The prostate gland helps with the transport and nourishment of sperm by producing semen. This condition tends to effect men under 50 more often than older men.
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There are different factors that can contribute to prostatitis and the varying types. Common bacteria strains are responsible for the acute bacterial type. The infection can begin if bacteria present in the urine essentially leaks into the prostate. Chronic bacterial prostatitis may occur if the acute infection is not eliminated completely.
If an infection is not responsible, lower urinary tract nerve damage could play a role. This is generally the result of trauma or surgery to the area around the prostate. For many men, however, no specific cause is ever identified.
This condition can come on either suddenly or gradually, depending on the cause. Some types can recur in the future after treatment, others subside completely, and other types might cause symptoms for months at a time. Ultimately, the symptoms depend on the cause and may include:
When left untreated, there is the potential for complications, including bacteremia, prostatic abscess, epididymitis and infertility.
It is important for doctors to first try to determine the cause before initiating treatment. Urine testing to look for signs of infection is common. Doctors might also perform blood work to look for certain prostate problems or infection. Imaging tests may also be helpful, such as an ultrasound or a CT scan.
If an infection is determined to be present, antibiotics are prescribed. After urine or blood testing, the doctor can determine which bacteria is the causative factor and choose the antibiotic that best targets it. This is generally oral antibiotics that the patient takes at home. If the infection is severe, intravenous antibiotics might be the best course of treatment. In some cases, patients are given a course of IV antibiotics and oral antibiotics simultaneously. If the prostatitis is recurring or chronic, the oral medication is generally prescribed for an average of four to six weeks.
For certain symptoms, such as painful urination, doctors might prescribe alpha blocker medications. These can make urinating more comfortable by helping to relax the muscles associated with the bladder and prostate. For pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also be recommended. In most cases, this includes those that can be obtained over the counter.
In addition to medications, the following lifestyle changes might be discussed:
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