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Prostatitis is an inflammation of the area around the prostate gland, or an inflammation of the prostate. It can affect a man of any age but is most common in men under 50 years old. Some men may experience pain and discomfort of prostatitis, while others may experience no pain at all.

Prostatitis may not be present with symptoms but most often shows as:

  • Aching abdomen, groin, pelvis, genitals, or perineum (the area between scrotum and anus) especially at night
  • Urine which is cloudy or blood-tinged
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Possible flu-like symptoms

Prostatitis may be caused by a bacterial infection or not be associated with an infectious process. Prostatitis can be classified in four main types:

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis– the least common but potentially most serious type. This bacterial infection presents with chills, fever, lower back, and groin pain, burning on urination, and body aches with white blood cells and bacteria in the urine. Antibiotics are used for an intermediate amount of time.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis– also uncommon, is a bacterial infection of the prostate which chronically smolders with exacerbations/remissions and recurrences. Antibiotics are used for a prolonged period of time.
  • Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis– the most common form of prostatitis, is not well understood as its symptoms come and go, and sometimes is associated with inflammatory changes in the urine, semen, and prostatic fluids.
  • Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis— prostatic inflammatory fluid changes without associated symptoms is often discovered when the patient is examined for infertility or possible prostate cancer.

AUCNY urologists have many diagnostic tools at their disposal:

  • Detailed history and physical examination– requesting details on symptoms, personal and family medical history, social history including smoking habits, physical examination with special emphasis on the bladder area including rectal/pelvic exam
  • Blood test
  • Urine test– for both chemical and bacterial analysis to see if a bacterial infection is present
  • Chest x-ray, bone scan, CT, MRI, PET scan– imaging procedures to rule out other possible medical conditions

Treatment Options

Treatment of bacterial prostatitis is usually done with antibiotics. Sometimes medications known as alpha blockers are used to relax the bladder neck and muscles. The symptoms of non-bacterial prostatitis may be helped by diet modification or warm baths in addition to prescription medication. Oftentimes, no treatment is necessary for asymptomatic prostatitis in the absence of other co-existing medical conditions.

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