Acute prostatitis happens when your prostate gland becomes suddenly inflamed. The prostate gland is a small, walnut-shaped organ located at the base of the bladder in men. It secretes fluid that nourishes your sperm. When you ejaculate, your prostate gland squeezes this fluid into your urethra. It makes up a large portion of your semen.
What causes acute prostatitis?
- Proteus species
- Klebsiella species
- Escherichia coli
Some bacteria that cause sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can also cause acute bacterial prostatitis. Other conditions that can lead to acute bacterial prostatitis include:
- Urethritis, or inflammation of your urethra.
- Epididymitis, or inflammation of your epididymis, which is the tube that connects your testicles and vas deferens.
- Phimosis, which is the inability to pull back the foreskin of your penis.
- Injury to your perineum, which is the area between your scrotum and rectum.
- Bladder outlet obstruction, which can occur due to an enlarged prostate or stones in your bladder.
- Urinary catheters or cystoscopy.
What are the symptoms of acute prostatitis?
If you have acute prostatitis, you may develop:
- a fever
- pelvic pain
- painful urination
- blood in your urine
- foul-smelling urine
- a decreased urinary stream
- difficulty emptying your bladder
- difficulty starting to urinate
- increased frequency of urination
- painful ejaculation
- blood in your semen
- discomfort during bowel movements
- pain above your pubic bone
- pain in your genitals, testicles, or rectum
Who is at risk of acute prostatitis?
Factors that increase your risk of UTIs, STDs, and urethritis can also increase your risk of acute prostatitis. For example, these risk factors include:
- not drinking enough fluids
- using a urinary catheter
- having multiple sexual partners
- having unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse
Other risk factors include:
- being over the age of 50
- having a UTI
- having a history of prostatitis
- having certain genes that can make you more susceptible to prostatitis
- having pelvic injuries from bike riding or horseback riding
- having orchitis, or inflammation of your testicles
- having HIV
- having AIDS
- being under psychological stress
How is acute prostatitis treated?
Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics for four to six weeks to treat acute bacterial prostatitis. Your treatment may last longer if you have recurrent episodes. The specific type of antibiotic will depend on the bacteria causing your condition. The doctor may also prescribe alpha-blockers to help relieve symptoms. These drugs relax your bladder muscles. They can help decrease urinary discomfort. Examples include doxazosin, terazosin, and tamsulosin. Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Your doctor may advise you to adjust your daily habits to help relieve symptoms. For example, they may encourage you to:
- avoid bicycling or wear padded shorts to decrease pressure on your prostate.
- avoid alcohol, caffeine, and foods that are spicy and acidic.
- sit on a pillow or donut cushion.
- take warm baths.
What is the long-term outlook for people with acute prostatitis?
Acute prostatitis usually goes away with antibiotics and lifestyle adjustments. In some cases, it may recur and become chronic prostatitis. Ask your doctor for more information about your specific condition, treatment options, and outlook. They may advise you to take certain steps to lower your risk of recurring infections.