Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland and sometimes the area around it. It is not cancer.
Only males have a prostate gland. It sits in front of the rectum and below the bladder. The gland wraps around the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. The prostate makes the fluid part of semen.
Prostatitis is most often caused by bacteria. They spread from the rectum or from infected urine.
You cannot get prostatitis from another person. It is not an STD. But it can result from several STDs.
You can get prostatitis at any age, but some things raise your risk:
These are the most common symptoms of prostatitis:
The symptoms of prostatitis may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always see your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Your doctor will review your past health and sexual history. He or she will also do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
Treatment depends on what type of prostatitis you have.
You may take antibiotics until infection can be ruled out. Depending on the symptoms, other treatments may include:
Treatment usually involves taking antibiotics for 4 to 12 weeks. This type of prostatitis is hard to treat and the infection may come back. If antibiotics don’t work in 4 to 12 weeks, you may need to take a low dose of antibiotics for a while. Rarely you may need surgery to remove part or all of the prostate. This may be done if you have trouble emptying your bladder.
For this type of prostatitis, you usually take antibiotics for 2 to 4 weeks. It’s important to take the full course of antibiotics, even when you don’t have symptoms. This is to stop the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. You may also need pain medicines. You may be told to drink more fluids. In severe cases, you may need to stay in the hospital.
Always see your doctor for more information about the treatment of prostatitis.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider:
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