HIGHLIGHTS

Open
Grocery Coupons

Grocery Coupons

Members can print free savings coupons

Brain Health Center

Brain Health Center

Learn how to live smart and stay sharp

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

Members save on e-
readers and tablets

Caring for loved ones?

Caring for loved ones?

Find the resources you need

HEALTH ENCYCLOPEDIA

Diseases & Conditions A - Z
powered by healthline

Prostatitis

What Is Prostatitis?

The prostate is a small gland located under the bladder in men. It produces a fluid that makes up between 50 and 75 percent of semen (which also contains spermatazoa and seminal vesicle fluid). Prostatitis is inflammation of that gland. The inflammation may spread to the area around the prostate.

Types of Prostatitis

There are different types of prostatitis:

  • Chronic prostatitis is the most common form of the condition (Urology Care Foundation). The cause is not known. Unlike other forms of prostatitis, it is not caused by bacteria.
  • Acute bacterial prostatitis develops suddenly, due to a bacterial infection. Although it is the least common type of prostatitis, it is easy to diagnose because of the severity of symptoms.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis comes on slower than acute bacterial prostatitis. Symptoms tend to be milder, but they reoccur.
  • Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis does not cause symptoms, even though there is inflammation.

What Causes Prostatitis?

Bacterial prostatitis is caused by different types of bacteria. These bacteria can also cause a bladder infection. A common cause in men older than 35 is E. coli. Sexually transmitted diseases including gonorrhea and chlamydia can also cause bacterial prostatitis.

An injury to the prostate or a disorder of the nervous system or immune system can also cause prostatitis. In many cases, the exact cause of chronic prostatitis is not found.

Who Is at Risk for Prostatitis?

Although men of any age can develop prostatitis, being over the age of 50 with an enlarged prostate increases your chances. Other factors can increase your risk. For instance, having a urinary catheter increases risk. Bladder infections, pelvic trauma, and past bouts of prostatitis increase risk.

Having unprotected sex and being HIV positive also increase your chances of developing a form of prostatitis (Medline Plus).

What Are the Symptoms of Prostatitis?

Symptoms vary depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic. Men with acute bacterial prostatitis may develop symptoms including bladder pain, difficulty with urination, low back pain, chills, and fever.

Men with chronic prostatitis, whether it is bacterial or not, will often have the same symptoms, but they will be less severe.

Some men may also have foul-smelling urine, pain in the testicles, and painful ejaculation.

In cases of asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, a man will not have any symptoms. The condition is often found during a physical exam or a visit to a doctor for another reason (Mayo Clinic).

How Is Prostatitis Diagnosed?

It is important for a doctor to make sure the symptoms are due to prostatitis and not another condition. Similar symptoms may develop with an enlarged prostate, cystitis, or other conditions.

The type of prostatitis must also be determined, because bacterial prostatitis and other types of prostatitis may be treated differently.

If symptoms are present, a doctor will perform a physical exam, including a prostate exam.

The prostate is located in front of the rectum. A digital rectal exam allows the doctor to feel the prostate and check for enlargement.

Blood tests and urine analysis are often performed. In some cases, a cystoscopy may be recommended. In a cystoscopy, a small scope is inserted through the urethra, so the doctor can view the bladder and prostate.

How Is Prostatitis Treated?

For bacterial prostatitis, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics. The type of antibiotic and length of treatment will vary based on the type of bacteria.

Pain relievers and alpha blockers may be prescribed for all types of prostatitis. Alpha blockers reduce muscle spasms, which may develop near the base of the bladder and cause painful urination.

Treatment may include heat therapy to reduce pain.

What Is the Outlook for Prostatitis?

Most men respond well to treatment for acute bacterial prostatitis (Urology Care Foundation). Chronic prostatitis is harder to cure but can be managed.

Prevention

Prostatitis is often not preventable, because the cause is often not known.

Sexually transmitted diseases can lead to prostatitis, so practicing safe sex may reduce the risk of bacterial prostatitis.


Content licensed from:

Written by: MaryAnn DePietro
Published on: Sep 06, 2013
Medically reviewed on: Sep 06, 2013: George Krucik, MD, MBA

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.
health
TOOLS
Symptom Search
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Drug Interaction Checker
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Pill Identifier
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Drugs A-Z
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.

 

 

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Denny's Ranchero Tilapia

Members save 15% all day, every day when dining at participating Denny's restaurants.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can locate discounts via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

AARP FIGHTS FOR YOU
ADVOCACY & PROGRAMS

African American, Asian Community Page

AARP In Your Corner

Visit Black Community, Español  and Asian Community pages.

AARP Drivers Safety logo

Driver Safety Program

Register at a location near you to keep your driving skills sharp. 

Create the Good

Create The Good 

Find opportunities to volunteer in your neighborhood. 

AARP Drive to End Hunger Logo

Drive to End Hunger

NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon teams up with AARP Foundation. 

 

Green Dot Prepaid Card

Prepaid MasterCard

AARP Foundation Prepaid MasterCard brought to you by Green Dot.

Most Popular

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed