What Is Prostatitis And How It Can Affect You

happens due to an infection

To put it simply, prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland. It usually happens due to an infection but there could be other causes as well. Though most people aren’t aware of prostatitis, it accounts for nearly 2 million visits per year to outpatient urology practices in the United States. Ten to twelve percent of all men experience prostatitis symptoms. All the more reason to know more about this illness.

What Is the Prostate Gland?

part of the male reproductive system

While there is a lot of women’s sexual health, men tend not to talk about their sexual issues. However, every man needs to know where his prostate is and what it does. The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system, and it is a walnut-sized gland found in men that is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine and semen exit the body. Its main function is to produce seminal fluid in order to transport sperm through the urethra.

Types Of Prostatitis

prostate gland is inflamed


Prostatitis is said to occur when your prostate gland is inflamed due to an infection or other causes. There are 4 types of prostatitis:

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis


This type of prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection and it typically starts suddenly and may include flu-like symptoms. It is the least common of the four types of prostatitis.

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis


Characterized by recurrent bacterial infections of the prostate gland. Between attacks, the symptoms might be minor or the patient may even be symptom-free, however, it can be difficult to successfully treat.

Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome


Most cases of prostatitis fall into this category, however, it is the least understood. It can be further characterized as inflammatory or noninflammatory, depending upon the presence or absence of infection-fighting cells in the urine, semen, and prostatic fluid. Often no specific cause can be identified. The symptoms can come and go or remain chronically.

Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis


This condition is often diagnosed incidentally during the workup for infertility or prostate cancer. Individuals with this form of prostatitis will not complain of symptoms or discomfort, but they will have the presence of infection-fighting cells present in semen/prostatic fluid.

The Causes Of Prostatitis

commonly caused by bacteria


Prostatitis is commonly caused by bacteria that leak into the prostate gland from the urinary tract and from direct extension or lymphatic spread from the rectum. It can also result from various sexually transmitted organisms such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, or HIV.

Other organisms responsible for infection are the same found most frequently in urinary tract infections, such as Escherichia coli. There are also many instances when no specific cause of prostatitis can be found.

How To Know If You Have Prostatitis

(symptoms vary from person to person

Prostatitis is usually diagnosed by analyzing a urine sample and undergoing an examination of your prostate gland by your health care practitioner. The symptoms of prostatitis vary from person to person and depend on the type of prostatitis. They may appear slowly or come on quickly, and they may improve rapidly or they may last for several months and they can keep recurring. Here are a few common symptoms to watch out for:

Painful, difficult and/or frequent urinating
Blood in the urine
Groin pain, rectal pain, abdominal pain and/or low back pain
Fever and chills
Malaise and body aches
Urethral discharge
Painful ejaculation or sexual dysfunction

Treatment For Prostatitis

(caused by bacterial infections)

The treatment for prostatitis depends on the underlying cause and type of prostatitis. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for prostatitis caused by bacterial infections. If you’re experiencing pain and inflammation, your doctor main also prescribe muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications. It is also important to note that all forms of prostatitis require supportive care and close follow-up with your health care professional.