Prostatitis (prostate infection)

Pelvis | Urology | Prostatitis (prostate infection) (Disease)


Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland, in men. The term prostatitis refers, in its strictest sense, to histological (microscopic) inflammation of the tissue of the prostate gland. Like all forms of inflammation, it can be associated with an appropriate response of the body to an infection, but it also occurs in the absence of infection.

The symptoms depend on the type of prostatitis infection the man is suffering from.

With acute bacterial prostatitis, the symptoms are severe and sudden and may cause the patient to seek emergency medical care. Common symptoms also include chills, fever, severe burning during urination and the inability to empty the bladder.

In chronic bacterial prostatitis, the symptoms are similar to the acute bacterial prostatitis infections but it does not produce a fever. Other symptoms are burning during urination; urinary frequency, especially at night; perineal, testicular, bladder and low back pain; and painful ejaculation. The condition can be episodic, with flare-ups and remissions, associated with infection, treatment and subsequent recurrence.

The symptoms of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome include difficult and sometimes painful urination, discomfort or pain in the perineum, bladder, testicles and penis as well as difficult and painful ejaculation. In some cases, these symptoms can be indistinguishable from those described above for chronic bacterial prostatitis.

Causes and Risk factors

Acute bacterial prostatitis is an infection of the prostate that is often caused by some of the same bacteria that cause bladder infections. These include E. coli, Klebsiella, and Proteus. While it may be acquired as a sexually transmitted disease, the infection can also spread to the prostate through the blood stream, directly from an adjacent organ, or as a complication of prostate biopsy.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is made by palpating the prostate during a rectal exam. A urine culture can identify the bacteria.

Oral antibiotics are usually effective. The most commonly used are: trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, fluoroquinolones, and tetracycline derivatives. If a STD is considered the source, a shot of ceftriaxone followed by oral doxycycline or ofloxacin is recommended. ...

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