Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
What is prostatitis?
Prostatitis is common and affects many men at
some time. Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. When part of
your body is inflamed, it is red, hot and sore. Prostatitis can cause many
symptoms. It can make it difficult or painful to urinate. It can make you have
to urinate more often. It can also give you a fever, low-back pain or pain in
your groin (the area where the legs meet your body). It may make you less
interested in having sex or unable to get an erection or keep it. Prostatitis is
easy to confuse with other infections in the urinary tract.
What is the prostate gland?
The prostate is a gland that lies just below a
man's urinary bladder. It surrounds the urethra like a donut and is in front of
the rectum. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the bladder,
through the penis and out of the body. Your doctor may check your prostate by
putting a finger into your rectum to feel the back of your prostate gland.
The prostate gland makes a fluid that provides
nutrients for sperm. This fluid makes up most of the ejaculate fluid. We do not
yet know all of the ways the prostate gland works.
What causes prostatitis?
Prostatitis is divided into categories based on
cause. Two kinds of prostatitis, acute prostatitis and chronic bacterial
prostatitis, are caused by infection of the prostate. Some kinds of prostatitis
might be caused when the muscles of the pelvis or the bladder don't work right.
How is prostatitis treated?
The treatment is based on the cause. Your doctor
may do a rectal exam and test urine samples to find out the cause.
An antibiotic is used to treat prostatitis that
is caused by an infection. You might have to take antibiotics for several weeks
or even a few months. If prostatitis is severe, you might have to go to a
hospital for treatment with fluids and antibiotics.
What if my prostatitis is not caused
Because we do not understand what causes
prostatitis without infection, it can be hard to treat. Your doctor might try an
antibiotic to treat a hidden infection. Other treatments are aimed at making you
feel better. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen or
naproxen, and hot soaking baths may help you feel better. Some men get better by
taking medicines that help the way the bladder or prostate gland work.
Can prostatitis be passed on during
Sometimes prostatitis is caused by a sexually
transmitted organism, such as chlamydia. However, most cases are caused by
infections that are not sexually transmitted. These infections can't be passed
on to sexual partners.
Can prostatitis come back?
Men who have had prostatitis once are more
likely to get it again. Antibiotics may not get into the prostate gland well.
Small amounts of bacteria might "hide" in the prostate and not be killed by the
antibiotic. Once you stop taking the antibiotic, the infection can get bad
again. If this happens, you might have to take antibiotics for a long time to
prevent another infection. Prostatitis that is not caused by infection is often
chronic. If you have this kind of prostatitis, you might have to take medicine
for a long time.
Should I have my prostate gland
taken out if I have prostatitis?
Prostatitis can usually be treated with
medicine. Most of the time, surgery is not needed.
Does prostatitis cause cancer?
Although prostatitis can cause you trouble, it
does not cause cancer. There is a blood test some doctors use for prostate
cancer called the prostate-specific antigen test (called the PSA, for short). If
you have prostatitis, your PSA level might go up. This does not mean you have
cancer. Your doctor will treat your prostatitis and may check your PSA level