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Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a rare condition that causes recurring infections in the prostate and results in swelling, inflammation, and frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). The prostate is a small gland located directly below the bladder in men.
Even with treatment, bacteria may still survive in the prostate and symptoms often return. Prolonged use of antibiotics is often necessary to effectively treat this condition.
Bacterial infections in the prostate can be very painful. The symptoms begin slowly and last three months or longer. See your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
Serious complications can arise if an infection isn’t properly treated. Complications include:
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Even when the primary symptoms of infection have been treated, bacteria may continue to thrive in the prostate.
Causes of infection include:
Certain factors put men at risk for developing this condition, such as:
To make a diagnosis, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam to look for swollen lymph nodes near the groin or fluid discharge from the urethra.
Your doctor will also perform a rectal exam to examine the prostate. During this test, your doctor will insert a lubricated and gloved finger into your rectum to look for signs of infection, such as a soft or enlarged prostate.
Your doctor may also perform the following tests:
Antibiotics are the main course of treatment for this condition. They’re usually taken for four to six weeks. However, because the infection can return, you may need to take antibiotics for 12 weeks or longer. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up exam once you’ve finished treatment to ensure that the infection is completely gone.
It may take six months to a year for symptoms to go away completely. In the meantime, certain home remedies may be able to ease your symptoms. Home remedies include:
You may need additional treatment in the following rare cases:
This condition is very treatable. Unfortunately, it’s very common for the infection to come back. Make sure to schedule follow-up appointments with your doctor, so that they can make sure your treatments are effective.
Written by: Julie Roddick
Medically reviewed on: Jan 20, 2016: Mark R Laflamme, MD
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