Diseases & Conditions
What is prostatitis?
Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland and sometimes the areas around it. The prostate is a small but important gland in the male reproductive system, responsible for making fluid that protects and feeds sperm. Prostatitis is the term used when the prostate is infected, feels sore and irritated.1
What causes prostatitis?
The causes of prostatitis differ depending on the type:
Acute bacterial prostatitis is often caused by common strains of bacteria that may occur when it travels from the urethra into the prostate. Acute prostatitis happens suddenly and lasts a short time, while the chronic type develops slowly and last longer, often years.
The exact cause of this type is not clear. Scientists believe a microorganism, not bacteria, may cause the infection. This type of prostatitis may relate to chemicals in the urine, the immune system’s response to a previous urinary tract infection, or nerve damage in the pelvic area.2
What are the symptoms of prostatitis?
Symptoms of prostatitis vary depending on the cause and they can include: 3
Prostatitis can develop complications such as a bacterial infection of the bloodstream, sexual dysfunction and inflammation of the reproductive organs near the prostate
How is prostatitis diagnosed?
A urologist can diagnose prostatitis based on:4
How is prostatitis treated?
Treatment for prostatitis usually aims to decrease pain, discomfort, and inflammation.
A urologist may treat prostatitis with painkillers and a two- to four-week course of antibiotics. Other medications could be prescribed such as alpha-blockers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen) to relieve the pain and alpha-blockers to help relax the muscles in the prostate and the base of the bladder.1
Alternative treatment may include warm baths, local heat therapy, physical therapy, relaxation exercises and acupuncture.
How can prostatitis be prevented?
Scientists have found that eating, diet and nutrition may prevent prostatitis. During the treatment of bacterial prostatitis, it is recommended to drink plenty of water or other soft drinks (six to eight glasses a day) such as squash or fruit juice. Avoid alcohol, fizzy drinks and drinks containing caffeine, such as tea and coffee, citrus fruits such as oranges, and spicy foods as they can irritate the bladder and make urinary symptoms worse. .5
Other preventive methods include: