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Prostatitis: Types. Symptoms, Treatment and Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2021

What is prostatitis?

A walnut sized gland is found in men below the bladder, in front of the rectum. The prostate gland function is to produce a fluid that contains the sperm and fluids from other glands which makes up semen. When the sperms are travelling towards female eggs, they are protected by this fluid.

The situation of swelling or inflammation in this gland is known as prostatitis. It is a painful condition which causes difficulty in urination. All age groups of men can suffer from prostatitis, but it is more common in men of age group 50 or young.

Types of prostatitis:

There are 4 types of prostatitis:

  • Chronic Prostatitis: Chronic prostatitis which is the most common type of prostatitis. There are two main types of chronic prostatitis.
    • Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis: It is caused by persistent infection with a germ which is generally bacterial infection.
    • Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome: The other one is chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
  • Acute Prostatitis: Acute prostatitis which is caused by bacterial infection of the prostrate gland.
  • Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis: Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis is a condition where the prostate is inflamed but the patient have no symptoms at all. It can be diagnosed only at the time of lab tests.

What are the symptoms of prostatitis?

There are various symptoms of prostatitis. In different people symptoms occur according to the underlying causes. The symptoms may appear very quickly or come up very slowly, they improve rapidly or last for several months or keep recurring. The severity and rapidity of its occurrence is usually marked with bacterial prostatitis.

The signs and symptoms of prostatitis may include:

  • Painful urination
  • Fever and chills
  • Urethral Discharge
  • Malaise and body aches
  • Abdominal pain. Rectal pain, Groin pain or back pain
  • Blood flow in urine

Where does prostatitis hurt?

Pain and inflammation in the prostate gland is caused by prostatitis. It causes difficulty and extreme pain in urination. It also causes pain in the pelvic area, groin, and Genitals.

Is Prostatitis serious?

As we know, Prostatitis is a medical condition in which a small walnut-sized gland called the prostate creates inflammation and swells due to an infection, injury, or an immune system disorder. It is considered a serious condition when daily life activities like urinating and ejaculation become difficult and painful which is followed by pain in the groin, pelvic area, or genitals.

Depending upon its type it can be minor distress which can be cured with easy home care to the severe inflammation that can create life-threatening situations.

In the case of acute bacterial Prostatitis, one can develop life-threatening conditions if not treated on time. It is the easiest type of Prostatitis to diagnose, yet least common in occurrence.

In other cases of Chronic Prostatitis, where the cause is associated with bacterial infection pelvic pain syndrome, it can be easily treated with the help of medication and therapy. Since the occurrence of the disease has a longer duration the symptoms are less intense and more likely to affect young and middle-aged men.

Apart from acute and chronic Prostatitis, asymptomatic inflammatory Prostatitis is also the case where one shows no symptoms, but the prostate is inflamed internally. It is usually discovered when a doctor is looking for the cause of other medical conditions through diagnoses.

Is Prostatitis sexually transmitted?

Since in most cases, the root cause of Prostatitis is due to any bacterial infection. It is rare yet plausible if the bacterial infection that causes your prostate is also a type of sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is advisable to avoid any sexual intercourse if you or your partner is showing any signs of STI, like sores on your genitals or abnormal discharge from your penis.

On the other hand, if you have prostate which is caused by pelvic pain or any other medical condition which is not contagious, sex does not worsen Prostatitis.

In this case, swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland do not get any worse if one indulges in coitus. It is not common but in some cases men who have Prostatitis experience discomforting ejaculation which leads to painful and unpleasant sex.

How does Prostatitis feel?

If one is suffering from Prostatitis, the patient may feel the following signs of discomfort:

  • Pain in the abdomen, groin, or lower back.
  • Flu-like symptoms (which includes bacterial Prostatitis).
  • Cloudy urine.
  • Urgent need to urinate.
  • Pain in the connecting muscles of the scrotum and rectum (perineum).
  • Dysuria.
  • Frequent urination (nocturia).
  • Bloody urine.
  • Unpleasant pain in or around penis or testicles.
  • Painful ejaculation.

What causes prostatitis?

The cause of prostatitis depends on the type of prostatitis.

  • Acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis:

    The reason behind the cause of bacterial prostatitis is bacterial infection in the prostate. The chronic type evolves steadily and lasts a long time while on the contrary acute bacterial prostatitis evolves fast and suddenly and vanishes in short periods of time. The infection may happen when bacteria goes into the prostate from the urethra.

  • Chronic Prostatitis :

    It is believed by some researchers that the cause behind the conditions might be microorganism and not bacteria. This type of prostatitis may be because of chemicals in urine, nerve damage in pelvic area or body reaction to previously occurred UTI.

  • Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis:

    The actual reason behind this is still unknown. Due to no symotoms its hard to find even.


How do you test for prostatitis?

The doctor who checks for prostatitis checks for:

  • Personal and family history:

    Taking a family history and personal history will help the doctor find out if there are any defects in the genes which are the possible reason for prostatitis.

  • Medical test:

    The doctor would recommend the person to consult a urologist, a person who specialises in Urinary Tract Infections and Male reproductive systems. The urologist takes a medical test and checks UTI problems related to prostatitis. Medical Tests may include:

    • Urinalysis
    • Blood Test
    • Biopsy
    • Cystoscopy
    • Urodynamic Test
    • Semen Analysis
    • Transrectal Ultrasound
  • Physical examination:

    Physical examination is another way of diagnosing prostatitis. For physical examination, the healthcare provider generally:

    • Does an examination of the patient body and tests whether there are tender lymph nodes in the groin, swollen or tender scrotum or any kind of discharge from urethra.
    • Carry out a rectal examination digitally

How to treat Prostatitis?

Treatment of prostatitis depends on the causes and type of it. In case of bacterial infections, antibiotics are advised. All kinds of prostatitis needs to be treated with relief for complications or side-effects, treatment, pain control if needed, and it needs to be closely monitored and checked by the doctor. In some cases, the prostatitis patient needs to be hospitalised.

Some more treatments are:

  • Antibiotics: The antibiotics which are to be given and the duration of treatment is decided by the doctors.
  • Alpha Blockers: Alpha blockers decrease the urinary symptoms and help you to empty your bladder. It relaxes muscle fibres surrounding the bladder and prostate gland.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines: These are given to the patients to manage the pain.

Medicine to treat Prostatitis:

Doctors may also recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Acute bacterial prostatitis is a medical emergency. Some antibiotics have very poor penetration of prostatic capsule but some penetrate very well which are as follows- ciprofloxacin, co-trimoxazole and tetracyclines such as doxycyclines (in case of CBP).

Severely ill patients may be hospitalized while others can be treated at home with bed rest, analgesics, stool softeners and hydration. Acute bacterial prostatitis require prompt recognition and treatments it may lead to sepsis.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may offer both analgesia and more rapid healing by liquefaction of prostatic secretions. If patients fail to improve through antibiotics a prostatic abscess is suspected. When the disease is mild or moderate- Trimethoprim, Cephalexin, Amoxicililin and Clavulanic acid are used. If it appears septic parenteral therapy is used.

In the case of which it is treated with medications like alpha blockers, paracetamol and ibuprofen. There are other medications too which can be beneficial for treating non-bacterial chronic prostatitis but evidence of effectiveness of treating with those medicines are very limited.

The medications of such type include finasteride which is used in treating prostate enlargement, fluoxetine is an antidepressant medicine which treats depression of the patient, gabapentin is a medicine which is used in the treatment of chronic pain, amitriptyline in its low doses treats pain and bladder problems and aids sleep as well. As acute prostatitis is treated with antibiotic tablets.

Pain is relieved through paracetamol and/or ibuprofen. In case of severe pain a strong painkiller like codeine is prescribed.

In case of severe pain please consult your doctor

Prostatitis Risk Factors

The risk factors prostatitis include are:

  • Previous history of having prostatitis
  • If the person has gone through prostate
  • Had a pelvic trauma i.e. injured because of cycle or horse ride
  • Suffering from HIV/AIDS
  • Having infection in bladder or urethra (a tube that transports urine and semen to the tube)
  • Using a urinary catheter ( A tube that is inserted into urethra to drain the bladder)

What happens if Prostatitis is left untreated?

The symptoms of Prostatitis can range from mild or no discomfort to severe pain and life-threatening conditions. If you are facing uncontrollable pain in the lower abdomen, groin, or lower followed by cloudy, painful, and frequent urination and painful ejaculation you must seek out medical help. Depending upon the case, symptoms may worsen with time and cause infection or other health problems.

What should you eat if you have prostatitis?

A vegetable, fruit and healthy fats rich diet is advised to prostatitis patients. The food include:

  • Salmon: Rich in healthy fats containing Omega3 fatty acids; help prevent and reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Tomatoes: Filled with Lycopene which is an antioxidant which benefits prostate gland cells.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli along with other cruciferous vegetables such cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage etc contain sulforaphane. They target the cancer cells and make the prostate healthy.
  • Nuts: Rich in zinc. Zinc is found in high concentration in the prostate and balances DHT and testosterone.
  • Citrus: Citrus helps the prostate gland. Food containing Vitamin C like orange, lemon, grapefruits and limes are recommended.
  • Berries: Raspberries, Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries are excellent sources of antioxidants. They help to remove free radicals from the body.

Does drinking water help Prostatitis?

Yes, water will help you dissolve and flush out all the toxins and bacteria which will aid the process of healing. Water is the best-known source to keep an individual hydrated. It also helps to flush out excess amounts of salts, bacteria, or any other toxins like caffeine which will make your body more healthy and active.

In the case of Prostatitis, water will help to reduce the pressure of the glands caused by frequent and painful urination.

Is Beer Bad for the Prostate?

Drinking alcoholic drinks like beer during Prostatitis is a debatable concept. Most medical healthcare professionals like urologists may advise you to avoid it as it can create more adverse effects on the symptoms like urinary flow, urinary irritation, and poor sexual function. On the other hand, some studies have shown that an optimum amount of alcohol will not make the symptoms of an enlarged prostate any worse.

Are there any side effects?

Ciprofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic treatment that is taken for acute bacterial or chronic bacterial prostatitis. CIPRO and other Fluoroquinolones including CIPRO are associated with an increased risk of tendinitis which is the inflammation of the tissue that connects muscle to bone and tendon rupture which is a separation of the tissue connecting muscle to bone in all ages.

But this risk is increased further in older patients of over sixty years of age. This risk is increased in patients with kidney, heart or lung transplants. Fluoroquinolones may also cause exacerbate muscle weakness in patients suffering from myasthenia gravis. Doxycycline and other tetracycline may cause permanent staining of teeth if used during teeth development.

It may also be associated with diarrhoea which can be mild or fatal. It may interact with Coumadin leading to extreme thinning of blood. If Coumadin is taken before doxycycline, reduction of its dose is required.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Though having prostatitis does not neccessarily increase the risk of developing of prostate cancer or any other diseases like other prostate or kidney diseases but it is recommended to continue to undergo regular examinations to detect prostate cancer even after prostatitis is cured.

After the primary management and stabilization of the patient suffer from acute prostatitis , care should be appropriately transferred to an urologist.

Aggressive treatments can also lessen the risk of developing chronic prostatitis. After the initial improvement through the parental antibiotic medicines, the acute bacterial prostatitis may be managed with outpatient care with a course of two to four weeks of oral antibiotic medicines and a urologic follow-up.

How long does it take to recover?

Prostatitis is a treatable condition where even if the problem does not get cured, relief from the symptoms can be achieved by following the treatment recommended by the doctors. If the cause of prostatitis is bacterial infection then a four to six weeks of antibiotics are generally prescribed.

For chronic infectious prostatitis medicine is taken for a longer period of time usually six to twelve weeks. With this treatment chronic infectious disease get cleared up but if the case does not get solved then antibiotics are prescribed for a long time at a low dose which help to get a relief from the symptoms of the disease. Now for acute infectious prostatitis patients usually need to take antibiotic medicine for seven to fourteen days.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Cost of prostate treatment in India will vary depending on the type of prostate the patient is suffering from and the procedure chosen to relieve the patient from his ailment. There are various states offering treatment. Hospitals like Fortis and Apollo have charge the patients differently depending upon the case.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

It is healthy to continue regular examinations even after the prostatitis is cured. The treatment results are generally permanent. If the infection comes back the patients may be prescribed to take medicine for up to twelve weeks. There are cases where patients have recovered from prostatitis for five years or more. There are even some patients who have not recovered.

Non-infectious prostatitis does not have a definitive cure and the treatment is generally aimed at controlling the symptoms causing it. Chronic prostatitis symptoms may seem to go away but then can also return without warning. Medications can help but the condition is unlikely to go away entirely. Thus, it can be concluded that permanency of the treatment is very much dependent on the type of prostatitis and the patient’s condition.

How long does prostatitis last?

The symptoms of Prostatitis may last for a long time. However they may vary in severity and come and go. Men who are diagnosed with chronic prostatitis tend to experience improvement in their condition in 6 months. It entirely depends on the person that how long will prostatitis stay. Some people have experienced it for a year, some for two years and some for just 3 months.

Prostatitis is a serious condition that could affect the overall body of the person. One must be aware of the family history of diseases and illness to prevent this kind of problem. If the symptoms are seen, the person consult the doctor immediately instead of ignoring them. While you are on treatment, you must complete the whole course of medicines even if you see the symptoms going away.

How long does prostatitis take to clear?

Prostate Gland having bacterial infection suffer acute prostatitis. The treatment can be done with antibiotic tablets. The patient needs to take a four-week course. You may feel little or no symptoms after two weeks but it is compulsorily recommended to complete the course. Leaving the course in between can cause the symptoms to return back with very severe consequences.

How to cure prostatitis?

Often, antibiotics can be used to treat prostatitis which is caused by bacterial illness. If the condition is chronic and recurs, it requires long-term medical attention.

Acute bacterial prostatitis have a good prognosis and thus can have a successful treatment. In case of unsuccessful events, Chronic Prostatitis, especially non-bacterial prostatitis can lead to sheer discomfort and long-term symptoms.

How to cure prostatitis naturally?

The treatments/remedies that could be performed at home can help to cure or prevent prostatitis and reduce the chances and needs of going to the hospital. The remedies are:

  • Prostate Massage: According to some studies, prostate massage helps to decrease the symptoms in some patients with chronic nonbacterial prostatitis.
  • Acupuncture has been proven to show decrease in symptoms for some people who are victims of prostatitis.
  • You must avoid spicy food and alcohol.
  • Take a warm bath everyday.

Is walking good for Prostatitis?

Physical exercise is considered the best exercise for maintaining prostate health. Studies have shown that daily exercise (moderate to intense) will build up your immunity and reduce the chances of having a UTI or STI, which is considered one of the common reasons for Prostatitis.

Daily walking will also benefit your cardiovascular health, promoting better blood circulation in the body which not only prevents other health and sexual problems but also helps you have a better sexual experience.

If one is overweight, losing weight is a great choice to prevent or cure Prostatitis. Men with high abdominal fat can have an increased risk of BPH, cancer, or Prostatitis. Losing weight will also help you relieve annoying and frustrating urinary symptoms.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Some alternative treatments for prostatitis are as follows- drinking of copious amount of water is needed to keep the system flushed. Cranberry juice has the properties which can dislodge bacteria from the bladder wall so that the loose invading bacteria are washed away.

Patient should try to relax and free themselves from stress. Using herbs like Valerian, Scullcap help to relax muscles. Patients should eat lightly. They should have whole grains , steamed vegetables, fresh fruits and herb teas.

Herbs like Buchu, Chamomile, roots and leaves Comfrey which helps relieve inflammation, Couch grass which is very helpful in treating enlarged and infected prostates, Camp bark, Garlic are also beneficial.

Summary: Prostatitis can be described as swelling of the small walnut-sized gland known as the prostate which is responsible for producing seminal fluid.

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Written ByDr. Rajeev Sarpal DNB - Urology/GenitoUrinary SurgeryUrology
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