Prostatitis – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

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Prostatitis is the inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland, which is an oval-shaped walnut-sized gland located in front of the rectum and underneath the bladder.

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The prostate gland is composed of the male reproductive system; It envelops the urethra, the tube through which urine and semen leave the body. Its fundamental function is to produce seminal fluid to carry sperm through the urethra

This inflammation can be caused by many things, which include infection as well as other things. Studies have estimated that ten to twelve percent of all men experience prostatitis symptoms, Prostatitis occurs predominantly in men of all ages but tends to be more prevalent in men of 50 years or younger.

This condition, which has several causes, often these cause can be unknown. If a bacterial infection causes prostatitis, it is usually treated with antibiotics.

Depending on the cause, prostatitis can come on gradually or suddenly. It might improve quickly, either on its own or with treatment. Some sorts of prostatitis last for months or keep recurring (chronic prostatitis).

Prostatitis can be a chronic or acute condition. The NIH defines and classifies prostatitis into:

Acute bacterial prostatitis that’s caused by a bacterial infection, and it generally starts abruptly and may include flu-like symptoms. This is the least common of the four classifications of prostatitis.

Acute prostatitis occurs when the prostate gland becomes suddenly swollen. Acute prostatitis is typically caused by an equivalent bacteria that cause tract infections (UTIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Bacteria can visit the prostate from the blood. It can enter the prostate during or after a medical procedure, such as a biopsy. It also can be caused by infections in other parts of your genitourinary tract.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is characterized by recurrent bacterial infections of the prostate gland. With minor or no symptoms, it is a rare condition that can cause reoccurring infections in the prostate and results in inflammation, swelling, and periodic urinary tract infections (UTIs).

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Even with treatment, bacteria may persist, and symptoms often return. Extended use of antibiotics is crucial to resolve this condition effectively

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome can be illustrated as inflammatory or noninflammatory, depending upon the existence or absence of infection-fighting cells in the semen, prostatic fluid, and urine: which most times cannot be linked to any specific cause.

The symptoms can come and go or remain critically, which can continue for three months or longer. It is usually painful and can affect sexual function and the ability to urinate.

Many health issues, including recurrent bacterial infections and damage to the nerves or muscles in the pelvic area, can cause this type of prostatitis.

Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis is a condition often diagnosed serendipitously during examinations for infertility or prostate cancer. People with this form of prostatitis will not complain of symptoms or discomfort because of the presence of infection-fighting cells present prostatic fluid.

If one has any of the signs or symptoms consistent with prostatitis, one should see a health care professional for further examination. Depending on the symptoms and response to therapy, The doctor may need to refer one to a urologist (a physician that specializes in the genitourinary system)

Prostatitis can be diagnosed by examining a urine sample and carrying out an examination of the prostate gland by a health care practitioner.

This examination involves a digital rectal exam to examine the prostate gland by feeling it for anomalies of the gland. Sometimes, the physician may also collect and test a sample of the prostatic fluid.

Occasionally a prostate massage is conducted to compare samples of the prostatic fluid before and after the intervention has been performed.

To perform this procedure, the doctor will massage the prostate gland during the digital rectal examination. Because there is the suspicion that this method can release bacteria into the bloodstream, this test is inadvisable in cases of acute bacterial prostatitis.

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Additional tests that may be carried out which can include a blood culture, complete blood count, a swab of urethral discharge if possible, and even a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level: this test is used as a screening test for prostate cancer, may also be heightened with prostatitis.

Other tests like ultrasound imaging, computed tomography imaging, urodynamic tests, prostate biopsy, and cystoscopy can be obtained.

If repeated occurrences of urinary tract infections and prostatitis occur, one should see a doctor for a more detailed examination and assessment of the genitourinary system for anatomic irregularities, which may make one more susceptible to infections

Signs and Symptoms of Prostatitis

The symptoms attributed to prostatitis can differ depending on the underlying cause of prostatitis.

The symptoms may appear gradually or quickly, and they may improve rapidly (depending on the cause and treatment available), or they may linger for several months, and they can keep recurring.

The rapidity and stringency are usually extensively noticeable with acute bacterial prostatitis. The following are signs and symptoms that can be present with prostatitis:

  • Painful, severe or frequent urinating
  • Urethral discharge
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Malaise and body aches
  • Chills and fever
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • A decreased urinary stream
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Difficulty starting to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Blood in the semen
  • Discomfort during bowel movements
  • Pain above your pubic bone
  • Groin pain, rectal pain, abdominal pain, and low back pain

Causes of Prostatitis

Although causes of Prostatitis are not always clear, it can be caused by bacteria leak into the prostate gland from the urinary tract ( which is the most common bacterial cause) and from the direct extension or lymphatic spread from the rectum.

It can also stem from various sexually transmitted organisms such as Chlamydia, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, HIV, and Trichomatis, as well as other microorganisms responsible for the infection, are the same found frequently in urinary tract infections, such as Escherichia coli.

Risk Factors

Men of all ages can be affected by prostatitis, but it is more prevalent in young and middle-aged men. Other risk factors for the development of prostatitis include the following:

  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • Engaging in rectal intercourse
  • Having a recent urinary tract infection.
  • A prior history of prostatitis
  • Use of a urinary catheter or a recent urologic procedure
  • Having a structural or active urinary tract abnormality
  • Dehydration (not enough fluids)
  • Local pelvic trauma or injury

Treatment of Prostatitis and Home Remedies to Alleviate Discomfort

Treatment of prostatitis is reliant on the underlying causes. Antibiotics can be prescribed if caused by a bacterial infection. All types of prostatitis require pain relievers, treatment, relief of complications and side effects, and should be closely monitored by the doctor.

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In some instances, people with prostatitis may need to be hospitalized for treatment.

Antibiotics: The doctor might decide the specific medicine and the period of treatment. Some antibiotics can be used to treat prostatitis that is caused by an infection. Some antibiotics that might be used are doxycycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, ofloxin, ciprofloxacin, and norfloxacin. A patient might have to take antibiotics for several weeks or even months as directed by the doctor. If the case is severe, one might have to be hospitalized for treatment with fluids and antibiotics.

Anti-inflammatory medications: These can help manage the pain, these Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, and long hot soaking baths might help the patient feel better.

Alpha-blockers: this works by relaxing the muscle fibers around the bladder and prostate gland, alpha-blockers may alleviate urinary symptoms and help empty the bladder. These medicines includes terazosin, oxybutynin, prazosin, doxazosin, and tamsulosin.

In inclusion to medical treatment, natural home remedies for prostatitis can include:

Acupuncture is which is a practice that involves stimulating specific points on the body, often with a needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pains.

A person suffering from prostatitis should reduce or avoid the intake of alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.

Studies on prostate massages have been shown to decrease symptoms in some patients with chronic nonbacterial prostatitis.

Lifestyle changes: A person who has prostatitis should avoid horse riding and cycling.

Warm sitz bath which, helps clean the perineum and usually has a soothing effect.

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Complications of prostatitis may include:

  • Semen abnormalities and infertility, which can occur with chronic prostatitis
  • Inflammation of the coiled tube attached to the back of the testicle known as the epididymitis
  • Bacteremia which is the bacterial infection of the blood
  • Prostatic abscess
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Jennifer Aigbini
I am a language enthusiast, studying Linguistics at the University of Benin, in Nigeria.
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