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Ryan Mauck, M.D. Answers Questions On Prostatitis

Ryan Mauck, M.D. Answers Questions On: Prostatitis

What is prostatitis?

Prostatitis is infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. It’s the most common urologic diagnosis in men younger than 50, affecting approximately 5 percent of 20- to 50-year-old men. In men 50 and older, it is the third most common urologic diagnosis, after benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate, or BPH) and prostate cancer.

Are there different types of prostatitis?

Yes. Prostatitis is broken down into four categories.

Acute bacterial prostatitis is associated with purulent (pus-containing) prostatic fluid; signs of systemic infection such as fever, chills, and sepsis; and positive bacterial cultures.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is diagnosed in patients who have purulent prostatic fluid and positive bacterial cultures but no signs of systemic infection.

Inflammatory chronic pelvic pain syndrome is associated with purulent prostatic fluid and negative bacterial cultures. Noninflammatory chronic pelvic pain syndrome is associated with non-purulent prostatic fluid and negative bacterial cultures.

What are the symptoms of prostatitis?

Prostatitis typically causes suprapubic, testicular, penile, urethral, and/or perineal pain, as well as difficulty urinating, including obstructive and irritating voiding symptoms.

How is prostatitis treated?

Treatment options include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, BPH medications (to help with voiding symptoms), and, in some cases, surgery.

Bacterial prostatitis can cause serious systemic infection and should be treated with antibiotics, but some cases of nonbacterial prostatitis can be treated conservatively or even resolve on their own with time.

Conservative ways to manage prostatitis include physical therapy, prostatic massage, and frequent ejaculation.

Does having prostatitis put men at greater risk for other prostate conditions?

There’s currently no clear evidence that prostatitis is linked to other urologic diseases, but researchers are investigating potential links between chronic prostate inflammation and BPH and prostate cancer.