Prostatitis & Prostatitis Symptoms
Prostatitis is a condition where the prostate gland becomes inflamed and swollen. It can be acute or chronic, and 15% of men suffer from prostatitis at some point in their lives, most usually between ages 30 to 50.
Acute prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection of the prostate gland. Symptoms come on suddenly and go away quickly.
However, in most cases prostatitis is a chronic condition, with symptoms present for at least three months over half a year.
When the cause is bacterial, it can be linked to recurring urine infections, with the prostate gland harbouring the infection. Chronic bacterial prostatitis is not a sexually transmitted infection.
However, in many case
s no evidence of infection can be found to explain the inflammation of the prostate gland. The condition is still not fully understood, although theories abound. Chronic Prostatitis is also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS).
- the lower pelvic area, including the area between the anus and back of the scrotum (the perineum), which can make sitting and opening the bowels uncomfortable
- the lower abdomen and in the lower back
- the testicles
- the penis, with pain on ejaculation and occasionally when urinating (although this is more likely to be a urinary tract infection). There can also be other urinary symptoms, such as a need to ‘go’ more frequently. Read more at Urinary Infection
Some men have worse pain after having sex, or experience difficulty in getting an erection.
Acute prostatitis sufferers tend to have pain in the lower pelvic area, to feel more generally ill with aches and pains and a fever, and to have problems urinating. Read more at Urinary Infection
A physical examination of your back passage may demonstrate a swollen prostate, but this is not always evident.
If you have acute prostatitis or chronic bacterial prostatitis, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory painkillers may help your symptoms. Chronic bacterial prostatitis may respond to a longer course of antibiotics. Removal of the prostate (prostatectomy) may be considered if you have small stones in the prostate gland, but this is not a common solution, has many drawbacks and is not suitable for everyone. Read More at Radical Prostatectomy
If the cause of prostatitis is not a bacterial infection, treatment can be more difficult, with no one treatment working for all. For chronic prostatitis/CPPS sufferers, possible treatments include alpha-blockers, which work by blocking the transmission of certain nerve impulses and relax the prostate muscle tissue and the bladder.
Other medicines may shrink the prostate and ease the symptoms.
Learn to relax
Worrying that you might have a serious disease can make the symptoms worse, so although you may find you have to live with the pain and discomfort for longer than you would like, the relief of getting a diagnosis can help. Stress management and pain-relieving techniques might also help you cope with the persistent pain.
Debilitating though the symptoms can be, most men diagnosed with chronic prostatitis/CPPS find that symptoms improve over a period of six months to a year, and during this time they may come and go or vary in severity.
Meanwhile, research continues to look for answers to chronic bacterial prostatitis and chronic prostatitis/CPPS.
For more advice on prostatitis, go to The British Prostatitis Support Association www.bps-assoc.org.uk.