• Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland. The inflammation can be due to an infection as well as other various causes.
• Prostatitis accounts for nearly 2 million visits per year to outpatient urology practices in the United States.
• Ten to twelve percent of all men experience prostatitis symptoms.
• Prostatitis is the most common prostate problem in men under the age of 50.
• Prostatitis can be an acute illness or a chronic condition. The NIH consensus definition and classification of prostatitis are:
○ Acute bacterial prostatitis: Caused by a bacterial infection, and it typically starts suddenly and may include flu-like symptoms. It is the least common of the four types of prostatitis.
○ Chronic bacterial prostatitis: Described by recurrent bacterial infections of the prostate gland. Between attacks, the symptoms might be minor, or the patient may even be symptom-free; however, it can be challenging to treat successfully.
○ Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: Most cases of prostatitis fall into this category; however, it is the least understood. Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome can be described as inflammatory or noninflammatory, depending upon the presence or absence of infection-fighting cells in the urine, semen, and prostatic fluid. Often no specific cause can be identified. The symptoms can come and go or remain chronically.
○ Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis: This condition is often diagnosed incidentally during the workup for infertility or prostate cancer. Individuals with this form of prostatitis will not complain of symptoms or discomfort, but they will have infection-fighting cells present in semen/prostatic fluid.
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system, and it is a walnut-sized gland found in men that is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine and semen exit the body. Its primary function is to produce seminal fluid to transport sperm through the urethra.
The symptoms associated with prostatitis can vary depending on the underlying cause of prostatitis. The symptoms may appear slowly or come on quickly, and they may improve rapidly (depending on the cause and treatment available), or they may last for several months. They can keep recurring (chronic prostatitis). The rapidity and severity of onset are usually most pronounced with acute bacterial prostatitis. The following are signs and symptoms that may be present with prostatitis:
• Painful, difficult and or frequent urinating
• Blood in the urine
• Groin pain, rectal pain, abdominal pain and or low back pain
• Fever and chills
• Malaise and body aches
• Urethral discharge
• Painful ejaculation or sexual dysfunction
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