Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland that often causes pain, swelling and other uncomfortable symptoms. There are three types of prostatitis, including nonbacterial prostatitis, acute bacterial prostatitis and chronic prostatitis. The cause of the condition depends on the type of prostatitis that you’re suffering from, and treatment options vary.
Nonbacterial prostatitis is not caused by a bacterial infection. Instead, it’s often caused by stress, injuries, nerve irritation or irregular sexual activity. Symptoms include pain or burning while urinating, difficulty urinating, frequent urination and pain in the lower back or abdomen. This is the most common type of prostatitis out of the three. Medications may be prescribed to relax prostate muscles, reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Acute Bacterial Prostatitis
Acute bacterial prostatitis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation in the prostate. Symptoms are usually severe, and include urinary frequency and urgency, pelvic pain, lower back pain, chills, fever and nausea. This type of prostatitis is often treated with oral antibiotics for a minimum of two weeks. In some cases, patients may need to be admitted to a hospital and treated with intravenous antibiotics. Almost all cases of acute bacterial prostatitis will clear up within four weeks, and it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible to avoid complications.
Chronic prostatitis treatment requires antibiotics for four to 12 weeks, and most cases will clear up with antibiotic treatment alone. In rare cases, long-term antibiotic therapy may be used to relieve symptoms. Surgery on the urethra or prostate may be recommended if problems are identified, such as scar tissue in the urethra. Chronic prostatitis is caused by recurrent urinary tract infections.
If you develop symptoms of prostatitis, don’t wait around for things to get worse. Let your doctor know right away. Other conditions such as cystitis, BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and cancer can cause similar symptoms, and it’s important to get to the root of the problem as soon as possible.
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