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What is prostatitis?

Prostatitis is the swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland situated directly below the bladder in men. The prostate gland produces fluid (semen) that nourishes and transports sperm.

Prostatitis affects men of all ages but tends to be more common in men who are 50 years old or younger. The condition has several causes. Sometimes the cause isn’t identified. If prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection, it can usually be 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 types of prostatitis last for months or keep recurring (chronic prostatitis).

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Treatments depend on the causes.

What is a prostate gland?

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system, and it is a walnut-sized gland found in men that is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine and semen exit the body. Its main function is to produce seminal fluid in order to transport sperm through the urethra.

Picture of the male reproductive and urinary anatomy.

What are the symptoms and causes of prostatitis?

There are four types of prostatitis. Each has its own set of symptoms and causes. These include:

Acute bacterial prostatitis:

Your urinary tract is made up of your kidneys, bladder, and the tubes that pass between them. If bacteria from your urinary tract finds its way into your prostate, you can get an infection.

This type of prostatitis comes on quickly. You might experience:

  • An urgent need to pee but only a little comes out, or you have to get to the toilet quickly to prevent a urine leakage
  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Trouble peeing
  • Pain around the base of your penis or behind your scrotum
  • Cloudy urine 

Acute bacterial prostatitis is a severe condition. If you notice these symptoms, seek medical care right away.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis:

This is more common in older men. It’s a milder bacterial infection that can linger for several months. Some men get it after they have had a urinary tract infection (UTI) or acute bacterial prostatitis.

The symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis often come and go. This makes them easy to miss. With this condition, you might sometimes experience:

  • An urgent need to pee, often in the middle of the night
  • Painful urination
  • Pain after ejaculation
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain in the rectum
  • A “heavy” feeling behind your scrotum
  • Blood in your semen
  • Urinary blockage (difficulty in peeing or a weak urine stream)

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS):

This is the most common type of prostatitis. It shares many of the same signs as bacterial prostatitis. The difference is that when tests are run, no bacteria is present with this type of prostatitis.

CP/CPPS triggers include stress, nearby nerve damage, and physical injury. Chemicals in your urine or a urinary tract infection (UTI) you had in the past might contribute to this type of prostatitis. CP/CPPS has also been linked to immune disorders like chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The main symptom of CP/CPPS is pain that lasts more than 3 months in at least one of these body parts:

  • Penis (often at the tip)
  • Scrotum
  • Between your scrotum and rectum (the perineum)
  • Lower abdomen

You may also have pain when you pee or ejaculate. You might not be able to hold your urine, or you might have to pee more than 8 times a day. A weak urine stream is another common symptom of CP/CPPS.

Asymptomatic prostatitis:

Men who have this type of prostatitis have an inflamed prostate but no symptoms. You may only learn you have it if your doctor does a blood test that checks your prostate health. Asymptomatic prostatitis usually does not need any treatment, but it might potentially lead to infertility.

At Surgi-TEN Specialists, we have several treatment programs for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). One of our treatments is by using an advance technology. If you suspect you have this condition, make an appointment with our experienced urologists for a thorough health check and to find out more on the treatment program that best suits you.