Infection on the prostate glands is described as prostatitis. It can be bacterial infection or just inflammation. It is one of the common problems in men below 50 years. Prostatitis can occur at any age but it is frequently found in young aged and middle aged men. This infection on the prostate gland can be either acute or chronic. At some point of their life, about 10-15% of all men experience prostatitis. Chronic (long lasting) prostatitis can cause repeated bladder infection.
Prostate gland is roughly walnut sized gland and is part and parcel of male reproductive system. It is found below the bladder and placed in front of the rectum. The major function of prostate gland is to produce semen so that it gets transported through the urethra.
Prostatitis Types :
- Acute Prostatitis :
It can cause sudden inflammation of prostate gland due to bacterial infection. The affected men would have increased urge to pass urine with sudden increased output of urine. They might have pelvic pain accompanied with symptoms like fever, chills and burning pain while passing urine. This type of prostatitis requires immediate treatment since it can cause bladder infection if left untreated. In severe cases, the patient will be hospitalized and treated with IV fluids and antibiotics.
- Chronic Prostatitis :
This type may last for many months causing repeated urinary tract infection. The symptoms are the same as acute prostatitis but it is less severe and hence difficult to be diagnosed. Oral antibiotics are prescribed for several weeks in this case.
- Nonbacterial Chronic Prostatitis :
This is the most common type of prostatitis occurring in most of the men. Major symptoms include urinary infection, pain in the genital areas and pelvic pain. It can cause inflammation of prostate gland.
Exact cause of prostatitis is not known and still it is not clear why some men are getting infected and others not. Bacterial infection of prostatitis can occur when the bacteria gains entry into the prostate gland when there is backward flow of infected urine in the urethra. There is little chance that bacterial infection can take place through sex.
Risk Factors :
Men who often involve in rectal intercourse, men with family history of prostatitis, men having frequent urinary tract infection, men who have used urinal catheter recently, men with enlarged prostate gland and men having abnormal function of urinary tract have increased risk of developing prostatitis.
Most of the time, chronic type of prostatitis will not show any symptoms. Acute type may cause sudden symptoms and they are severe. Prostatitis can cause difficulty in urinating, burning pain while passing urine, sudden urge to urinate and plenty of visits to toilet (especially during night). Some men may develop sudden fever, chills with nausea and vomiting sensation. It can also cause pain in the pelvic floor, pain in the groin and enlargement of prostate gland. Some men may get pain while ejaculation and sexual intercourse.
Chronic prostatitis may go unnoticed in many cases. Testing procedure for prostatitis include rectal examination through digital instruments and ultrasound scan. If necessary of prostate fluid is collected and tested in the lab to confirm the presence of bacteria.
Urologists are experts for treating prostatitis. Your specialist should be sure that the symptoms are due to prostatitis are not due to other causes like urethra infection. Acute prostatitis (in severe cases) will be treated in the hospital by giving intravenous antibiotics. For chronic prostatitis oral antibiotics are prescribed for long term (12-15 weeks).
Sitting in the sitz bath can give you comfort and relief from pain. Muscle relaxant drugs and pain killers are also effective in treating the symptoms of pelvic pain and discomfort. If the infection of prostate gland is severe, your surgeon would remove the infected part of the gland through surgery. This is the last option if the prostatitis is chronic and blocks the urine output. Non-infectious prostatitis can be treated with alpha blockers like Cardura or Hytrin.
Home Remedies :
- Avoid taking alcohol. Avoid having spicy and oily foods.
- Avoid riding a bicycle and horse riding, since it may worsen the pain.
- Complete the course of medication as prescribed by your doctor, even if the symptoms are not there.
Severe form of prostatitis can block the normal output of urine causing urinary retention and kidney damage. In some cases, it can lead to infertility. Sometimes, the infection (left untreated) may spread into the blood stream causing sepsis. In rare cases it can be fatal.
Acute prostatitis can be dangerous and must be treated promptly. Chronic type can cause long term symptoms and the person should continue taking treatment and follow ups. Prostatitis does not cause prostate cancer.