Chronic prostatitis/pelvic pain syndrome is an inflammation of the prostate that causes pain in the abdomen, testicles, tip of the penis, urination problems, and painful ejaculation. It is the most common type of prostatitis. It cause often cannot be determined. Bacteria are usually not detected in the urine, and fever or other signs of an infection are not present. Chronic prostatitis/pelvic pain syndrome used to be called nonbacterial prostatitis.
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.
There are 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 urinate.
- 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 often.
- A feeling of not completely emptying your bladder.
- 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. 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.
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 bladder muscles.
Surgery is rarely used to treat prostatitis.
Nonbacterial prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate not due to bacterial infection. The prostate is a walnut-sized organ below the male bladder that surrounds the urethra and contributes fluid to the semen.
Nonbacterial prostatitis is typically a chronic, painful disease. The symptoms including chills, fever, pain in the lower back and genital area, body aches, burning or painful urination, and the frequent and urgent need to urinate and the symptoms characteristically go away and then come back without warning. The urine and fluid from the prostate show no evidence of a known infecting organism, but the semen and other fluids from the prostate contain cells that the body usually produces to fight infection.
Treatment with antibiotics and drugs that relax the muscles of the prostate gland is often tried and commonly fails. This form of prostatitis is the most common (and least understood) type of prostatitis. It occurs in association with other diseases such as Reiter syndrome (arthritis, conjunctivitis [eye inflammation] and inflammation of the genital and urinary systems).
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