Get exclusive member benefits & effect social change. Join Today
Acute prostatitis happens when your prostate gland becomes suddenly inflamed. The prostate gland is a small, walnut-shaped organ located at the base of the bladder in men. It secretes fluid that nourishes your sperm. When you ejaculate, your prostate gland squeezes this fluid into your urethra. It makes up a large portion of your semen.
Acute prostatitis is usually caused by the same bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Bacteria can travel to your prostate from your blood. It can enter your prostate during or after a medical procedure, such as a biopsy. It can also be caused by infections in other parts of your genitourinary tract.
If you have acute prostatitis, you may develop:
Any bacteria that causes UTIs can cause prostatitis. Bacteria that commonly cause UTIs and prostatitis include:
Some bacteria that cause STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can also cause acute bacterial prostatitis. Other conditions that can lead to acute bacterial prostatitis include:
Factors that increase your risk of UTIs, STDs, and urethritis also increase your risk of acute prostatitis. For example, these risk factors include:
Other risk factors include:
Your doctor will likely start by asking questions about your medical history. They’ll also conduct a physical examination.
They’ll probably conduct a digital rectal examination (DRE). During this procedure, they’ll gently insert a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum. Your prostate is located in front of your rectum, where your doctor can easily feel it. If you have acute bacterial prostatitis, it will likely be swollen and tender.
During a DRE, your doctor may also massage your prostate to squeeze a small amount of fluid into your urethra. They can collect a sample of this fluid for testing. Laboratory technicians can check it for signs of infection
Your doctor may also feel the lymph nodes in your groin, which may be enlarged and tender.
They may also conduct or order additional tests, such as:
Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics for four to six weeks to treat acute bacterial prostatitis. Your treatment may last longer if you have recurrent episodes. The specific type of antibiotic will depend on the bacteria causing your condition.
Your doctor may also prescribe alpha-blockers to help relieve symptoms. These drugs relax your bladder muscles. They can help decrease urinary discomfort. Examples include doxazosin, terazosin, and tamsulosin. Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Your doctor may advise you to adjust your daily habits to help relieve symptoms. For example, they may encourage you to:
Acute prostatitis usually goes away with antibiotics and lifestyle adjustments. In some cases, it may recur and become chronic prostatitis. Ask your doctor for more information about your specific condition, treatment options, and outlook. They may advise you to take certain steps to lower your risk of recurring infections.
Written by: Verneda Lights
Medically reviewed on: Aug 04, 2016: Graham Rogers, MD
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.