What is prostatitis?

Prostatitis is an infection of the prostate gland in men. The walnut-sized prostate gland is involved in the production of semen. The prostate wraps around the tube that transports urine out of the bladder.

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Prostatitis is a potentially painful but noncancerous condition that occurs most often in middle-aged and young men. Symptoms of prostatitis may vary from person to person, but general symptoms include burning with urination, the inability to empty the bladder completely, and painful urination.

There are different types of prostatitis. If you have no symptoms or discomfort, but your health care provider finds white blood cells that fight infection in the prostate fluid and semen, this is called asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. This condition is often diagnosed when a health care provider is testing for an enlarged prostate, infertility, or prostate cancer.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a bacterial infection that occurs repeatedly. Chronic bacterial prostatitis may occur in the presence of other infections in the bladder, kidney, or urinary tract. Chronic prostatitis, also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome, is the most common form of prostatitis. The symptoms of this disease are lower back pain, pain between the legs, and pain at the tip of the penis. Other symptoms include painful ejaculation and the need to urinate often and urgently. Chronic prostatitis may be accompanied by inflammation of the prostate gland, but can also be non-inflammatory. Sometimes, inflammation is present but there is no sign of a bacterial infection.

Acute prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection. It is the least common type of prostatitis, but it can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit); severe pain in the lower back or genital or rectal area; or inability to urinate.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for prostatitis but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of prostatitis?

Symptoms of prostatitis can affect the prostate gland and the urinary tract. The symptoms of prostatitis may vary from person to person, but general symptoms include burning with urination, the inability to empty the bladder completely, and painful urination. Prostatitis that occurs without any noticeable symptoms is called asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis.... Read more about prostatitissymptoms

CAUSES

What causes prostatitis?

Prostatitis is a noncancerous condition that is most often caused by infection in the prostate gland. This disease occurs most often in middle-aged and young men.... Read more about prostatitiscauses

TREATMENTS

How is prostatitis treated?

Treatment for prostatitis will depend on the underlying cause of the prostatitis. Prostatitis caused by bacterial infection will require different treatment than prostatitis caused by other disorders or conditions.... Read more about prostatitistreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Male Reproductive System