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Prostatitis: Disorders of the Prostate
Prostatitis may account for up to 25 percent of all office visits by young and middle-aged men for complaints involving the genital and urinary systems. The term prostatitis actually encompasses four disorders:
Acute bacterial prostatitis is the least common
of the four types but also the easiest to diagnose and treat effectively.
Men with this disease often have chills, fever, pain in the lower
back and genital area, urinary frequency and urgency often at
night, burning or painful urination, body aches, and a demonstrable
infection of the urinary tract as evidenced by white blood cells
and bacteria in the urine. The treatment is an appropriate antibiotic.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis, also relatively
uncommon, is acute prostatitis associated with an underlying defect
in the prostate, which becomes a focal point for bacterial persistence
in the urinary tract. Effective treatment usually requires identifying
and removing the defect and then treating the infection with antibiotics.
However, antibiotics often do not cure this condition.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome
is the most common but least understood form of prostatitis. It
is found in men of any age, its symptoms go away and then return
without warning, and it may be inflammatory or noninflammatory.
In the inflammatory form, urine, semen and other fluids from the
prostate show no evidence of a known infecting organism but do
contain the kinds of cells the body usually produces to fight
infection. In the noninflammatory form, no evidence of inflammation,
including infection-fighting cells, is present.
Antibiotics will not help nonbacterial prostatitis.
You may have to work with your doctor to find a treatment that's
good for you. Changing your diet or taking warm baths may help.
Your doctor may give you a medicine called an alpha-blocker to
relax the muscle tissue in the prostate. No single solution works
for everyone with this condition.
Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis is the
diagnosis when the patient does not complain of pain or discomfort
but has infection-fighting cells in his semen. Doctors usually
find this form of prostatitis when looking for causes of infertility
or testing for prostate cancer.