What Is Prostatitis And How Is It Treated?

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. It is a common condition that affects many men at some point in their lives. The symptoms of this condition include:

  • Difficult and/or painful urination
  • Increased urination
  • Fever
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the groin
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Inability to achieve and/or keep an erection

Because the symptoms of prostatitis are similar to the symptoms that are associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI), many men who develop this condition confuse it with an infection in the urinary tract.

The Prostate Gland Defined

The prostate gland is located below the male bladder in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, which is the small tube that directs urine out of the bladder through the penis and out of the body. This gland plays a vital role in male reproduction, as it creates a fluid that provides nutrients for sperm.

Causes of Prostatitis

There are two types of prostatitis: Acute and chronic bacterial. Both are caused by an infection in the prostate gland. It is believed that some types of prostatitis develop when the muscles of the bladder or pelvis fail to operate properly.

Complications Associated with Prostatitis

There are several complications that may occur as a result of this condition. These complications include:

  • An obstruction of the bladder outlet or retention of urine
  • Infertility
  • An abscess of the prostate gland
  • Sepsis/bacteremia (spreading of the infection to the blood stream)
  • Death (this is rare)

Treatment Options for Prostatitis

There are several treatment options available for this condition. The treatment used depends on the underlying cause(s) of and the type(s) of prostatitis that a patient presents with. Treatment options include:

  • Antibiotics, which are generally given in all cases. A doctor will decide what class(es) of antibiotic(s) will be the most effective and how long they should be taken.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to aid with pain relief.
  • Alpha-blockers, which relax the muscle fibers that surround the bladder and prostate gland. These decrease urinary retention and related symptoms and help empty the bladder
  • Surgery, which may be needed to treat some cases of chronic bacterial prostatitis that haven’t responded to other more conservative treatment methods.

If you believe you have prostatitis and are looking for treatment options, contact Dr. Scott D. Miller, MD here or call (404) 705-5201.