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Prostatitis is an infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. Nearly 50% of men will have some form of prostatitis in their lifetime. Prostatitis does not increase a man's risk of developing prostate cancer.
There are different types of prostatitis:
- acute bacterial prostatitis
- This is a prostate infection caused by bacteria.
- The symptoms of the infection start suddenly and may be very severe.
- A man with acute bacterial prostatitis may be so ill that he may have to be hospitalized.
- chronic bacterial prostatitis
- This is a chronicchronicOccurring slowly, lasting a long time or progressing very gradually. prostate infection caused by bacteria.
- The symptoms do not start suddenly, and they are not as severe as in acute bacterial prostatitis.
- non-bacterial prostatitis
- This is inflammation of the prostate.
- The cause of inflammation is not known.
- chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) – also called pelvic floor myalgia or prostatodynia
- CPPS is not caused by an infection or inflammation of the prostate.
- It is a chronic painful condition. The man may have pain in the pelvis.
- It occurs mostly in younger men.
The following risk factors may increase a man's chance of developing prostatitis:
- unprotected sex
- enlarged prostate
- trauma, prostate biopsy or surgery
- bladder outflow obstruction
- passing a catheter or cystoscope into the urethra
Signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms of prostatitis may include:
- fever, chills and malaisemalaiseA general feeling of discomfort or illness. caused by bacterial infection in the prostate
- blood in the urine (hematuria)
- burning or pain during urination
- pain with ejaculation
- pain in the genital area, lower abdomen and back
- change in bladder habits
- need to urinate often (frequency)
- intense need to urinate (urgency)
- decreased urinary stream
If the signs and symptoms of prostatitis are present, or if the doctor suspects prostatitis, tests will be done to make a diagnosis. Tests may include:
- physical examination, including a digital rectal examination (DRE)
- The prostate may be tender or enlarged when examined.
- urinalysis and culture of any bacteria found in the urine
- prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test which may often be increased
- bladder imaging studies using ultrasound or xray to see if the man is emptying his bladder well enough
Treatment options for prostatitis may include:
- antibiotics – to fight bacterial infections
- alpha-adrenergic blockers – to relax the muscles near the prostate to relieve pressure on the urethra and allow urine to flow more easily
- supportive pain control measures, such as:
- fever or pain medication, hydration (intravenous and oral fluids) and stool softeners
- relaxation exercises for the muscles of the pelvic floor
- warm baths that cover just the hips and buttocks (sitz bath) to relieve pain and discomfort
- TURP – to drain a prostatic abscess
The role of diet changes like avoiding alcohol, spicy food and caffeine in the treatment of prostatitis is not known. The role of frequent ejaculation in the treatment of prostatitis is unknown.
Seeing my sister Erin – a young mother – struggle with the emotional blow and then the physical toll of cancer treatment made me want to do something to help women feel confident.
Facing the financial burden of cancer
The Canadian Cancer Society provides helpful information about government income programs, financial resources and other resources available to families struggling to make sense of the personal financial burden they face.