Prostatitis is swelling or inflammation of the prostate gland. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is involved in the production of semen. It is located below a man’s bladder, in front of the rectum.
There are 4 types of prostatitis:
- Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis: The most common type of prostatitis. It may be associated with a viral infection or autoimmune disorder.
- Acute bacterial prostatitis: The least common type of prostatitis. It starts quickly and is usually associated with a bladder infection, high fever, and shaking chills. It can occur at any age.
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis: This type usually results from acute bacterial prostatitis that happens repeatedly or has not been treated properly. It can occur in men of any age, but is most common among middle-aged men whose prostate has begun to get larger. The symptoms are not as severe as symptoms caused by acute bacterial prostatitis.
- Prostatodynia or chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS): This type is also called pelvic floor disorder. It is associated with increased muscular tone in the pelvis surrounding the prostate.
Bacterial prostatitis is caused by infection from bacteria. Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis may be caused by:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Nerve damage.
- A response by the body’s disease-fighting system (autoimmune response).
- Chemicals in the urine.
- The causes of the other types of prostatitis are usually not known.
If you have acute bacterial prostatitis, you may experience:
- Painful urination.
- Burning during urination.
- Frequent and sudden urges to urinate.
- Inability to start urinating.
- A weak or interrupted stream of urine.
- Inability to empty the bladder completely.
- Pain in the:
- Muscles or joints.
- Lower back.
- Lower abdomen.
If you have any of the other types of prostatitis, you may experience:
- Sudden urges to urinate.
- Frequent urination.
- Difficulty starting urination.
- Weak urine stream.
- Dribbling after urination.
- Discharge from the urethra.
- Pain in the:
- Penis or tip of the penis.
- Area in front of the rectum and below the scrotum (perineum).
- Problems with sexual function.
- Painful ejaculation.
- Bloody semen.
- A physical and medical exam.
- Your symptoms.
- A urine test to check for bacteria.
- An exam in which a health care provider uses a finger to feel the prostate (digital rectal exam).
- A test of a sample of semen.
- Blood tests.
- Removal of prostate tissue to be examined under a microscope (biopsy).
- Tests to check how your body handles urine (urodynamic tests).
- A test to look inside your bladder or urethra (cystoscopy).
Depending on the type of prostatitis, treatment may involve:
- Medicines to relieve pain or inflammation.
- Medicines to help relax your muscles.
- Physical therapy.
- Heat therapy.
- Techniques to help you control certain body functions (biofeedback).
- Relaxation exercises.
- Antibiotic medicine, if your condition is caused by bacteria.
- Warm water baths (sitz baths). Sitz baths help with relaxing your pelvic floor muscles, which helps to relieve pressure on the prostate.
Follow these instructions at home:
- Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.
- If you were prescribed an antibiotic, take it as told by your health care provider. Do not stop taking the antibiotic even if you start to feel better.
- If physical therapy, biofeedback, or relaxation exercises were prescribed, do exercises as instructed.
- Take sitz baths as directed by your health care provider. For a sitz bath, sit in warm water that is deep enough to cover your hips and buttocks.
- Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider.
Contact a health care provider if:
- Your symptoms get worse.
- You have a fever.
Seek immediate treatment if:
- You have chills.
- You feel nauseous.
- You vomit.
- You feel light-headed or feel like you are going to faint.
- You are unable to urinate.
- You have blood or blood clots in your urine.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider.