Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland. While it can affect men of any age, it is more common in men between the ages of 30 to 50. The condition can either be caused by an infection, stress, nerve damage, or physical injury. Prostatitis may be painful and cause you distress, but it will get better with treatment.
There are two main types of prostatitis:
Chronic prostatitis: Your symptoms may last for months, or recur in cycles for at least three months.
Acute prostatitis: Usually caused by an infection, this type of prostatitis may develop suddenly, and cause you severe pain and difficulty in urinating.
Symptoms of Prostatitis
The signs and symptoms largely depend on the cause. Some symptoms can include:
Pain around your penis, testicles, or lower back
Urinating frequently, especially at night
Urine that appears pink or red (blood)
Some types of prostatitis can worsen or cause further health problems. It is recommended to see a doctor to confirm your symptoms and get treatment early, especially if you have pelvic pain, difficulty in urinating, or painful ejaculation.
Diagnosing and Treating Prostatitis
Your doctor will determine the type of prostatitis you have, as well as rule out other conditions that may cause your symptoms. He or she will ask you about your medical history and your symptoms, and may also perform a digital rectal examination. If your prostate is swollen and tender, you may feel some discomfort.
You may also be requested to undergo additional tests, including:
Urine test. Your doctor may take a sample of your urine and send it to a laboratory to check for signs of infection.
Blood test. Your doctor may take a sample of your blood to examine for signs of infections and other prostate problems.
Imaging tests. In some cases, your doctor may ask you to go for ultrasound scans or X-rays to get a view of your urinary tract and prostate.
Based on your symptoms and test results, your doctor will then be able to determine the type of prostatitis you have.
Treatment for prostatitis depends on the underlying cause. The most common treatment methods include:
Antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics for bacterial infection. The duration of the antibiotics depends on the type of infection, and whether your prostatitis is acute or chronic. It is important to finish the course of antibiotics to ensure that the infection clears completely.
Other medications. Your doctor may prescribe other medications to help your prostate heal, such as prescriptions to help increase blood flow to the prostate, improve urine flow, or reduce inflammation.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) – Suitable for chronic prostatitis patients without an active infection. A probe will be placed over the perineum (the space between the scrotum and anus) to deliver shock waves and treat your prostate inflammation.
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