Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate and is often uncomfortable and affects day to day life.
What causes it?
There are two types of prostatitis: bacterial and non-bacterial. The former makes up 80% of cases while the latter makes up 20%.
Bacterial prostatitis usually stems from another infection in the nearby area. For example a urinary tract infection or an STD such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia. Once the infection (particularly those that have not been treated adequately) spreads to the prostate symptoms may occur.
Non-bacterial prostatitis means inflammation without an infection and can be acute or chronic. Often the cause is not known.
Common symptoms include:
– difficulty urinating
– frequent need to urinate
– blood in the urine or semen
– pain or burning with during urination
– pain with passing motion
– pain with ejaculation
– pain in the lower back, pubic area, or deep within the pelvis
– sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction
Diagnosis is usually through history and examination of the prostate but a blood test looking at prostate specific antigen (PSA) is also helpful.
Bacterial prostatitis usually requires an extended course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication with regular follow up to ascertain the progress.
Non-bacterial prostatitis won’t respond well to antibiotics so only anti-inflammatory medication is used. Sometimes if the symptoms are persistent we may add in medication such as a low dose of erectile dysfunction medication, which has been shown to be beneficial in reducing prostatitis symptoms.
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