Prostatitis (Prostate Infection): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

May 16, 2019

Prostatitis is a condition that causes the prostate gland to swell and inflame. The prostate gland is a gland in men located just below the urinary bladder. It is this gland that is responsible for nourishing and transporting sperm. The condition usually causes difficulties or pain while urinating. Sometimes, the condition is associated with pain in the genitals, groin or pelvic area. Although prostatitis can affect men belonging to all age groups, it is more common among those aged 50 or below. It can be caused because of a bacterial infection. In that case, antibiotics can be taken for treatment purposes.

The effects of prostatitis may be experienced gradually over a period of time or all of a sudden. The condition can improve if treated or even on its own. In some cases, the condition can recur and even last for a few months.

Causes

The cause of prostatitis usually differs based on its type. In the case of acute bacterial prostatitis, common bacteria may cause the condition. It happens when the bacteria in your urine leak into the prostate, causing infection. This infection can be treated with the help of prostatitis. In case the bacteria aren’t eliminated, the condition can recur or treating the condition might get difficult. Sometimes, surgeries of the lower urinary tract or trauma can cause nerve damage. If the prostatitis isn’t caused by a bacterial infection, this nerve damage might be a contributing factor. In certain cases, the cause of the condition isn’t even identified.

Symptoms

The symptoms of prostatitis depend on its type. There are four types:

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis: This type of prostatitis happens when bacteria from the urinary tract, comprising of kidneys, bladder, and urinary tubes, pass into the prostate. The condition usually shows up quickly with sudden symptoms like high fever, joint pain, muscle ache, chills, pain behind the scrotum or the base of the penis, lower backache, difficulties in urination, weak stream of urine, etc. The condition can be severe, so seeking immediate medical attention is advised.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis: More common among older males, this condition usually lasts for months with the bacterial infection being relatively milder. The symptoms associated with chronic bacterial prostatitis usually comes and goes, which can make it harder to detect. You may feel the need to urinate urgently, usually in the middle of the night. Other symptoms include pain while urinating, pain after ejaculation, rectum pain, lower backache, blood in the semen, urinary blockage, etc.
  • Chronic prostatitis: Also referred to as chronic pelvic pain syndrome, it is the most common type. The symptoms of this type of prostatitis are the same as bacterial prostatitis. However, upon running tests, bacteria aren’t found in these cases. A primary indication of the condition if there is pain lasting for over 3 months in a minimum of one of the following body parts:
    • Scrotum
    • Penis, usually at the tip
    • Between the rectum and the scrotum
    • Lower back
    • Lower abdomen
  • Asymptomatic prostatitis: In this condition, there is an inflammation of the prostate although there aren’t any symptoms. It can only be diagnosed when the doctor performs a blood test for checking the prostate health. This type of prostatitis doesn’t have to be treated but can cause infertility.

Treatment

The treatment prostatitis depends on its type and cause. In the case of bacterial infection, the doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics. With most types of prostatitis, the treatment involves incorporating pain control methods for relieving the complications and other side effects. In some specific cases, treating the condition may require hospitalization. Prostatitis treatments usually involve:

  • Antibiotics: The doctor decides which particular antibiotic to prescribe and how long the treatment would last.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: These are usually prescribed for managing the pain.
  • Alpha-blockers: These help in relieving the urinary symptoms by enabling relaxation of muscle fibers around the prostate gland and the bladder, thus allowing emptying of the bladder.

If you experience any symptom associated with prostatitis, it is advisable to consult your doctor. Upon evaluation of the condition, your doctor will prescribe you a suitable treatment for managing the symptoms and controlling the pain. If not treated, it may cause following complications

  • Bacterial infection
  • Inflammation of the coiled tube
  • Pus-filled cavity in the prostate
  • Semen abnormalities and infertility