Prostatitis - Topic Overview
What is prostatitis?
Prostatitis is swelling or
infection of the
prostate gland. It often hurts. The
prostate gland sits just below a man's bladder and makes part of the fluid for
semen. In young men, the prostate is about the size of
a walnut. It usually grows larger as you grow older.
several types of prostatitis. They vary based on how long a man has had the
problem and what kind of symptoms he has.
What causes prostatitis?
Sometimes prostatitis is
caused by bacteria, but often the cause is not known.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of long-term
(chronic) prostatitis are often mild and start slowly over weeks or months.
They may include:
- An urge to urinate often. But you may pass
only small amounts of urine.
- A burning pain when you
- A problem starting the urine stream, urinating in waves
rather than in a steady stream, urine flow that is weaker than normal, and
dribbling after urinating.
- Waking up at night to urinate
- A feeling of not completely emptying your
- Pain in your lower back, in the area between the
testicles and anus, in the lower belly or upper thighs, or above the pubic
area. Pain may be worse during a bowel movement.
- Some pain during
or after ejaculation.
- Pain in the tip of your penis.
Symptoms of acute prostatitis are the same, but they
start suddenly and are severe. They may also include a fever and chills.
Some men may have no symptoms.
How is prostatitis diagnosed?
A doctor can often
tell if you have prostatitis by asking about your symptoms and past health. He
or she will also do a physical exam, including a
digital rectal exam. In this test, the doctor puts a
gloved, lubricated finger in your rectum to feel your prostate. You may also
need blood and urine tests to find out which type of prostatitis you have or to
look for another cause of your problems.
How is it treated?
Prostatitis caused by bacteria
is treated with antibiotics and self-care. If it is not caused by bacteria, it
usually gets better with home treatment.
Home treatment includes
drinking plenty of fluids and getting lots of rest. Taking
over-the-counter pain relievers can also help.
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to control pain and reduce swelling.
He or she may also prescribe medicine to soften your stool and relax your
Surgery is rarely used to treat prostatitis.
Frequently Asked Questions