptoms. After getting a complete medical and family history, the doctor will conduct a digital rectal examination. Then he or she might suggest you get the following tests done:

How Is Prostatitis Treated?

The treatment options include:


  1. Antibiotics - As most prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics are most commonly prescribed. Depending on the results of urine culture, the doctor will choose the right antibiotic. In cases of severe infection, antibiotics need to be administered intravenously. For acute prostatitis, antibiotics are usually prescribed for four to six weeks, but in chronic prostatitis, it might be longer.

  2. Alpha-blockers - These drugs are used to relax the bladder neck and muscles where the prostate joins the bladder. This helps in relieving symptoms such as painful urination.

  3. Anti-inflammatory drugs - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed.

Home Remedies-

What Are the Complications of Prostatitis?

The possible complications of prostatitis are:

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

  2. Prostatic abscess - Pus-filled abscess can form in the prostate.

  3. Infertility.

  4. Semen abnormalities.

  5. Sepsis - Bacteria can spread to the bloodstream.

Outlook and Prognosis:

The severity and symptoms of chronic prostatitis vary in different men. To reduce pain and discomfort, take your medicines exactly as prescribed by your doctor. 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. And there is no evidence to suggest that prostatitis increases the risk of prostate cancer or kidney disease. Go for regular prostate examinations even after your symptoms get better.

For more information on prostatitis, consult a doctor now.


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Last reviewed at:
06 Dec 2019  -  5 min read


Dr. Vaibhav

Dr. Vaibhav

mbbs, MS, Senior resident andrology and urology

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