Prostatitis is a condition which occurs as a result of the prostate being inflamed or infected. There are three main types of prostatitis; these include:
- Acute prostatitis: this is caused by a bacterial infection; it should be treated as a medical emergency
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis: this is caused by a long-term bacterial infection in the prostate gland; men with this condition may often experience urinary tract infections, as the bacteria spread to parts of the urinary tract
- Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis: little is known about this condition; the symptoms are similar to those associated with chronic non-bacterial prostatitis but no bacteria are found.
Prostatitis is not a common condition; however, unlike other conditions associated with the prostate gland, it can affect men of all ages.
Causes of prostatitis
Both acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis are caused by bacteria which enter the prostate gland; in most cases of acute prostatitis, the bacteria pass from the urethra to the prostate gland. It is not clear how bacteria associated with chronic bacterial prostatitis are passed to the prostate gland. The exact cause of chronic non-bacterial prostatitis is unknown; however experts have suggested that this form of prostatitis may be caused by underlying health conditions which affect the nervous and immune systems.
Symptoms of prostatitis
Symptoms vary according to the type of prostatitis:
- Soaring temperature
- Pain during urination
- Need to urinate regularly
- Pain in the lower back, pelvis, buttocks and genital area
- Pain during ejaculation
Chronic prostatitis: the symptoms are similar to those associated with acute prostatitis but the pain is much milder. Additional symptoms may include
- Pain in the muscles and joints
Treatment for prostatitis
Both chronic bacterial and acute prostatitis can be treated using a long course of antibiotic medication; patients will usually take antibiotics for 4 weeks. Over the counter pain relief may also be used to ease muscle and joint pain. Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis is often treated with over the counter pain relief and medication known as alpha blockers; alpha blockers help to relax the muscles around the bladder, which helps to make it easier to urinate. Many people don’t suffer any side-effects with this medication but it has been known to cause dizziness, headaches and a lack of sperm during ejaculation.