We provide high quality care for prostatitis, which is the infection or inflammation of the prostate. Our urologists ensure a quick and effective recovery from prostatitis. We will also work on prevention methods to avoid reoccurrences and provide the best possible outcome.
About the Prostate:
Prostatitis is an infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. As a result, the inflamed prostate gland becomes tender, swollen, and painful. These pains are usually felt throughout the genital region and perineum (space between rectum and testicles). The inflammation is generally a result of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. However, it can be caused by numerous other reasons like past/recent trauma and infections elsewhere in the body. Many times, a specific cause of prostatitis cannot be identified.
In most acute bacterial cases, bacteria infiltrates the prostate from infected urine as it passes through the prostate from the bladder. Bacteria can also be introduced to the prostate by a urethral catheter.
There are 4 main types of prostatitis:
- Acute/Sudden Bacterial Prostatitis
- Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis
- Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
- Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis
Acute bacterial prostatitis tends to make men sicker than the chronic forms of prostatitis. The majority (>80%) of organisms that cause both acute and chronic prostatitis are gram negative organisms. E. coli and Pseudomonas are the most common for acute bacterial prostatitis. E. coli and enterococci are the most common for chronic bacterial prostatitis. In younger men (<35 years old), a sexually transmitted disease (Chlamydia/Gonorrhea) make up the majority of prostatitis cases. In children, viruses, such as the mumps virus, are the most common cause of prostatitis.
The prostate is a male sexual organ located just beneath the bladder. The most important function of the prostate is producing fluid for semen. The seminal fluid nurtures the sperm made in the testicles and helps transport it out of the body with ejaculation. The prostate also helps control urination, as it sits just below to the bladder. The urethra, or tube that transports urine from the bladder out through the penis, passes directly through the prostate. A normal prostate is oval shaped and about the size of a walnut.
Epidemiology of Prostatitis:
Overall, prostatitis is a very common condition. It can affect males at any age but is most common in young to middle-aged men. It is documented that well over 10% of men will have at least one sort of prostatitis in their lifetime. Some estimate this number to be even greater, closer to 50%. Prostatitis accounts for over 2 million doctor visits annually. Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome make up most prostatitis cases, accounting for 90-95% of prostatitis diagnosed. Bacterial causes of prostatitis (either acute or chronic) are estimated to account for only 2-5% of cases.
Risk Factors for Prostatitis:
Many times, the exact cause for prostatitis is not fully determined or understood. However, there are certain risk factors that may increase your chance of acquiring prostatitis. The most common risk factors include:
- Risky sexual practices: As described above, a sexually transmitted disease may cause prostatitis. Therefore, practicing safe sexual practices can reduce a man’s chances of acquiring prostatitis.
- Prostate stones
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Urinary catheter
- Enlarged prostate (BPH)
- Bike/horseback riding
- Trauma to rectal/testicular area
The symptoms of prostatitis vary from person to person. The type of prostatitis also affects the symptoms it will produce. Some men may be asymptomatic (have no symptoms at all) while others may become very ill. Nevertheless, some of the more common symptoms that men with prostatitis may experience include:
- Symptoms of urinary tract infections (urinary frequency/urgency/pain)
- Blood in urine or semen
- Pain or trouble with ejaculation
- Pain in testicles, bladder, lower abdomen, penis, groin, or perineum (area between the rectum and testicles)
- Trouble with urination
- Problems draining your bladder
- Excessive pain with defecation
How We Diagnose Prostatitis:
Prostatitis may be a clinical diagnosis, meaning it is presumed to be the causative issue even when no definitive findings are found. Our urologists may order/perform the following to diagnose prostatitis:
- History & Physical Exam
- Digital Rectal Exam: Inserting a gloved, lubricated, finger into the rectum to feel the prostate. The prostate may feel boggy and is usually more tender than normal in men with prostatitis.
- Urinalysis & Culture: Urine will almost always be positive for infection in men with bacterial prostatitis. However, because not all prostatitis is caused by bacteria, the urine may be negative for infection.
- Blood cultures/labs
- Transrectal ultrasound: An ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum to visualize the prostate.
- Cystoscopy: A look at the prostate and bladder with a small camera inserted through the urethra.
- Urodynamics: A study used to exam the function of the bladder and help determine if there is an outflow obstruction.
Although treatment depends on the type of prostatitis you have, the condition is usually treated with antibiotics, pain relievers, and fluids.