What is Prostatitis (Prostate-itis)?
It is the swelling of the prostate gland. It is a small walnut-sized gland found in men that lies between the penis and the bladder. It creates a fluid that is mixed with sperm to form semen. Prostatitis can be very painful and distressing, but it can be easily treated and is usually resolved within a few days to weeks.
- Acute bacterial prostatitis is caused by an infection in the urinary tract that spreads to the prostate gland. It is a severe condition accompanied by symptoms like high fever, chills, inability/trouble urinating, pain around the base of penis or scrotum and/or cloudy urine. If you experience any of these, seek medical help immediately.
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis is caused usually after a prolonged acute bacterial prostatitis. It is common in older men and can linger on for several months. Apart from symptoms of acute bacterial prostatitis, people also experience blood in semen, lower back pain, pain in the rectal area, and often, a urinary blockage.
- Chronic/Chronic Pelvic Pain Prostatitis is the most common type and is extremely similar to acute bacterial prostatitis, the only difference being that there is no bacterial infection. There is no certain cause for this but it is usually said to be induced by stress, nerve damage or physical injury.
- Asymptomatic prostatitis is the presence of an inflamed prostate with no symptoms. It usually does not need any kind of treatment but can lead to infertility if gone unnoticed.
The risk is greatly increased if you have previously had prostatitis, you use a urinary catheter, you suffered from a groin injury, you have had a prostate biopsy, or you have HIV/AIDS. It also has certain complications associated with it, which include a bacterial infection of the blood, infection of the epididymis (coiled tube attached to the back of the testicle), pus-filled cavity in the prostate, or semen abnormalities and infertility.
It is diagnosed by urine tests, blood tests, post-prostatic massage, and/or imaging (CT or sonography). These tests are fairly simple and often painless. It is advised to be screened for prostate inflammation every six months. Treatment often depends on the underlying cause and can include antibiotics, alpha-blockers, anti-inflammatory agents, or a combination of all.