Prostatitis is a general term that refers to inflammation of the prostate gland located directly below the bladder in men, which is sometimes caused by an infection. Prostatitis often causes painful or difficult urination. Prostatitis affects men of all ages, but tends to be more common in men 50 years of age or younger. Prostatitis can be caused by a number of different things and can usually be treated with antibiotics. 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 it keeps recurring.
The symptoms associated with Prostatitis can vary depending on the underlying cause of the inflammation. The rapidity and severity of onset is usually most pronounced with acute bacterial Prostatitis. The symptoms may include:
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating;
- Difficulty urinating, such as dribbling or hesitant urination;
- Frequent urination, particularly at night;
- Urgent need to urinate;
- Pain in the abdomen, groin or lower back;
- Pain in the area between the scrotum and rectum;
- Pain or discomfort of the penis or testicles;
- Painful orgasms;
- Flu-like symptoms.
Acute bacterial Prostatitis is often caused by common strains of bacteria. The infection may start when bacteria carried in urine leaks into your prostate. Antibiotics are used to treat it. If bacteria are not eliminated with antibiotics because they "hide" in the prostate, Prostatitis may recur or be difficult to treat. This is called chronic bacterial Prostatitis. Bacterial infection is not the only cause of Prostatitis. Other causes can include immune system disorder, nervous system disorder or injury to the prostate/prostate area. In many cases of Prostatitis, however, the cause is never identified.
Risk factors for Prostatitis include:
- Being a young or middle-aged man, although men of all ages can be affected by Prostatitis;
- A prior history of Prostatitis;
- Having an infection in the bladder or the tube that transports semen and urine to the penis;
- Having a pelvic trauma, such as injury from bicycling or horseback riding;
- Not drinking enough fluids;
- Using a urinary catheter, a tube inserted into the urethra to drain the bladder;
- Having unprotected sexual intercourse;
- Having HIV/AIDS;
- Being under stress;
- Having certain inherited traits
Complications of Prostatitis can include:
- Bacterial infection of the blood;
- Inflammation of the coiled tube attached to the back of the testicle;
- Pus-filled cavity in the prostate;
- Semen abnormalities and infertility, which can occur with chronic Prostatitis;
- Elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels
There's no direct evidence that Prostatitis can lead to prostate cancer.