The term prostatitis covers four prostate disorders, acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. Prostatitis accounts for one fourth of all office visits by young and middle-aged men with genital and urinary problems.
Acute bacterial prostatitis, one of the four types of prostate disorders, is the least common of the four. It also is the easiest to diagnose and treat. Men may experience chills, fever, and pain in the lower back and genital area. Burning and painful urination, body aches, frequent urinary tract infections and bacteria and white blood cells in the urine may accompany these symptoms. The course of treatment is an appropriate antibiotic.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis has many of the same symptoms as acute bacterial prostatitis. This condition is also fairly uncommon but is associated with a defect in the prostate. The defect becomes a focal point for bacteria in the urinary tract. The treatment for this problem is finding and removing the defect. Antibiotics alone will not cure this prostate problem.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is the most common form of prostatitis. It is also the one that is least understood. It can be found in men of any age and symptoms will appear and disappear without warning. It may have an inflammatory or noninflammatory symptom.
If this problem is inflammatory the patient may not show any signs of the cells the body normally produces to fight infection. In the noninflammatory form of this disorder there may be no evidence of inflammation and there may be no indication of any infection-fighting cells.
Using antibiotics will not help with nonbacterial prostatitis. You and your doctor will need to work together to find the treatment that works for you. That may be a change in your diet or taking warm baths. A medication called an alpha-blocker may be prescribed to help relax the muscle tissue in the prostate gland. Not every solution works for every patient.
The last form of prostatitis is the asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. This form is found by accident usually because the doctors are looking for reasons of infertility or they are testing for prostate cancer. With this form of prostatitis the patient does not usually complain about pain or discomfort but there are infection-fighting cells in the semen. The semen may be tested for sperm count and infertility problems when the infection-fighting white cells are found.
Prostatitis and BPH do not cause prostate cancer. They may lead to more serious problems if left untreated however. These prostate disorders are more common in young and middle age men. Older men will be more likely to develop enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.
Any problems with urination, pain, and blood in the urine may signal one of these forms of prostatitis or it could be a signal for a more serious prostate condition. Your doctor can easily check your prostate to see if any more tests are needed.
These forms of prostatitis are treatable and may prevent other more serious complications.