This is a health condition that causes inflammation of the prostate gland. It is also a frequent and painful condition that in some cases can affect tissues around the prostate. Some people may experience asymptomatic (without any symptoms) inflammatory prostatitis. Physicians usually diagnose this type of prostatitis when doing tests for other reproductive or urinary tract disorders.

Experts classified prostatitis into 4 types. For example:

  • Chronic prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome)
  • Acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis
  • Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis


This gland is a part of the reproductive system of males. It is responsible for making fluid that goes to semen, which is vital for male fertility. The prostate is surrounded by the urethra. In addition, the gland contains two or more lobes covered by an outer layer of tissue. The urethra is a tube that helps urine go outside the body. However, the semen also goes through this tube out of the penis.


The prostatitis causes are different because it depends on the prostatitis type you experience. For example, the exact cause of chronic prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome) is not known but experts think it is caused by a microorganism. Additionally, this type of prostatitis can be related to certain chemicals in the urine and the response of the immune system to previous urinary tract infections (UTIs) or nerve damage.

About acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis are caused by a bacterial infection. The only difference between them is that acute bacterial prostatitis occurs suddenly and lasts usually short periods of time. In any case, the chronic form of this condition often happens slowly and can last for years. Mostly, these conditions occur when the bacteria goes from the urethra into the prostate gland.

Who’s More Prone to Develop Prostatitis?

The risk factors usually are different, depending on the type of prostatitis. For example, nerve damage in the lower urinary tract caused by trauma or surgery and psychological stress can elevate your risk of developing chronic prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome). On the other hand, those who suffer from lower UTIs are more likely to experience acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis.


The symptoms that people experience often are different because it depends on the type of prostatitis they experience, other existing health conditions, and other factors. Moreover, some prostatitis symptoms are very similar to other medical conditions. The most common chronic prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome) is pain and discomfort that lasts at least 3 months in the following regions:

  • The scrotum
  • Between the anus and scrotum
  • The lower back
  • The penis
  • Central lower abdomen

Another common symptom is pain during or after ejaculation that can spread around the pelvic area. Check below other symptoms:

  • Urethra pain, especially during urination
  • Pain in the penis
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden urge to urinate
  • Weak or interrupted urine stream

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

The symptoms of this type of prostatitis are more severe and can appear suddenly. It is advised to get medical attention right away if you experience any of the following symptoms. Examples include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Urinary urgency or frequency
  • Burning feeling or pain when urinating (pee)
  • Pain that occurs in the genital area, groin, lower abdomen, or lower back
  • Body aches
  • Urinating problems
  • Urinary retention or blockage
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent urination during sleep (nocturia)

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

However, symptoms of this type of prostatitis are not as severe as those noticed in people with acute bacterial prostatitis. Furthermore, these symptoms can come and go or be mild every time. Check below some examples:

  • Pain ejaculation
  • Urinary retention or blockage
  • UTIs
  • Weak urine stream
  • Pain

In case you experience any of the previous symptoms or any others, do not hesitate to see a doctor.


Healthcare professionals usually perform a physical examination, and medical tests, and will ask you questions about your and your family’s medical history. Personal and family history is the first thing that could help your doctor to diagnose prostatitis. Physical examinations are done to check for discharge from the urethra, enlarged or tender lymph nodes in the groin, and swollen scrotum. Additionally, they can perform a rectal examination to check the prostate gland. Doctors can perform a rectal examination for males 40 or older, not necessarily with urinary problems.

In case your physician is not sure you have prostatitis, you may need to do some tests that will help to confirm the condition. Examples include urinalysis, blood tests, urodynamic tests, cystoscopy, transrectal ultrasound, biopsy, and semen analysis.


Like symptoms, treatments are different among people. Check below some examples:

Chronic Prostatitis or Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome

The goal of this treatment is to relieve pain, inflammation, and discomfort. Check below some medications that can be prescribed by urologists:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium, and others.
  • Silodosin
  • 5-alpha reductase inhibitors including Finasteride, Dutasteride, and others.
  • Glycosaminoglycan
  • CANS including Chondroitin Sulfate
  • Muscle relaxants (such as Cyclobenzaprine and Clonazepam)
  • Neuromodulators (including Nortriptyline, Pregabalin, Amitriptyline, and others)

Your healthcare provider may suggest some additional treatment options along with medications. Examples include:

  • Warm baths
  • Local heat therapy
  • Physical therapies (including Kegel exercises, myofascial release, relaxation exercises, and others)
  • Biofeedback
  • Phytotherapy with certain plant extracts (including bee pollen, saw palmetto, quercetin, and others)
  • Acupuncture

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

Usually, doctors treat this prostatitis type with antibiotics. The antibiotic type depends on the bacteria that provokes this condition. The duration of the treatment is commonly 14 days. However, some urologists recommend using antibiotics for 6-8 weeks because it will help to prevent the return of the condition.

In severe cases of acute bacterial prostatitis, an individual may need to stay in a hospital for several days. Doctors will give you intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Thereafter, you should continue the treatment for 2-4 weeks with oral antibiotics. Healthcare professionals also advise you to avoid certain substances that could irritate your bladder (including caffeine drinks, alcohol, acidic and spicy foods, and others) and drink plenty of water (64-128 ounces daily) during treatment.

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

Mostly, doctors prescribe a low dose of antibiotics for a long period (up to 6 months) because it helps to prevent recurrent infections. However, they can prescribe you a combination of antibiotics and suggest reducing the amount of liquids that irritate your bladder. Additionally, urologists can also prescribe alpha-blockers that are effective in the treatment of chronic prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome) to treat urinary retention. These drugs help to relax the bladder muscles and relieve the symptoms (including painful urination).

Frequently Asked Questions

What are possible prostatitis complications?

If you ignore this condition and experience it for long periods of time, you may notice certain complications. Examples include:

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Inflammation of other reproductive organs and tissues near the prostate gland
  • Prostatic abscess
  • A bacterial infection that goes into the bloodstream

However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately because it may mean you have a more serious health condition than prostatitis. For example:

  • Complete inability to urinate
  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Sudden urge to urinate
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Bloody urine
  • Abdominal or urinary tract discomfort or pain

How common is prostatitis?

This is considered one of the most common urinary tract problems for males younger than 50 years old. Approximately 2 million prostatitis cases are diagnosed each year in the United States.

Can prostatitis be cured?

Yes, even prostate cancer is highly curable with early diagnosis and treatment. Ask your healthcare professional if you have additional questions.

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