Prostatitis

The prostate gland is found in men and is located just below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. Its main use is to mix semen and sperm, protecting the sperm as it travels towards fertilizing an egg. When this gland becomes inflamed and swollen, this condition is known as prostatitis. The term prostatitis is used as a general term to describe this inflammation although the causes of the inflammation may differ.

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Types, Causes and Symptoms of Prostatitis

When the prostate is inflamed, urination is difficult and painful. Men who have prostatitis will also experience symptoms in adjacent parts of the body like the wider pelvic area, genitals and the rectal region. This pain can either come on swiftly with other symptoms or develop gradually. In some cases, the pain is persistent though dull, which is consistent with chronic prostatitis. If you are experiencing pain in your groin area, it is important to first rule out common causes of such pain like UTIs. In some cases, a UTI can cause prostatitis.

As a group of conditions all affecting the prostate, prostatitis can be caused by a range of factors. These factors determine the type of prostatitis you have.

The following are the types of prostatitis based on the cause:

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

As the name suggests, this type of prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection originating from anywhere in the urinary tract. ABP catches on quickly and is accompanied by symptoms that can include chills and high fever, muscular pain and joint pain, a dull pain at the base of your penis and behind your scrotum, bowel movement urge, lower back pain and difficulty urinating. This is a serious condition, so if you notice any of these symptoms, contact your urologist immediately.

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

This type is more prevalent in older men and comes as a milder infection compared to acute bacterial prostatitis. Symptoms are also milder and can last for months on end without getting better or worse. In some cases, it develops after a UTI or ABP. Sometimes the symptoms may be intermittent, making it hard to diagnose the condition effectively. Symptoms include urgency to urinate, difficult and painful urination, post-ejaculatory pain, lower back pain, bloody semen, a UTI and a blocked urethra (urinary blockage.)

Chronic Prostatic/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS)

While this type shares many characteristics with bacterial prostatitis, when tests are done, no bacteria are found to be present. It is not clear what causes CP/CPPS, but some trigger factors have been identified as linked to increased risk. These include nerve damage, injury, and stress. Immune disorders and IBS have also been linked to the condition. The only symptom of CP/CPPS is pain that lasts more than 3 months in your penis, scrotum lower abdomen, perineum, or lower back.

Asymptomatic Prostatitis

A person with this condition will have an inflamed prostate but no symptoms. While treatment for prostatitis may not seem necessary, the condition can result in infertility if left untreated. For this reason, regular prostate exams are recommended.

Types, Causes, and Symptoms of Prostatitis

How to Reduce the Risk of Getting Prostatitis

It is not clear whether it is possible to completely prevent prostatitis. However, as the condition involves the inflammation of the prostate gland, measures can be taken to prevent the physical injury of the gland as well as infection.

Reducing the risk of getting prostatitis involves:

  • Get any urinary tract infections treated as a matter of urgency. In many cases, prostatitis occurs due to poorly managed urinary tract infections.
  • Wear a groin guard. This will protect your groin area from physical trauma when engaging in sports or any other contact activities.
  • Use a well-padded seat when cycling.
  • Take enough fluids to keep your bladder flushed and free from concentrated urine, which can irritate and inflame the lower urinary tract.
  • Finish your medication if you are being treated for acute bacterial prostatitis or a UTI. Poor compliance can lead to chronic bacterial prostatitis.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking has been shown to weaken the immune system.
  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake. Both have been linked to an irritated bladder and increased production of urine.
  • While prevention may not be guaranteed, these steps can help either reduce the risk of getting prostatitis or ensure you heal completely if you already have the condition.

When to See an Atlanta Doctor for Prostatitis

If you have the following symptoms of prostatitis, you should see your doctor immediately:

  • Dysuria (pain or a burning feeling when passing water)
  • Challenges when starting to urinate such as dribbling
  • Nocturia (frequent nighttime visits to the toilet)
  • An urgent need to urinate
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Consistent or intermittent pain in the areas of the abdomen, lower back, and groin
  • Pain in the perineum
  • Painful penis or testicles
  • Pain during or after ejaculation
  • Flu-like symptoms including a high fever, muscle aches, chills, and joint pain
  • A pulling sensation just behind your scrotum
  • Inability to urinate (this is an emergency)

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What to Expect When Seeking Treatment Prostatitis

Diagnosing prostatitis involves two steps: one, to rule out any other causes for your symptoms and two, to isolate which type of prostatitis you have. In the first step, tests that may be ordered include:

  • Urinalysis to rule out any infections in the urinary tract
  • Blood tests to rule out infections and other prostate conditions
  • Prostatic fluid testing
  • Imaging such as a CT scan to evaluate your urinary tract and prostate gland

By the second step, the doctor will know your prostate is the cause of your symptoms. They will then order further tests to determine what type of prostatitis you have. This will determine the course of treatment taken.

Prostatitis Treatments

Depending on the type of prostatitis you have and prostatitis ICD 10 guidelines, your doctor may prescribe one of the following prostatitis medications:

  • Antibiotics – As most prostatitis cases are bacterial in nature, antibiotics provide the most effective means of treatment. Depending on what type of bacteria is involved, your doctor will prescribe the appropriate antibiotics.
  • Alpha blockers – If your prostate is both inflamed and enlarged, these drugs will help relax the muscles around your bladder area, helping alleviate your symptoms.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – These may help provide prostatitis relief.

What to Expect When Seeking Treatment Prostatitis