Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Prostatitis

Prostatitis occurs when the prostate glands swells because of inflammation. Men of all ages can suffer from this condition. If an individual with acute bacterial prostatitis is not treated, it can often lead to the development of a prostatic abscess and/or of an infection of the testicle called epididymo-orchitis.

There are two types:

  • Acute Prostatitis: Comes on suddenly
  • Chronic Prostatitis: Develops slowly and lingers on for many months
man with prostatitis sitting

Causes for Prostatitis

Although a bacterial infection is the most common cause of prostatitis, it is not uncommon that an individual suffering from prostatitis may have a negative urine culture.

Symptoms of Prostatitis

Common symptoms can range from:

  • Vague flu-like symptoms
  • Groin and pelvic pain
  • Burning with urination or ejaculation
  • Fevers
  • Chills
  • Back pain

Diagnosing Prostatitis

Workup for prostatitis customarily includes a detailed history and physical examination. If an individual is suspected of suffering from a severe bacterial prostatitis, a digital rectal examination may be deferred for fear of spreading bacteria into the blood stream if direct pressure is applied to the prostate. Instead, a computerized tomography study (CAT scan) maybe ordered.

Other tests to diagnosis the condition may include:

  • Urinalysis and urine culture
  • Uroflow and postvoid residual study
  • Cystourethroscopy
  • Transrectal prostate ultrasound evaluation
  • PSA

Treatment for Prostatitis

Treatment for both chronic and acute prostatitis varies depending on severity.

In most cases, prostatitis treatment includes:

  • Antibiotics
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
  • Alpha blockers
  • Prostate massage
  • Prostate supplements such as saw palmetto
  • Avoiding sitting on hard surfaces for prolonged periods
  • Dietary changes such as limiting alcohol, caffeine, spicy or acidic foods
  • Sitz bath

Avoiding activity that places direct pressure on the perineum such as bike riding