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Prostatitis is a painful condition characterized by swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland.  It causes pain in the groin area and brings about many other types of abnormalities which depend on the type of inflammation.

Types of Prostatitis

1.Acute bacterial prostatitis: Caused by bacterial infection of the prostate gland. Fever, chills are common

2.Chronic bacterial prostatitis: The infection lingers for more 3 months or more. Initially symptoms may not be present.

3.Chronic prostatitis without infection: bacterial infection is not there but the symptoms can recur even after healing. It’s also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome

4.Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis: No symptoms are but immune fighting cells are present in prostate fluid

Symptoms of Prostatitis

The symptoms of prostatitis vary and depend on the cause and type of the infection. However, some general symptoms are:

  • Burning pain while urination
  • Foul smell from urine
  • Flu like symptoms – fever, chills
  • Frequent urination, dribbling
  • Pain and swelling in and around groin and genitals
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in groin
  • Pain while ejaculation, blood in semen
  • Cramping in lower back and abdomen

Causes of Prostatitis

As said before, the exact cause of prostatitis is not yet known. However, there are several propositions by doctors regarding the occurrence of this prostate gland disease.

When infected urine flows backward from the urethra to the prostate ducts, then the microorganisms can also infect the prostate gland. Bacterial prostatitis is not a sexually transmitted disease.

A person who has urinary tract infection, bladder infection or has a catheter inserted is more vulnerable to prostatitis.

However chronic pelvic syndrome can be a consequence of sexually transmitted disease or infection. Other health complications that lead to prostatitis could be disorders in the immune system, nervous system and injury of the prostate gland.

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Are there any complications of prostatitis?

Delayed treatment can lead to  

  • Bacteremia
  • Infertility- inflammation of testicles, abnormality in semen, etc.
  • Prostatic abscess

Diagnosis of prostatitis

Your doctor can easily tell that you are suffering from prostatitis from the characteristic symptoms. Apart from this, you must present your medical history to your doctor.

To take the diagnosis further your doctor will perform a digital rectal exam to feel the prostate gland and cystoscopy to view the urethra and the bladder. You will have to undergo blood tests, urine culture tests, urodynamic tests and also semen and prostate fluid analysis for detecting blood cells and bacteria.

Treatment of prostatitis

The treatment option for bacterial prostatitis is antibiotics. For acute cases, the minimum dosage is usually two weeks while chronic prostatitis needs an extended treatment with antibiotics, which could range from four to twelve weeks.

Non bacterial prostatitis doesn’t require the antibiotic therapy. Instead doctors treat the syndrome with muscle relaxants for the prostate gland like alphas blockers, anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers to manage pain and spasms.

Repetitive prostatic massages may also be scheduled by your doctor to eliminate pain and pressure from the prostate gland.

Are there are alternative treatment and home remedies for prostatitis?

Pain, stiffness in muscles and urinary discomfort to some extent can be controlled by home remedies or alternative treatments.

  • Hot sitz baths and heat therapies alleviate pain
  • Ayurvedic treatment and acupuncture are effective
  • Try to restrict eating and drinking spicy and hot beverages, respectively
  • Wear loose clothes and avoid physical activities that impose pressure on your prostate

All in all, it’s utmost important to complete the dosage of the medicines suggested by your doctor and practise hygiene to reduce chances of infections.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 29, 2015