There are many factors that can lead to the development of prostatitis. This condition may be brought on by a bacterial infection. Prostatitis caused by bacteria may be chronic or acute.
An acute infection can occur when bacteria from the urinary tract find their way into the prostate. For a chronic infection, which is more common in older men, it is a milder version that can come and go over time, making the condition more difficult to diagnose.
Prostatitis is not always caused by infection. In fact, the most common type is chronic prostatitis. Damage or injury to the area may play a role, as can some immune system disorders. While prostatitis can occur at any age, it is more common in younger men and in those who are middle aged.
Fever, chills, and generalized aches and pains are common symptoms with prostatitis caused by an infection. An individual may notice pain that occurs during urination or ejaculation. Blood may be present in urine or semen. Pain is a common symptom of prostatitis, commonly occurring in the penis, scrotum, perineum, rectum, abdomen, or lower back. Changes in urination may also signal inflammation of the prostate gland, including:
Urgency or frequency
Dribbling, hesitation, or weakened stream
Blockage or inability to urinate
A physical examination by a physician who has experience with these issues may show an inflamed or tender prostate. A urine test can be used to determine if there is any inflammation or if an infection is present. If the prostate gland is swollen, a massage may be performed to extract the fluid for examination. An individual who has no symptoms may not even realize there is a problem unless inflammation shows up during a prostate examination or with urine tests. Certain blood tests and imaging tests may also be required to make a proper diagnosis.
There are many ways that prostatitis can be treated. The therapy selected will depend on the cause of the inflammation or infection. For infection, a round of antibiotics may be prescribed for several weeks. Other medications may be used to treat symptoms of pain or swelling. Medication, massage, or relaxation techniques may be used to help with the pelvic muscles.
Changes to diet and lifestyle may also be beneficial, especially when no other cause is found to contribute to the condition. If prostatitis is caused by an abscess, surgical drainage may be necessary to reduce the pressure on the prostate and to relieve the infection.