Prostatitis is an inflammation of the glandular tissue in the prostate of men. It is usually caused by bacteria, which penetrate the tissue of the prostate from the bladder. Due to the infection, the prostate swells and the urethra gets blocked. This makes peeing harder and painful. A prostatitis can be chronic or acute.
Prostatitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Often, it’s the bacterium Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus or Enterococcus faecalis. The bacterial infection spreads from the urinary tract to the prostate. Apart from bacterial infection, viral and fungal infections that reach the prostate through the urinary tract, can be the culprits as well.
Prostatitis may also be associated with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Unprotected sex with multiple partners forms a risk factor.
In case of acute prostatitis, a person feels sick and has fever. Furthermore, the following signs and symptoms can occur:
In the prostate, pus can develop and accumulate (prostatic abcess). The acute form is quite rare and often manifests itself with sudden, severe symptoms. Chronic prostatitis is subject to the same symptoms, but these are usually less severe.
When prostatitis is suspected, a rectal examination is performed. The doctor can feel the prostate via the anus. In case of acute inflammation, the prostate feels soft. The examination is usually painful for the patient. In the laboratory, urine and sometimes sperm is investigated by means of a culture. Thus can be determined which bacterium is the cause and which antibiotic can be administered.
In case of prostatitis, antibiotics will be prescribed for a longer period of time. For some people this is two weeks, for others even four to six weeks. It’s important that the patient completes the full course of antibiotics, even if he no longer suffers from the symptoms. If the patient doesn’t complete the course, the infection can easily come back. As a painkiller, paracetamol can best be used.
In addition to the antibiotic treatment, hot sitz baths can help to reduce the symptoms. Massaging the prostate can also provide a sense of relief. Here the prostate is, as it were, massaged empty through the rectum. This works especially beneficial in case of chronic inflammation. Nevertheless, a chronic prostatitis is harder to treat than the acute form.
It is difficult to provide a prognosis. The symptoms may last for a long time, although they sometimes come and go and vary in severity. Painkillers can minimize the discomfort.