Prostatis

This is the most common prostate condition in men under 50. In short, it is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland.

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located directly below the bladder. It produces the semen that nourishes and transports sperm. When inflamed, this prostatitis often makes it difficult or painful to urinate.

Symptoms

These vary depending on the cause, but may include

  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating (dysuria)
  • Difficulty urinating, such as dribbling or hesitant urination
  • Frequent urination, particularly at night (nocturia)
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Pain in the abdomen, groin or lower back
  • Pain in the area between the scrotum and rectum (perineum)
  • Pain or discomfort of the penis or testicles
  • Painful orgasms (ejaculations)
  • Flu-like symptoms (with bacterial prostatitis)

Prostatitis causes vary. If the cause is bacterial infection, it can usually be treated successfully. However, sometimes prostatitis isn’t caused by a bacterial infection or a cause is never identified.

Depending on the cause, prostatitis may come on gradually or suddenly. It may get better quickly, either on its own or with treatment. Some types of prostatitis last for months or more or keep recurring (chronic prostatitis).

Treatment Options

  • Antibiotics will be based on the type of bacteria that may be causing your infection. If your symptoms are severe, you may need intravenous (IV) antibiotics. You’ll likely need to take oral antibiotics for four to six weeks, but may need longer treatment for chronic or recurring prostatitis. Take all of the prescribed drugs as directed even if you’re feeling better; otherwise, treatment may not work. You may have to try one or more antibiotics even if the cause of your prostatitis can’t be identified. If antibiotics don’t help, your prostatitis is most likely caused by something other than a bacterial infection.
  • Alpha blockers help relax the bladder neck and the muscle fibers where your prostate joins your bladder. This treatment may lessen symptoms, such as painful urination. Examples include tamsulosin (Flomax), terazosin (Hytrin), alfuzosin (Uroxatral) and doxazosin (Cardura). Common side effects include headaches and a decrease in blood pressure.
  • Pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) may make you more comfortable. You should discuss with your doctor what doses you can safely take. Overusing these medications can cause problems.
  • Prostate massage is done by your physician using a lubricated, gloved finger—a procedure similar to a digital rectal exam. It may provide some symptom relief, but doctors disagree about how effective it is.

Other treatments are being studied. These treatments include heat therapy with a microwave device and drugs based on certain plant extracts.