Prostatitis

Hommes à risque de prostatite discutant autour en mangeant
 

Overview

Nearly 50% of men will have some form of prostatitis in their lifetime. Although it is a condition that can affect men of all ages, it is most common in men between the ages of 30 and 50. Prostatitis is caused by the inflammation or infection of the prostate. Prostatitis is not a form of prostate cancer nor does it increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

There are four types of prostatitis

Illustration d’une prostatite

Chronic pelvic pain syndrome

This is the most common type of prostatitis. This condition primarily causes pelvic pain, but other symptoms may also occur. Although the causes for chronic pelvic pain syndrome are not well understood, it is not caused by a bacterial infection. This type of prostatitis may persist for some time and occurs mostly in younger men. Some studies show a link between higher stress levels and the onset or amplification of chronic pelvic pain syndrome symptoms.

Acute bacterial prostatitis

This is a bacterial infection of the prostate. Bacteria can also spread to your prostate from your bladder, intestines, or blood stream. Symptoms can develop quickly and this condition can be very serious and may require hospitalization. Symptoms associated with acute bacterial prostatitis include fever and pain in the thighs, lower back, and pelvic region. If a man finds that he is suddenly unable to urinate, he should immediately visit a hospital to be treated for urinary retention. This condition can be caused by a urinary infection, a biopsy, or the use of a catheter.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis

This is an infection caused by bacteria that can last for more than three months. Symptoms vary with time and are not as serious as acute bacterial prostatitis. Chronic bacterial prostatitis can develop from a bacterial infection when bacteria remain in the prostatic region. Men having previously suffered from a urinary infection or inflammation of the urethra are more at risk of developing this type of prostatitis.

Non-bacterial prostatitis or asymptomatic prostatitis

This type of prostatitis causes an inflammation of the prostate. This type of prostatitis does not cause any symptoms and is generally detected by chance. Causes are unknown.

Risk factors associated with prostatitis:

  • Unprotected sex
  • An enlarged prostate
  • A trauma, prostate biopsy, or prostate surgery
  • Bladder outflow obstruction
  • Passage of a catheter or cytoscope into the urethra
 

Symptoms

Prostatitis can cause a wide range of symptoms that can differ from man to man. The most common signs and symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvic pain during urination
  • Frequent urination (day and night)
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder
  • Pain with ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine
  • Burning sensation or pain during urination
  • Decreased urinary stream

Diagnosis

If you notice any unusual symptoms or if the doctor suspects you of having this condition, the doctor may suggest you undergo certain tests. These tests vary depending on the type of prostatitis, but may include the following:

  • A rectal examination to ascertain sensitivity and size of the prostate
  • An abdominal examination
  • A urine test and culture of bacteria found in the urine
  • A blood test and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
  • Imaging using ultrasound or X-ray
 

Treatments

Treatments are dependent on the prostatitis diagnosis and may vary from one man to another.

Treatments for prostatitis

  • Antibiotics: to treat bacterial infections
  • Pain medication
  • Alpha-adrenergic blockers: to relax muscles around the prostate, to relieve pressure on the urethra, and reduce symptoms affecting urine flow.
  • 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors: prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the prostate. Dihydrotestosterone appears to be the cause of prostate enlargement.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate to drain an abscess

Helpful lifestyle changes

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid alcohol, soft drinks, and drinks containing caffeine, such as tea and coffee, that can irritate your bladder and make symptoms worse
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Sit comfortably if you need to sit for a long period of time
  • Be active, it can reduce pain
  • Avoid cycling or any other activities that put pressure on the perineum as it can make symptoms worse
  • Do pelvic floor muscle exercises: these muscles help control urination. Doing these exercises strengthen your muscles and help to reduce urinary symptoms.

Supportive treatments to help relieve symptoms

There is no scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of these methods in relieving symptoms, but many men did notice an improvement in their conditions.

  • Prostate stimulation by a doctor
  • Antidepressants
  • Medication for sexual problems (medication for erection troubles)

Complementary therapies and relaxation techniques

These therapies can have a positive effect on your well-being

  • Acupuncture
  • Massotherapy
  • Reflexology
  • Aromatherapy
  • Hypnotherapy

Relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques may help you relax and feel more comfortable

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing
  • Warm baths
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