Prostatitis - bacterial
Prostatitis is swelling of the prostate gland. Prostate tissue becomes inflamed. This problem can be caused by an infection with bacteria.
Acute prostatitis starts quickly and chronic prostatitis lasts for 3 months or more.
Ongoing irritation of the prostate that is not caused by bacteria is called chronic nonbacterial prostatitis.
Chronic prostatitis - bacterial; Acute prostatitis
Any bacteria that can cause a urinary tract infection can cause acute bacterial prostatitis.
In men over age 35, E. coli and other common bacteria most often cause prostatitis. This type of prostatitis may begin in the:
Acute prostatitis may also be caused by problems with the urethra or prostate, such as:
Men age 50 or older who have an enlarged prostate have a higher risk for prostatitis. The prostate gland may become blocked. This makes it easier for bacteria to grow. Symptoms of chronic prostatitis can be similar to symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland.
Symptoms can start quickly, and can include:
Symptoms of chronic prostatitis are similar, but not as severe. They often begin more slowly. Some people have no symptoms between episodes of prostatitis.
Urinary symptoms include:
Other symptoms that may occur with this condition:
Exams and Tests
During a physical exam, your health care provider may find:
The provider may perform a digital rectal exam to examine your prostate. During this exam, the provider inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. The exam should be done very gently to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria into the blood stream.
The exam may reveal that the prostate is:
Prostatitis may affect the results of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a blood test to screen for prostate cancer.
Antibiotics are often used to treat prostate infections.
Often, the infection will not go away even after taking antibiotics for a long time. Your symptoms may come back when you stop the medicine.
If your swollen prostate gland makes it hard to empty your bladder, you may need a tube to empty it. The tube may be inserted through your abdomen (suprapubic catheter) or from inside your body (indwelling catheter).
To care for prostatitis at home:
Get checked by your provider after you finish taking your antibiotic treatment to make sure the infection is gone.
Acute prostatitis should go away with medicine and minor changes to your diet and behavior.
Acute prostatitis may come back or turn into chronic prostatitis.
Complications may include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider if you have symptoms of prostatitis.
Not all types of prostatitis can be prevented.
Practice safe sex behaviors.
Kaplan SA. Benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 129.
Nickel JC. In: Wein AJ, ed. Prostatitis and related conditions, orchitis, and epididymitis. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 11.
Review Date: 8/31/2015
Reviewed By: Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist at the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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